Yesterday, I was finally able to sneak away for a few minutes to peruse the other booths at the COP. I was interested in which other students were at the COP and what they were doing, so I ended up at the University of Michigan booth and was pleased to walk away with an invitation for a student mixer hosted by Vermont Law School and Washington University School of Law. With hosts like those, we were a bit hesitant to join as non-law students, but we’re glad we did.
Students ranged from backgrounds in law, political science, urban planning, and engineering. They came from the US, the UK, Norway, and Singapore and, perhaps more importantly, they came to the COP for different reasons. Natalya and I were communicating climate impacts on the ocean and personally engaging with delegates. The students from Vermont Law School were studying the COP negotiations and documents to help developing nations understand them better. However, all of us are gaining much more than we previously imagined: a deeper appreciation for Latin American culture, insight into the UNFCCC process, different methods of networking, and how to perfect your elevator speech.
It was a great opportunity to speak with like-minded individuals who were passionate about the same issues we were. Despite having different backgrounds, both personally and professionally, we were all interested in how the world is addressing global climate change. As stated in my previous post, collaboration between disciplines is necessary. This student mixer was a nice beginning to bridging the gap between them, bringing together a diverse group of engaged students with a drive to change the world.