Learning never stops, does it? And it’s never too late to realize one's dream! And when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presents before you, you must grab it! No matter if that costs you something that you can never imagine to afford! Money should be the least of all the obstacles that come between you and your dream, especially if that dream involves healing the world!
I am Abhishek Sobbana, I belong to Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India and I have been selected as a Climate Force Ambassador (CFA) for the 2041 ClimateForce Antarctic Expedition to be held from 17th – 28th March 2022. I will be only 1 of 150 participants of a diverse group of people from across 40+ nations who will be participating in this12-day “Leadership on the Edge” (LOTE) program led by Sir Robert Swan O.B.E., founder of 2041 Foundation and the first person to walk unassisted to both of Earth’s Poles and a UN Goodwill Ambassador of Youth. The Expedition, that was first initiated in 1997, will include learning exercises led by renowned experts and top climate leaders on issues of climate change, sustainability, and energy use through workshops, discussions, lessons, offshore visits, team building activities, observing the effects of climate change on the glaciers, icebergs and the variety of wildlife etc. We will be discussing and exchanging ideas on how to build sustainable global communities, businesses and governments. It is going to be a highly interactive and exhilarating experience in the presence of world-class leaders and the next batch of leaders which would emerge from this Expedition!
More about the Expedition:
This one-of-a-kind Expedition is acknowledged by top organizations like that of NASA, Accenture, Cisco, Google, to name a few. It is also covered in top media like BBC Earth, New York Times, The Telegraph (UK), India Times etc. To be able to represent Andhra Pradesh and India at such a global scale is a privilege and I’ll do my best to justify my selection. This year’s expedition also have been planned with an upgraded brand new ship which uses 60% less energy than any other ship of comparable size, and has the lowest carbon emissions per passenger in the entire industry.
The total cost of the expedition is approximately $ 21,000 USD (including Expedition fee, airfare, travel insurance, clothing, and equipment).
More About Me:
I am currently living and working in Bengaluru, in the field of GIS which deals with Mapping and working around satellite imagery. I like to travel, meet new people, go for hiking and breathe fresh air in the mountains. I try to go out of the busy city of Bengaluru, once in a while to take the road untaken. However, my corporate lifestyle rarely leaves me with time where I can actually pursue my hobby and imbibe some peace of mind. The silence away from the cities resonates with me, and I find more clarity about life and its complexities.
I lived most of my life on the southeast coast of India. I almost lived 13 years in Visakhapatnam, where I have witnessed first-hand, the change in coastline due to sea-level rise, building breakwater for ports and other anthropogenic activities. I never knew there is a bigger reason for the sea level rise and the connection between climate change. Melting ice caps, global warming has triggered such events which have led to unprecedented climate instability.
Growing up in India, I observed that only a handful of people are actually aware of the ground reality of climate change and the rest either simply don’t care or are unaware of the seriousness of the topic. Even I was one of them, but when I started to look around, studying satellite imagery and talking to people in this field, getting to know things better, I started learning and evolving into this new person, which I almost never thought existed, becoming more and more conscious about what I have been doing wrong all along. I started to make small changes at an individual level first, before telling others what to do. I feel although climate action should start right now by each and every individual, you are never too late to make the right choices. I am still learning new things and slowly adapting to these changes. I would like to share this process with people around me and help them understand about how we can contribute towards protecting this planet earth and humanity.
Why should you be interested?!
People talk a lot about saving the earth, but the fact is earth would be fine without us. This is humanity’s crisis and since the time I have been more aware, I am trying my best at my personal level to be more sustainable and less selfish! Since Sir Robert Swan said:
Honestly speaking, humanity now faces its greatest challenge yet, we need to transform the systems that shape our lives, before we make our planet uninhabitable for millions of people and other living beings. And we need to do this a way that is fair for all, especially for the marginalized communities, who are the most vulnerable section of the society. Ironically, they are the people who have the least carbon footprint since they cannot afford most things in life, we take for granted!
Have you ever thought, what would it be like if we didn’t know of the Antarctic continent? I mean if it didn’t exist? The reason why everyone gasps and exclaims about Antarctica is because of how unique it is, its environment, temperature, wildlife and everything about this place! And we are actually blessed to even know about this place. To come to think of it, imagine this world without Antarctica, imagine the next generation, your sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, they might not even be able to witness the beauty of this place, or even worse, might not even know about this. The number of icebergs and glaciers that have melted in this single year alone (2021) is alarming. If you don’t trust me, I would request you to do a simple Google search! So to sum it up all, as long as you’re living in this planet, have a humble background and cannot afford to fly to outer space for 11 minutes (I know right?!!), you, my friend, will, if not already, witness the impacts of the climate crisis that has taken over the world.
Call for Support:
The recent floods in Kerala and Uttarakhand, about the news that Mumbai city (our economic capital) will vanish due to rising sea levels, it’s scary to ignore the urgency of the situation. As a developing nation, we need to gear up to protect ourselves because even developed nations like Germany and Belgium witnessed its worst floods in years! So you and I, and everybody should step up and do our best to ensure we are not accelerating the process, but actually try to reverse it. You can do that by talking about it as the first step, supporting people in this field of work, and support me, as a young climate change leader, to take up this challenge.
This dangerous mission is the one thing I really need now, to learn as much as possible, network with the right people, so that I can implement some ideas on ground to help our society, my community, in Andhra, Bengaluru, India and globally to be resilient to the changing environment. And for this to happen, I need your help and support as financially, it is not possible for me to fund for this Expedition. I urge you, to extend your support and help me reach my goal. Share it with your friends and family, your colleagues, and everyone you know, because simply we cannot afford to lose time and we need people who are actually willing to bring real-world solutions! We need each other, at this crucial time. So kindly please find it in your heart to donate. As and when I receive this training, I’ll graduate as an Ambassador of Antarctica, and this is what I’m planning to do post Expedition.
Rewards For Your Kind Donation:
What I Plan to Do With the Experience?
- I would like to continue my journey to be plastic free and inspire others to join this movement.
- I would share my insights and new skills that I acquire from the expedition with everyone.
- I would like to motivate people in India to switch to Sustainable life style. India’s average age is 28 years, which means there is a lot of young population who will have the motivation and energy to shift in the right direction.
- I would like to collaborate with companies and other networks who have already started their renewable journey and implement ideas on ground to upscale the process.
- I would like to be a part of the environmental policy change to make renewable energy more affordable.
Everyone that knows me would tell you that I am a person who seeks to find answer and spend more time on researching, finding new solutions in a more collaborative way. Hence, I am now stepping into this new journey where I will be trained to understand the current climate change issues, for which I need all the support I can get. The journey is a unique opportunity to invest in a sustainable future and the health of the planet. I would like to take this opportunity to tell everyone that the contribution done will not go for waste and I promise I will not take this for granted. I will put my utmost effort to bring the knowledge which I will acquire in this expedition process and share it with as many people as possible.
Words of appreciation:
I thank each one of you for finding the time out of your busy schedule to read through this campaign which is of absolute importance. I also appreciate in advance for your donations. Even if you are a friend, a family member, an acquaintance, an ex-colleague, or a kind stranger, I see you, and I value your donation. No matter how big or small, your contribution will go towards making this world a better place.
Antarctica Expedition, TEDx Talk by Robert Swan, The Trailer