The most important challenge of all (earthly) times

Dear all,

When I was just a little girl, I was interested in stories other then Cinderella: my grandpa was the youngest of nine during the Second World War, taking care of his siblings in the rough winter in Rotterdam in 1944–1945, and around that time he had joined the Dutch Air Force. All these experiences made him the best and most inspiring storyteller of my early years. Thanks to him, I have got tangled with the concept of injustice. I wanted to understand which background variables were the cause of mistreatment, disrespect and other comparable concepts of injustice. I wanted to understand and be able to signal these variables. I wanted to be able to signal these variables and become part of the answer for these challenges. And it was exactly for these reasons that I’ve started studying the different aspects of (inter)national conflict: the socio-economic roots, the psychologic impacts, the environmental consequences and the proper prevention mechanisms. Still, after some years, I realised that our era faces an even bigger challenge than preventing and fighting (inter)national conflicts, namely; we should profoundly be fighting man-made climate change. Since this realisation I’ve tried to walk the path of improvement: the part towards a greener and CO2 neutral future.

As Stephan Hawking warned us, if we do not drastically decrease our CO2 output into our atmosphere, our planet will be like Venus, with a temperature of 250 degrees. So dear all, what does your money mean to you when your house is under water and what is luxury lifestyle worth when you(r) (children) will be faced with millions and millions of climate refugees due to extreme draught? Isn’t it time to wake up?

Then let this be the wake-up call and let us connect to establish logical, sustainable way of thinking and acting worldwide. And this is exactly what I hope to see at UNLEASH LAB 2017: big, impact driven ideas, with people with the guts to just do it. That we can become an inspiration and the initiation to step up our game and act now. Because we must feel the urge and therefore accept the biggest and most important challenge of all (earthly) times: let’s save our planet!

All the best,
Karlijn Arts