Opportunity to network with the European thought leaders: XAMK students, apply to European Forum Alpbach 2024

Career Opportunities, Features, Travel

Many of you might have moved from elsewhere to Finland, wondering if indeed many doors have opened for you. I believe yes, as I have spent five years earning my Bachelor’s degree at XAMK and I can attest to the multitude of opportunities that became available to me since I settled in Europe. In the fast-paced world where opportunities come and go in the blink of an eye, the importance of being present and proactive is paramount.

Thus, I cannot miss out on sharing this fantastic chance to join a meaningful network and attend a truly prestigious conference in the Alps! Imagine engaging in discussions about AI, the future of money, climate change, health, security topics with diplomats, presidents, thought leaders, scientists, and researchers for two weeks. This is what the European Forum Alpbach is all about.

When: 17-30 August

Where: Alpbach, Austria

What’s in it for you?

The program would benefit anyone studying environmental engineering, business, and even game design! Explore the program here and find the buzzwords that resonate with you: European Forum Alpbach.

Each year, hundreds of young talents from around the world join the European Forum Alpbach (EFA). Students, young professionals, and innovators attend various scientific, competence, and artistic seminars, enjoy a high-level conference program, and partake in social and cultural events in the village of Alpbach. Both the EFA itself and the Forum Alpbach Network (FAN) provide approximately 400 scholarships to attend the forum.

Why participate: This forum offers young people the opportunity to interact, discuss, build friendships, and cooperation in order to contribute to positive changes in the future.

This conference was started in the 1950s to bring innovators, thinkers, and doers together. It occurs every year in a stunning location in the mountains, giving you the chance to engage with studying, hiking, networking, and advocacy.

How to Apply

I recommend applying for an EFA scholarship right away, as the deadline is March 28, 2024. The scholarship could cover tickets to the event, food, and accommodation.

I am eager to share pieces of my motivational letter to show you an example.

The structure of any motivational letter is to introduce yourself with titles, mission, and beliefs, then expand on how amazing you are without forgetting to mention that you are eager to share this amazing experience and skills with others during the forum. Then, you need to explain how this opportunity will make you even better.

My motivational letter that got me scholarship last year:

“I am an environmental engineer on a mission. For the past five years, I have dedicated myself to educating people about climate change. It’s not just a profession; it’s a passion and a calling. I believe that everyone can become a climate hero, whether through their areas of expertise or hobbies. This belief is at the core of what I do, empowering people to take climate action.

My goal is to inspire others to realize that they don’t need to be environmental engineers to make a difference. They can excel in their areas of specialization or hobbies. To help them, I make climate change digestible and actionable through reels, podcasts, online courses, and events.

I co-founded my country’s first educational platform on sustainable development, empowering 650 students with concepts such as ecosystem services, Anthropocene, planetary boundaries, and biomimicry. My passion for climate education led me to create a popular Instagram blog with 25k followers and 100k reach, earning me the title of “Best Ecoblogger” by National Geographic. I make events interactive, changing human behavior and delivering impactful lectures on climate change at over 40 public events, online courses, and podcasts, including for the United Nation’s Climate Classroom and UN University. I am eager to share my approach with other passionate individuals at EFA23, as education is at the core of BOLD climate ACTION. That’s why I advocate for inclusive climate education and policy-making at global events like Youth4Climate PreCOP26, UNESCO PreTESummit, and COP27.

Currently, I am working on a platform that shares professional development opportunities in sustainability, such as internships, courses, volunteering, and field trips, for a community of 9,000 with 700+ yearly offerings. I would like to find like-minded people at EFA23 to bring this project to the global market and discuss the role of alternative education, such as immersive formats like EFA itself, in building capacity for the younger generation.

Additionally, I am part of a strong team at Xamk University of Applied Sciences in Finland that delivers accessible online courses. I love engaging meaningfully with youth through the World Bank, where I help kick-off the youth fellowship program. I am also proud to support Sirius, a startup delivering sustainability officer services as a subscription to small businesses. So, I can easily connect the solutions we will be discussing with different systems such as public entities, small businesses, and big Multilateral Development banks.

Moreover, I am a fan of alternative living and spent some time in European ecovillages, where I grew to love regenerative practices for human-human and human-nature interactions. I would like to bring these perspectives to the EFA23 table to explore permaculture, futures thinking, and other concepts.

Although my experiences have already shaped me as a professional, I acknowledge that I have accumulated my biases. I strongly believe the current approaches and mindsets that led to the beginning of the climate crisis will not solve the crisis, thus we need to reimagine the new world. We need fresh and innovative perspectives and different value systems that prioritize the planet over profit. EFA23 will gather thought leaders who can challenge my thinking and present new ways of moving forward. I am motivated to seek inspiration and go beyond my current path with the help of the curated program and selected leaders. We can only together can reimagine materials, rebuild linear systems to cradle-to-cradle and much more.

For me, it’s personal. The human development and amazing planet we found ourselves on are in danger, and young people like me must step up and take the lead. That’s why I am excited to apply for the Climate track at EFA23. I echo your belief in the need for boldness, new approaches, and the power of innovation and systems thinking to address to co-create BOLD EUROPE.”

As conclusion, I’d mention that I saw this opportunity a year before I applied and for that year secretly dreamed to attend. Then some magical networking worked out and I took my chance in 2023 and it was indeed a life changing event! Hope you take advatnage, as not many young people around Europe know about it.