Driving sustainability forward: My journey as a Club of Rome Communications Fellow

29 February 2024 – I always blame my love for history as the reason why I am good at remembering dates. I bring this up because I remember the very date, I came across The Club of Rome Communication Fellowship 2023 call for applications. The date was 28 June 2023, a very cold evening in Harare, Zimbabwe. 

Part of the call read; This program is aimed at increasing the diversity of voices covering sustainability issues and supporting early-career communications professionals who are from underrepresented communities and regions”, I smiled to myself and said finally a fellowship that speaks to me and hundreds of others like me, communicators from underrepresented communities with a passion for sustainability.  

The deadline was only a few days away, but I felt strongly that I needed to apply. I look back and say God and my ancestors may have given me the strength and drive to apply. Well, I managed to get everything the fellowship required, and I sent through my application just a few hours before the deadline. The following week I received an email from The Club of Rome inviting me to a virtual call on the 25th of July which I happily accepted.   

The day of the call arrived, and I was excited and nervous at the same time. Well to cut a long story short, that call turned out to be life changing for me, one to go down in history as one of my favourites. On 27 July 2023, I got that email that every applicant waits for, I was in, this girl from Bulawayo, born to a housewife and a police officer was one of two inaugural communications fellows for The Club of Rome, “well” I thought to myself, “there is a God up there”. 

Entering the fellowship program thrust me into a whirlwind of communicating crucial global issues such as climate change, circular economy, sustainability and transformative change. Surrounded by like-minded individuals driven by the shared passion for a sustainable future, I found myself inspired and motivated. The guidance and mentorship provided by The Club of Rome communications team deepened my understanding of the urgent need for transformative action and the crucial role of communication in catalysing change.  

One of the most enriching aspects of the fellowship was the chance to interview some of the global thought leaders and sustainability experts who are members of The Club of Rome. These interactions broadened my perspective and equipped me with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively communicate complex concepts to a diverse audience. 

The invaluable network of contacts I acquired through the fellowship has been instrumental in shaping my career trajectory. Interacting with members of The Club of Rome who come from diverse backgrounds such as academia and business and who share a common goal of fostering sustainability has not only facilitated collaboration but has also inspired me to think ambitiously in my advocacy efforts. 

Reflecting on my experience fills me with gratitude for the opportunity to be part of such a prestigious program. The skills, relationships, and experiences acquired will undoubtedly shape my future pursuits, propelling me to be a proponent for sustainability and systems change. I eagerly anticipate sharing my learnings and insights with others, contributing to positive change for the benefit of our planet and future generations. 

The trip to Winterthur, Switzerland in November, was an unforgettable highlight. Conducting interviews with 22 members of The Club of Rome proved to be a profound experience. Each conversation, spanning topics from climate change justice to circular economy to systems transformation, as well as discussions on women and youth participation, left me inspired and driven to amplify sustainability messages to those in underserved communities lacking access to critical information. Interacting with members of The Club of Rome exposed me to their unwavering dedication to global change and was awe-inspiring, deepening my understanding of the interconnected nature of environmental, social, and economic issues. These discussions reinforced my commitment to advocating for sustainability and systems change. 

Emerging from the program, I carry a renewed sense of purpose and a firm dedication to effecting positive change in the world in the best possible way I can. The insights and knowledge gained have empowered me to be a more impactful communicator and advocate for sustainability, in both my professional endeavours and personal life. Fueled by a passion for sustainability, I uphold the belief in the transformative power of communication to drive positive change.  

Applications for The Club of Rome Communications Fellowship 2024 are now open. More information.

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