2021 Global Progress Summit Session: How Gen Z Can Lead on Climate Change

October 29, 2021

8:15am Virtual

The event took place in Rome. Watch the recorded event online now.

Nations across the globe look to recover from the Coronavirus pandemic by building more inclusive and sustainable societies and economies. As as we look forward to the crucial COP26 summit in November (Oct. 31 – Nov. 12), the Berggruen Institute’s Future of Democracy’s Youth Environment Service (YES) campaign held a virtual conversation with young climate leaders, representing Italy, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, on the crucial role young people play in tackling the climate crisis, how governments can better empower and support young people to lead change, and what collective action we can all take to protect our planet.

This event was focused on building broad-based commitments from governments to invest in jobs, national service, and other opportunities for young people to work together, acquire skills and training, and build common purpose and solidarity in protecting their communities from climate change. Learn more about YES here. Sign our petition here.

About the Global Progress Summit: The Global Progress Summit is an annual gathering of progressive organizations, think tanks, and thought-leaders from around the world to meet and discuss best practices in progressive governance. Check out last year’s Summit here.

Mete Coban MBE
As Chief Executive of My Life My Say, Mete is best known for contributing to the increase of turnout for young people at the 2017 and 2019 UK General Elections.

The youngest ever elected Councillor in the London borough of Hackney, he is currently serving the administration as the Cabinet Member for Energy, Waste, Transport and Public Realm. From the net-zero energy strategy to sustainable transport, he leads Hackney Council’s response to addressing the climate crisis.

Previously, he worked on the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s election campaign, leading on youth engagement. Mete holds a bachelor’s degree in Politics and a master’s degree in Public Policy and Practice, both from the University of Greenwich.

In the New Years 2020 honours list, Mete received an MBE for services to young people recognizing his efforts to make politics more accessible for the younger generation. He also received the UK Government’s National Democracy Change-Maker of the Year Award in 2018. 

Francesca Caldari is an international development project and programme manager, currently serving the United Nations World Food Programme and working on vulnerability analysis initiatives, with a focus on strategic planning and partnership management. In 2021, she was appointed as Y20 Italian Delegate on Inclusion and Equal Opportunities and represented Italian youths in the 2021 Youth20 process of the G20, led by the Young Ambassador Society.

Passionate about human rights, she previously managed gender equality and inclusive education projects within the Ministry of Women, Family and Childhood of the Republic of Senegal and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Senegal, where she also acted as focal point for the Peer Review of the Italian development cooperation system by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee.

Alumna from the University of Bologna, she holds a master’s degree in International Relations and moved her first steps into international cooperation working at the Council of Europe and the European External Action System.

A volunteer for a number of projects in support of disadvantaged children, in Italy and previously in Turkey, Francesca is a dedicated advocate for gender equality and equal opportunities for all.

Emma de Saram is a 21-year-old social and climate justice activist from rural North Dorset in the United Kingdom. Emma is part of the youth climate action group Green New Deal Rising, which urges policymakers to make transformative policy commitments by getting MPs to support a People’s Green New Deal on record.

For Emma, climate action is inseparable from advocating for social, racial, and economic justice. Her perspective of social injustice has been shaped by growing up in a small town and spending one summer working four hospitality jobs. This experience shed light on the systemic injustices plaguing her community, revealing the interconnectedness of wealth and income inequality and climate justice. She has since organized a Black Lives Matter solidarity protest in Blandford and continues to work with her community to tackle local, hidden social issues.

Emma is in her third year at History at the University of Exeter, where she studies historic progressive movements, which have inspired and informed her activism. She is campaigns officer for her university’s environmental and animal welfare societies. In this role, she advocates for a plant-based catering transition as well as organizes climate actions with Extinction Rebellion on campus. Emma balances her activism through helping at her community garden and doing local litter picks.

She is open about her mental health and her daily battle with anorexia, but she believes this battle strengthens her outlook and determination to fight for a more resilient, equitable, and compassionate future for all.

Fatimata-Atty Germaine Djibrine (Fatima) is a 20-year-old student from Niger in West Africa. She is currently majoring in International and Comparative Politics and minoring in International Law and International Business Administration at the American University of Paris.

Born in France, but raised in Niamey, Niger, Fatima, from a young age, has been exposed to diverse cultures and perspectives, which have shaped her worldview. Her multicultural upbringing has provided her with the tools to help challenge the status quo as she strives to promote norms which are inclusive, adaptable, and will help bridge the gap between developed and developing countries.

At the American University of Paris, Fatima is a student advisor and financial accounting tutor. She is part of the student board of the politics department, vice president Bridges and Borderlands, and of Black & Abroad, an organization which provides safe space for Afro-descendant minorities. Her current research focuses on navigating multiculturalism through the Justice Lab in the Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide & Human Rights and the Democracy Lab in the Center for Critical Democracy. Her perspective has been geared towards the global south narrative on the impact of climate change, imperialism, and political stability.

Fatima has a background in humanitarian work, volunteering at orphanages to teach English and spending university breaks interning for the United Nations in her home country. She has participated in several panels, most notably at the Paris Peace Forum and the Athens Democracy Forum as a Youth Delegate.

Kevin Patel is the Founder and Executive Director of OneUpAction. He has fought as an intersectional climate justice activist from Los Angeles for the past ten years. Growing up with severe heart issues due to Los Angeles’s poor air quality, he is one of the millions of people across the world who are already victims of the climate crisis.

In 2019, Kevin founded OneUpAction International, an organization that supports and empowers marginalized youth by providing them with the resources they need to be changemakers. Through his work with OneUpAction, Kevin collaborated with the community to create the first-of-its-kind Youth Climate Commission in LA County to amplify youth voices on the climate crisis.

Kevin is a UN Togetherband Ambassador for Goal 13 and 14, and he currently serves as a 2020 National Geographic Young Explorer. He also serves on the Youthtopia World: Circle of Youth Council, the ClimatePower2020 Council, the 1t.org US Stakeholder Council, and the Intersectional Environmentalist Council. Kevin is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree in Political Science at Loyola Marymount University.



composed by Arswain
machine learning consultation by Anna Tskhovrebov
commissioned by the Berggruen Institute
premiered at the Bradbury Building
downtown Los Angeles
april 22, 2022

Human perception of what sounds “beautiful” is necessarily biased and exclusive. If we are to truly expand our hearing apparatus, and thus our notion of beauty, we must not only shed preconceived sonic associations but also invite creative participation from beings non-human and non-living. We must also begin to cede creative control away from ourselves and toward such beings by encouraging them to exercise their own standards of beauty and collaborate with each other.

Movement I: Alarm Call
‘Alarm Call’ is a long-form composition and sound collage that juxtaposes, combines, and manipulates alarm calls from various human, non-human, and non-living beings. Evolutionary biologists understand the alarm call to be an altruistic behavior between species, who, by warning others of danger, place themselves by instinct in a broader system of belonging. The piece poses the question: how might we hear better to broaden and enhance our sense of belonging in the universe? Might we behave more altruistically if we better heed the calls of – and call out to – non-human beings?

Using granular synthesis, biofeedback, and algorithmic modulation, I fold the human alarm call – the siren – into non-human alarm calls, generating novel “inter-being” sonic collaborations with increasing sophistication and complexity. 

Movement II: A.I.-Truism
A synthesizer piece co-written with an AI in the style of Vangelis’s Blade Runner score, to pay homage to the space of the Bradbury Building.

Movement III: Alarmism
A machine learning model “learns” A.I.Truism and recreates Alarm Call, generating an original fusion of the two.

Movement IV: A.I. Call
A machine learning model “learns” Alarm Call and recreates A.I.Truism, generating an original fusion of the two.

RAVE (IRCAM 2021) https://github.com/acids-ircam/RAVE