Joanna Tao: Anxious and Excited at the same time - On my way to Geneva!

Before I could take a break, 2018 has already come to an end. In just less than 2 hours, I will be hopping on a 24-hour flight to Geneva, transitioning at Doha. It has been a rather tough year, transitioning into first year university and officially moving out of home, plus constant travelling around the country and the globe.  Since attending the 9th University Scholars Leadership Symposium (USLS) this August in Bangkok Thailand, I have been anticipating attending the UN BHR – United Nations forum on Business and Human Rights conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Although it is not my first time in Europe, it will be my first time flying alone to one of the world’s diplomatic capital since I turn 18.


My very first UN experience occurred earlier this year in Bangkok Thailand, where I was selected as one of the two young journalists in the southern hemisphere on behalf of YRE (Young Reporters for the Environment) global to attend the conference. The experience I have gained from this conference was rather eye opening, as it made me realized that climate change affects all aspects and it is interconnected with all parts of the SDGs. Unlike my two-other amazing delegates Katrine and Libby, I am someone who comes from a strong background of environmentalism, I have focused my activism work around climate actions and environment protection rather than human rights. In saying so, I do have high expectations for this conference as I am going in with an open mind, hoping to hear about some of the world’s most complex problems in person and network with other youth delegates in a global scale.


Leading up to my departure from Auckland, I had some time to reflect on how I would maximise my time in Europe. One particular thing that has crossed my mind is what is the one thing I would like to learn more about, from attending a conference that is in a field that I am unfamiliar with. Just as I was typing away on my laptop and reading upon recent articles, a NZ herald article with the title of “Air New Zealand scraps single use plastic from flights” caught my attention. With the biggest New Zealand airline removing a further of 14 single-use plastic products from its flights over the next year, this sure is good news on reducing anymore single use plastic heading into landfill. Just like that, a thought occurred to me – heading into a UN forum based on business and human rights, I could possibly research into how more NZ business can become more sustainable and contribute to reducing carbon footprints locally. The forum is a perfect opportunity for me to ask the question of how local business in NZ can to be more sustainable; how can we help small enterprise to learn the impact climate change has on them and reduce importing plastic packaging from overseas; lastly, how can we as consumers create a difference in the supply-chain process?


And just like that, anxious and excited at the same time, I am on my way to Geneva. In a year filled with ups and downs, I cannot be readier to expand my horizons furthermore and get to know my other two delegates on our 11-day journey in Europe.

Beryl Matete: NZ public servants are thought leaders

The IMF/World Bank Annual meeting in Bali, Indonesia had a strong focus on Human Capital; promoting national spending on health and education programmes, to accelerate investments in people for greater equity and economic growth.  Interestingly, the New Zealand government is developing, for the first time, a ‘wellbeing’ budget, featuring Human Capital (among other capitals) as a dimension to focus analysis. With New Zealand prepared to expand the application of this tool well beyond current international thinking, to cover all other sectors from justice to international trade, it would appear that New Zealand public servants can be counted among global thought leaders.

Posted on November 1, 2018 .

Sedef Duder-Özyurt: COP24 Shakedown

Since returning I’ve been subliminally categorising my life as “life before COP” and “life after COP”. I do this because so much shifted, transformed and solidified for me while I was in Bonn and has continued to do so ever since - a journey that has been disheartening yet inspiring and generally intense.

Nicolasa Fuller: IMF, I Mean Fashion

A few photos of some of the ‘looks’ at the IMF/ World Bank Annual Meetings 2018

On the international banking scene, I expected a lot of bankers in grey and black suits. And while there was plenty of monochrome, I was really surprised at the colour and diversity of the meetings.

Here are a few of the people I got chatting to - check out the fashion!

Posted on October 21, 2018 and filed under IMF / World Bank 2018.

Nicolasa Fuller: Bali in a day

To finish the day we cooled off in a waterfall and then sang songs on the way home in the car. Budi live streamed this to his followers… they are likely disappointed by New Zealand’s musical talents!

Hopefully we put on a more sophisticated performance tomorrow as we register for the IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings 2018.

Posted on October 20, 2018 and filed under IMF / World Bank 2018.

Libby Rahman: Understanding Human Rights

The Age of Big Data, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence presents exciting opportunities for everyone but it also presents challenges such as protecting people’s right to privacy. I am really looking forward to attending sessions on disruptive technology at the Business and Human Rights Forum next month.

Posted on October 19, 2018 and filed under Business & HR 2018.

Jordan Zheng: T-1, Thoughts Before the 2018 WB/IMF Annual Meetings

Over these two weeks I hope to learn more about my team members and why they are passionate about the different projects they have decided to research. It’ll be really exciting to hang out with a bunch of Kiwis again, something I don’t have much opportunity to do since I moved to Australia for university. Hopefully, I will draw some inspiration from being among a bunch of individuals who are super passionate about important global issues.

Posted on October 3, 2018 and filed under IMF / World Bank 2018.