Sunday, April 24, 2011

Statement of Purpose

Its been a while since I have been able to blog, and while my journal of ideas is over-flowing, this is one "statement" I would like to put up for reference on The Sound of Thought. This is a letter I recently addressed to folks at the Virgin group; it aptly summarizes some of the thoughts I have been jotting down over time in my journal. I'm certainly not attempting to blow my own trumpet. Instead, this is a humble attempt to use the power of the internet to share ideas and thoughts that have the potential to create strong impacts..

Respected Sir/Ma’am,

I have been invited to attend the Business for the Environment (B4E) Summit, to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Summit will be held between April 27th - April 29th of this year. (Link: On April 9th, 2011, I established contact with Global Initiatives, organizer of the convention, and presented my credentials and eagerness to be the voice of the world youth at the B4E. In a very favorable response, Mr. Kisha Krishna, senior manager at Global Initiatives, extended an invitation to me as well as waived all registration fees. More importantly, Global Initiatives will give me access to a special B4E Youth dialogue with current UNDP Administrator Helen Clark.
Here is the excerpt from Mr. Krishna’s email dated April 11th, 2011:

Dear Mr Gupta
Thank you for your email and interest in our event.

We are happy to invite you to attend and cover (i.e. through your blog and other social media such as Facebook and Twitter) the event as our guest. There is also a special B4E Youth Dialogue with UNDP Chief Helen Clark and other distinguished speakers, that we can also provide you entry to.

We can waive the conference fee for you, but you would need to arrange your own travel and accommodation in Jakarta.
Do let me know if you decide to join us at the event.

Best wishes
Kisha Krishna
Manager, Partnerships and Outreach
Global Initiatives
M: +49 151 **

Sir/Ma’am, I request your office to assist me with my travel to the aforementioned event. This is a tremendous opportunity for any student of Environmental Science and Policy to go out in the open, interact with the real change-makers and important leaders. In the broader scheme of things, this event would also be an opportunity for someone, such as me, to be the voice of my generation: bold young people eager to drive change. I urge you to consider this request for the following reasons:

1.) The Business of the Environment: This conference has a very specific objective ie sharing innovative ideas that will propel business(es) in the environment. These ideas are the much needed incentives for creating win-win situations between present day environmental conditions and economic profits. This is a good start to understanding various ideas, models, and techniques for change that today’s change-makers believe in.
More importantly, I look forward to the association of the people working on the issue of incentivizing the environment - innovative thinkers, prominent business leaders, even visionary world leaders. At the end of the day, Sir/Ma’am, making an impact isn’t as much about the resources one possesses as much as it is about the people one surrounds him/herself with. As an aspiring green-entrepreneur, I look forward to initiating, being part of, and working on social-entrepreneurial ventures… that start from associating with positive people here.

2.) An ambassador of the Virgin Group: Every investment is made to obtain returns - social, monetary, or anything positive depending on the context. You too will look forward to positive returns by investing in a student’s travel to such a conference.
Besides cultivating and grooming a future leader of the environment, you would also enable me to represent your conglomerate’s ambition as a green-business leader. It is a tremendous opportunity, for an environmentally visionary group such as yours, to showcase itself through the highest stakeholders of today’s environmental decisions - the Youth. At a convention attended by Former Vice President of the US Al Gore, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand, with whom I will have the opportunity to personally interact with, leaders and change-makers alike, Virgin will have another positive footprint on the environmentally conscious world map.

3.) International experience: In December 2009, I was India’s Climate Ambassador to the prelude of the COP15 negotiations in Copenhagen. This was on a UNICEF sponsored delegation. And even though I have a lot to learn, I have the experience of being at a mega international conference. This holds me in good stead to maximize on the three days of the convention. Knowing how to interact with people, move around, exchange ideas, I know I will be able to make best use of the resources at the conference. Combine that with my passion towards my work, and I’ll certainly represent Virgin in a just way so as to make your Group proud in its investment.

4.) Passion for the Environment: Even as an enthused 15-year old back home in Pune, India, I had a motivation to work towards change. I had this sense of foolishness to dream (which I still very proudly do possess.) After multiple (some unsuccessful) tries, and the sense of learning and wisdom that one obtains through the process, I connected with two Non-governmental Organizations and formed a joint-venture between them called 'Trees for Life.' The project is in its last year of operations as of today, and we have planted and maintained a total of 500 trees atop a previously denuded hill. Through other such efforts, the partner NGO, Green Hills Group, has successfully collaborated the plantation of 2000 saplings. In totality, our efforts can be compared to, very literally, drops in the ocean. What is important, however, is that through multiple campaigns and plantation drives, we have inspired community members to come out, participate, and make a difference. We have made people aware of not only the prominent problems, but also the solutions. And my role with the Trees for Life is now over. I have moved on in pursuit of inspiring change at a bigger scale. Be it through my internship last summer, where I made a report on the possibilities of business ventures in the environment (for a private financial services company), or be it through my blogs - which relate different subjects to the environment.


  1. Update to those interested:
    I have fallen short of fundraising targets by 1/3rd of the travel/accommodation amount that was required. Hence, will not be attending the Summit in person.