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Getting to know Extreme Hangout Changemakers

Anika Robinson (Colombia)

Tell us a little about yourself and your journey into sustainability... 

I was born in Colombia, a country known for its beautiful fauna and flora. From a young age I have always been very in touch with nature, and I always appreciated its beauty and magic. In school I participated in numerous different social activities, mainly working in an organization called Global Issues Network (GIN) for four years. This is where I was able to develop my passion for the environment as well as tackling other global issues and where my journey into sustainability began. In my senior year of High School with GIN, my school, and the town hall worked together on opening a natural reserve in my local city Cali called El Embudo. This is a place that still stands today, where anyone can sit and enjoy nature, have picnics, and observe the beautiful wildlife that surrounds us. In university, I studied environmental sustainability and was able to further develop my knowledge on what actions one can take for the good of the environment and make it sustainable. I am still growing, learning, and coming to understand more about sustainability and what are the best practices one can take on to make this world better place for the future generations to come. 

You attended and ran Extreme Hangout at Cascais and COP28- how would you describe your experiences?

Attending Extreme Hangout Cascais was a great experience. As someone who has a lot of background with running and organizing conferences and events, being able to do what I really enjoy felt like a privilege, especially being able to do it in such a beautiful place like Cascais and have it be related to the environment and climate action. The variety of organizations that attended focused on ocean conservation and protecting forests, which are two specific topics that resonate with me closely gave me new insights on the subject. I also very much enjoyed how the Hangout Cascais concluded with an activity that involved removing invasive species.

Having the amazing opportunity to attend COP28 was more than I could have dreamed of. Being able to be part of the biggest climate change and sustainability conference taught me a lot about what are people's goals, expectations, and hopes for the future of our Earth are. Seeing so many organizations involved, all with the same mindset of wanting to make the world a better place, gave me hope that humanity is going in the right direction. Extreme Hangout came to COP28 and on their stage brought a series of inspiring storytellers who shared their journey. There is a huge collective of individuals who believe that it is a possibility and are taking actionable steps towards a better world; we all need to do more!

What are your hopes and dreams for global climate action in 2024? 

 My first hope is that more people start becoming involved in climate action and recognizing that climate change is real and it’s something that affects everyone regardless of where in the world they are. I hope more people start reconnecting with nature and make the decision to become involved in climate action not out of fear but out of real love and wanting to live in a better and more sustainable world. My biggest hope for climate action in 2024 is seeing the biggest businesses aligning to combat harmful activity on our planet, taking accountability and responsibility for their actions. Though ambitious, living and operating in a sustainable manner with greener, better, and sustainable alternatives, should be a key priority going forward

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