Profiles in Regeneration: Catarina, 13, Brazil

Young people all around the world are working to build a regenerative future. At 13, Catarina Lorenzo is one of those people. She wants to create a space that provides the information and resources for people to develop more sustainable approaches to their daily lives.

Regenerative Futures: How are you feeling right now?

Catarina Lorenzo: I am feeling well—a little tired, but I am happy!

RF: What’s a secret your search history can tell us about you?

CL: I love playing guitar and ukulele, making bread, skateboarding, surfing, reading, and horses. One of my secrets is that I want to surf a gigantic wave in Hawaii called Jaws, and surf the biggest wave in the world before I’m 25 years old.

RF: What are you reading/learning about at the moment?

CL: I am reading and learning a lot of things. Recently I finished The Hunger Games book series, and now my school just asked for me to read Red Scarf Girl. I am also reading a book by Braulio Bessa, a Nordestin poet from Brazil. In my Portuguese class, we’re starting a book called Ladeira da Saudade. In science, I’m learning about the gas laws. In English, I’m writing an essay about climate change. In social studies, we’re learning about the different types of government—and in Brazilian social studies, we’re learning about Brazil’s pre-colonial history. In my band class, we’re learning about Mozart and Beethoven. In art, we’re drawing the world map. In PE, we just learned how to measure our heart rate. In MUN, we’re debating the world’s nuclear disarmament.

RF: Who is your favorite human and why?

CL: My mother, Caroline, and my father, Heloy JR. They taught me everything I know, and they made me who I am today. They made me see how much we’re dependent on our planet, and it’s because of them that I have this love for the environment. Because of the education they gave me at home, I realized that I had to do something for our planet. [They’re my favorite people because] they’re always fighting to achieve their goals.

RF: Which key moment inspired you to start your project?

CL: The key moment that inspired me to start my project was when I realized that all the problems we’re facing are connected. [They’re all the result of] ignorance. People are lacking environmental and sustainable education, and because of this they don’t understand the power of their actions. When I realized this, I was inspired to create my project and give this [kind of] education to people in different ways.

RF: In two years’ time, what would success with your project look like?

CL: My environmental education strategy would already have been implemented and widely publicized. [We’d have] events, partnerships, sustainable projects, training courses, scientific articles, and contact with technical professionals to help create sustainable solutions. But the biggest success would be if my project’s online platform and social media had enough visibility, access, and participation to be internationally recognized. My project would’ve already been implemented in the three starting communities which are Aurelino Leal, Peninsula de Marau, and Salvador.

RF: If you could focus a large percentage of government funding on one industry or project for the next five to ten years, which would you choose and why?

CL: I would choose to focus a large percentage of government funding on environmental and sustainable education. That’s the [key to making people] more conscious of the power of their actions.

RF: What is the best and worst thing about the education system in your country?

CL: The best thing about the education system in Brazil is that a public school system exists, and there are very well-regarded public universities. But the worst thing about our education system is that the basic education at public schools is very bad, and private schools are very expensive.

RF: Do you have a message for anyone your age living in the year 2060?

CL: Yes! Dear person living in 2060: you’re probably asking yourself, who is this person sending me this message? My name is Catarina Lorenzo, and I’m 13 years old. Right now we’re enduring a pandemic, a climate crisis, and inequality—but people are starting to wake up and try to make change. I’m one of those people! I’m writing this letter with the hope that by 2060, we’ll have been able to reverse all those problems with a lot of effort, passion, happiness, and unity. If you never give up, you‘ll reach your target. There’s proof of that in the fact that you’re hopefully living on a sustainable planet, with people committed to peace and balance. I hope you have the opportunity to have a future.

RF: What inspires or frightens you most about the future?

CL: The future is unpredictable, but what I know is that our actions affect it. What inspires me the most about the future is that I know we’ll get to see how our present actions will have changed things. This inspires me, because it [reminds me] that I should always continue fighting, because I know that my fight is for something good. I will give opportunities to the younger generation.

RF: Regeneration is…

CL: Growth, multiplication and renovation.

To learn more about Regenerative List finalist Catarina Lorenzo, click here.



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Regenerative Futures

Regenerative Futures is a Gen Z-designed model for a world built upon the principles of equity, fluidity, and sustainability. An Irregular Labs initiative.