In 2008 I was lucky enough to be one of twenty young people to be taken by WWF to the Arctic for a ten-day learning journey that changed my life. I'd already been active on social justice questions on my campus, but after learning from scientists, communications and campaign experts, I returned with a sense of empowerment and responsibility that turned turned my world upside down.
Together with Emma Biermann, I co-founded the UK Youth Climate Coalition to bring young people into the heart of decision making on climate change. We led a delegation to the UN Climate Talks in Poland, and again to Bonn and Copenhagen in 2009. We organized a youth summit, 'Power Shift', to train up young climate leaders - and since 2009, the team has led various campaigns and initiatives to engage young people in climate advocacy and action.
This work was a real training ground for me - in leadership, organizational management and strategy. None of it would have been possible without the fantastic founding team and the generations of leaders in the subsequent seven years!