Letter to my Youth: bringing back consciousness in a rushing world

Written by alessandra.gorini@y4pt.org on . Posted in All Y4PT Chapters, Y4PT Belgium & EU, Y4PT Brazil, Y4PT Chile, Y4PT Colombia, Y4PT England, Y4PT France, Y4PT Germany, Y4PT Greece, Y4PT India, Y4PT Media, Y4PT Nepal, Y4PT Oman, Y4PT Qatar, Y4PT Russia, Y4PT Spain, Y4PT UAE, Y4PT World

Dear Youth,

being with you, if only for a short while , has an immense power. The special power of freshness and enthusiasm, as well as the one of looking far into the future, in the world of the unknown.

Youth For Public Transport, despite a name being very specific,  has been created with the will of declining this acronym in many different ways : Youth For Productive Togetherness has been one of these.

When you create an organization from scratch like I did, you do not necessarily have a vision of the extent that it can take in the future, neither you visualize immediately the path you’ll undertake. But one thing was absolutely clear:

I had and have a deep will to forge young brilliant minds, to let them understand completely the power that is in their hands to change things, starting from the ones lying very close to them but also lying very far away.

And  to possibly teach and pass each and every one of them  important messages and open possibilities, giving access to  knowledge and curiosity contaminating everything with a lot of enthusiasm.

This is the real freedom I love to teach you : the freedom of choosing knowledge as the way to enrich and guide your path, whatever the path will be for you.

In all these years of Y4PT, I have seen these Societies and Cities of ours all over the continents evolving and developing as Ants Colonies, whilst development of new technologies gaining in speediness and growth. From virtual reality to tech genetic manipulations.

An exciting moment: but, as each exciting moment, it comes with its down. Much has been written and continue to be written, on this  first incredible accelerated moment in the History of Humanity.

In many, we perceive that the worst part of this new accessible world is this sort of rush  we have undertaken without knowing exactly where we are going , animated by the continuous discoveries and accelerations.

For us, poor pawns on a giant chess game, confusion, a web full of misguidance via giants like the GAFAM (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft) and basic and poor randomness of information: if you do not already have culture and knowledge, it is terribly difficult to navigate through the quantity of misinformation without being catch, distracted and mislead by the new media.

Actually, I think the freedom (read power )of the web is the one to distract ourselves, not letting us focus on priorities, giving us the feeling and perception that, if we go for something which is averagely good, we are creating a  masterpiece ; instead of elevating our minds, the web keeps us busy and standard.

And no doubts many love to dominate a number of pawns growing each day a bit more exponentially in a fast way… Sugar and nice gratifications and here you are: the perfect dumb is born.

This is why many of us  just remain attached to this small section of social media life: because they find their own small world suddenly so big, nice and protective.

Often young people  focus on the web , not only because born on this Time and young, but also because is possible to quickly find spaces and little moment of glory and fun , and have it all NOW…

 

And you concentrate on these little big virtual worlds, where possibly there is a space to be someone and make some money, out of a terrible external competition.

All of this without learning too much of the world that is outside, of humans you could mingle and learn from.

But there is more than that, in this world: and I would love you to see this incredible beauty of diversity out of those screens, and to make a strong point let’s take books.

Yes, a book. Yes I know, it takes time to read. And may be you’ll tell me that the world is full of people that are making money in easy ways , and a lot of money…

So I’d love to drive your attention to this ( please follow me for a few more minutes, reading time, 4 min…. 🙂 )

Lately Dubai  has created a Ministry of happiness, because , although all his technology and innovation , limitless wealth and opulence,  there is something missing to reach the kind of postcard they are dreaming of .

What is missing is happiness…people are much less happier in this world of ours: the wealthier you are the less happier you are, fact.

Humanity is in search of Happiness with the big H , since the beginning of Time. Hundreds of texts has been written to make the praise and philosophising of Happiness   I cite just the one that started, Plato ( the Greek philosopher  yes , him)

Our world is more and more looking on the outside considering happiness could come from having more stuff, doing more things; but only a deep inner world  balanced with the outer world  that big achievements can be reached.

Frugality appears to us being harsh , but consumerism doesn’t satisfy us if not momentarily because human beings ‘desire, when satisfied, is leading us to desire more: and this, Facebook and all others “gratifying GAFAM”, they know it well.

The world of humans, later on all of a sudden has started running , it is splashed towards tech and consumerism in an unbridled consumer society where the words LIMIT doesn’t seems to have a sense any more. A bit like in the case of the II thermodynamic law, the world is rushing towards a complete state of disorder.

While, from one side , this limitless sensation , has brought us, at first sight  to gain a feeling of a deeper belonging to ourselves, on the long run , instead, is making ourselves losing any type of reference, knowledge and culture, be it on the field of spirituality, sexuality, alcohol, drugs,food  or any other consumerism habit. We have become more egoistic, we are trying to affirm ourselves and develop our individualistic bubbles.

But suddenly is not enough: we need people to talk with and about us (gratification)if we do not want to end up with disturbances of our minds and bodies. Humans are by nature social animals. Mostly then, what do  we do? We go on Facebook or check our Instagram accounts to see how many likes we have collected. Easy isn’it ? And absolutely gratyfing…

This is a just one examples of how the use of Tech can change our way of thinking and acting: what I also see, is that with the upcoming technology humans are refusing their place in the natural world; first we endangered species, then we destroyed and destroy nature and now we are alienating ourselves from the natural environment, refusing to be humans, searching for deity.

 

Sooner or later chips  will  implement our brains and will make the most out of us : the augmented species will take the place of our natural one. Who know if we will be able to find a way of survival in a “plastical” world? May be yes, it will happen. The evolution will transform our bodies at the point that we will be made of plastic ( we are ingesting already myriads of micro particles of it…)and who knows how many other materials.

 

While all this is happening , we should reflect on our personal individual and collective positions : are we willing to follow the mass or to take a clear engagement and position to be actors and not only spectators of our lives?

Are we trying  to become, lifetime individuals that are willing to make a difference or not? Able to stand on one side or another, not just because we will be able to survive but because we will be gratified by our REAL part of real life commingling with the world ?

Although being individualistic, we should remind ourselves that big creativities, disruptions and innovations are coming from cumulation and collaboration. Mainstreams market do not have new big ideas. Humans are structured by society to be driven in competition but in true reality, it is only through collaboration, communication and sharing that we can build up.

Closed organization are now opening to the mix of close and open, a model that is starting to be adopted and will be for sure more successful. And Companies, will be built on communities.

You can be part of this connections, or  maybe you have already decided to be part of it; we are talking about sharing , about people, about harmony with the Planet hosting us.

I’d love you to reflect with me on this absurd assumption, that a few powerful companies or individuals ,  are willing us to believe that the consumeristic and basic tech  world of today will be the only solution, the only opportunity we have, the only Verb, the unique concrete way in which we can live, in order not to be feeling isolated and banned.

This is why I’d love you could perceive that  Youth For Public Transport, “Youth For Productive Togetherness” as I like to call it sometime, should be seen like an “escape” place from the banality of this standardization of the world, a place to do something special, a place for people to develop new ideas,  a human tech structure a home for your new cohesiveness, for your days out of this global anxiety of the world.

-Till the moment in which , we will  all deeply change and face a new future. –

With love,

Alessandra

I wish you all for these days , reflection , happiness, health, fun and luck and see you soon in 2018!

PS: Advised reading

Homo Deus  – Prof. Yuval Noah Harari (English: September 2016. Spanish: October 2016. Portuguese: November 2016. Turkish: December 2016. Chinese: January 2017. German: February 2017. Dutch: February 2017. Croatian: May 2017,; Italian: May 2017, Bompiani. Korean: May 2017.)

Milan Kundera – La fiesta de la insignificancia ( English – Spanish – French)

Laurent Alexandre  – La guerre des intelligences ( French )

 

 

We welcomed Transaid during their bike Charity Marathon

Written by alessandra.gorini@y4pt.org on . Posted in All Y4PT Chapters, Y4PT Belgium & EU, Y4PT England, Y4PT England in London, Y4PT Media, Y4PT World

downloadTransaid is an international development charity. They identify, champion, implement and share local transport solutions to improve access to basic services and economic opportunity for people in Africa and in developing countries. Transaid was founded by Save the Children and The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and our Patron is HRH The Princess Royal. 

 

Charitable volunteers from across the transport industry cycled to Brussels at the weekend, in a bid to raise £75,000 for Transaid.

The 34-strong team had already raised £45,000 by the time they set off on the 340km ride on the 12 September  and are confident of reaching their fundraising target once the remaining sponsorship money is collected.

Riders set off from the Freight Transport Association’s head office in Tunbridge Wells and headed for Dover where they caught the ferry to Calais. Their adventure continued through France where even the most experienced cyclists were challenged by a very strong head wind. The group celebrated the end of this particularly difficult day in Bruges where they enjoyed a well-earned break and glass of beer, completing the final 74 miles to Brussels on September 14, finishing at the city’s iconic Grand Place.

Upon arrival the cyclists were greeted by a party from Y4PT and UITP, where we  put on a champagne and chocolate reception. We have been very happy to give them a moment of reward and fun after such a challenge and great action!

Sir Peter Hendy, a new Trustee!

Transaid  appointed  recently four new trustees with a wealth of experience in the health, transport and logistics sectors to help govern the charity as it continues to grow in size and scope.

One of them is Sir Peter Hendy CBE, Commissioner of Transport for London and  our UITP President.

Speaking on behalf of the trustees, Sir Peter, said “It’s a privilege to be involved with an organisation which implements truly life-changing solutions in developing countries.”

Sir Peter started his transport career in 1975 as a London Transport graduate trainee. In 2001 he served as Transport for London’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, before taking on his current role in 2006. Sir Peter was instrumental in preparing for the successful operation of London’s transport during the 2012 Olympics and was elected President of the International Public Transport Association in 2013. He was knighted in the 2013 New Year’s Honours list, having been awarded a CBE in 2006.

download (5)The first Transaid was established within Save the Children (UK) as a voluntary group of transport industry individuals. Peter Linney, who had just retired from a senior position in British Rail, took up the day to day management of Transaid. The British Railways Board provided office space and administrative support. Over the next 10 years, Transaid volunteers, from organisations such as TNT, P&O and the British Army, carried out a number of short-term projects. In those days, the focus was largely on emergency operations, rather than long-term development, and projects included a review of the potential to handle containerised emergency supplies through Mozambique ports and the specifications for an emergency ambulance service in Swaziland.  The transport management handbook for Save The Children was also written.

 

Thinking long-term

In the early 1990’s the founders began to think about the role of transport in development, and particularly how lack of transport impacted on the delivery of essential services such as health and education. Research with the Ministry of Health in Ghana led to the realization that a lack of management skills, rather than a lack of transport, was causing a bottleneck in the delivery of everyday health services.

A two-year Save the Children project started in the Ministry of Health in Ghana in early 1993. This was the first long-term programme of its kind by Transaid and marked a shift in focus towards sustainable development.

The future

Transaid is now beginning to focus more intensively on livelihoods work, based on the knowledge that Africa needs an efficiently run transport system in order to provide better opportunities to trade and make a living. Improving the efficiency, safety, availability and professionalism of commercial transport will create work opportunities in the industry, reduce transport costs, open up trade and make basic goods and services more available and affordable.

This is what is meant by sustainable development, looking at the root causes of problems and building the skills and knowledge of local people to tackle them. It isn’t quick and it isn’t easy, but we believe it is the only way we will make a lasting difference.

However, the amount of high profile natural disasters in recent years has brought attention back to the relationship between logistics and emergency aid and Transaid has played an advisory role in the development of two new, humanitarian initiatives – the development of the new Fritz Institute Certificate in Humanitarian Logistics and providing advice to the new CILT Humanitarian Logistics and Emergency Programme (HELP).

One thing which remains unchanged is transport’s importance to the health and wealth of all nations. Trucks, trains and ships are so highly visible on the world’s roads, railways and seas, but the essential goods and services that they carry, and the millions of people who work behind the scenes to get them where they need to go, remain largely invisible and forgotten.

Transaid has been built on the knowledge that skilled people make transport work. It’s up to us to find ways to build those skills where they’ll make the most difference and to continue to harness the skills of the best in the transport industry.

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