Intergenerational Perspectives on Visions for the Future

Jun 5, 2022
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This webinar is part of the 26th Conference of the International Environment Forum (IEF). It will be a contribution to the Stockholm+50 International Meeting, with virtual and local events in Stockholm, Sweden, 1-5 June 2022 in collaboration with Bahá’í International Community, Swedish Interfaith Council, Bahá’í Community of Sweden and other partners. See more details on IEF website.

This panel brings together a participant from the original 1972 Conference reflecting on his aspirations at that time and what we have learned since, alongside youth expressing their hopes and vision for the future and articulating their ongoing efforts to lay a foundation for that future locally and globally.



Desta Mesbah

Desta Mesbah, at 19 years old, is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Global Sustainability Science at Utrecht University. Desta grew up in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina and was fortunate enough to have teachers at school who utilized the surrounding natural area as a learning environment. This experience made a great impact on Desta’s perspective on nature.


Kiara Ehsani

Kiara Ehsani grew up in Kenya. She is 19 years old now and about to start university in Canada to study natural resource conservation. For the last year she has been volunteering at the Baha’i World Centre which has helped her gain much insight into how to better serve humanity for the rest of her life - specifically through environmental work.


Matteen Kashef

Matteen Kashef is entering dental school at University of Florida, in Gainesville, Florida. He has recently completed his bachelor's degree in Nutritional Sciences, with a minor in Health Disparities in Society. As he moves forward further into the healthcare setting, he has become more cognizant of the waste that is accumulated. Why is it that there is so much dental waste? What are some ways to reorient our mindset and be more environmentally conscious? And further, what can inspire this new approach to reducing waste and being more sensible for our next generation of healthcare professionals?


Sayali Dubash

Sayali Dubash is a Program and Curriculum Development Coordinator at the Baha'i Academy in Panchgani, India, working in the field of value education and research. Her main tasks include handling different aspects of the Academy's work. This includes curriculum design and development and content creation. She conducts workshops and online courses for P.G and U.G students as they create educational materials. She is also involved in value education research. Sayali would like to encourage others to be the change and take initiatives for personal and social transformation.


Arthur Dahl, PhD

President, International Environment Forum

I have always been a Bahá’í, loved nature since I was taught about it in children’s classes, and set my goal to become a Bahá’í pioneer at the conference launching the Ten-year Crusade in 1953. I was finishing my Ph.D. in marine biology in 1969 when the Santa Barbara oil spill covered my research material and I was doing pollution studies by default. While doing coral reef research at the Smithsonian Institution, I lectured at the first Earth Day in Washington, DC in 1970, and represented the Bahá’í International Community at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972. I was finally able to pioneer to New Caledonia in 1974, becoming the Regional Ecological Adviser to all the Pacific Island Countries at the Pacific Community, where I organized the Pacific Regional Environment Programme. I then joined the UN Environment Programme in Nairobi, Kenya, as Deputy Director of the Oceans and Coastal Areas Programme, before serving in the Secretariat of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to prepare Agenda 21, the global action plan for sustainable development, and then coordinating the UN System-Wide Earthwatch from Geneva, Switzerland, where I am still based. I have been President of the International Environment Forum, a Bahá’í-inspired organization for environment and sustainability, since 1997, and am also on the governing board of another Bahá’í-inspired organization, ebbf – Ethical Business Building the Future. I teach sustainability in several academic programmes, participate in international research projects on values-based indicators and education for sustainability, and have been Visiting Professor at the University of Brighton, UK, and the European Center for Peace and Development in Belgrade, Serbia. I have been a consultant to the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, and other international organizations. Among my many many scientific papers and books are: “Unless and Until: A Bahá’í Focus on the Environment”, “The Eco Principle: Ecology and Economics in Symbiosis,” “In Pursuit of Hope: A Guide for the Seeker” and (with two co-authors) “Global Governance and the Emergence of Global Institutions for the 21st Century,” based on proposals that won the New Shape Prize of the Global Challenges Foundation in 2018. My personal web site includes a complete CV and bibliography.See Faculty Bio


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