Salzburg Global Fellow features in "Top 30 Under 30" list

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Mar 02, 2017
by Oscar Tollast
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Salzburg Global Fellow features in "Top 30 Under 30" list

Two-time Salzburg Global Fellow and rapporteur, Chúk Odenigbo, named as one of the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation’s outstanding people under 30 Odenigbo speaking last year at Parks for the Planet Forum: Transboundary Cooperation for Biodiversity and Peace

Salzburg Global Fellow Chúk Odenigbo has been included in the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation’s (ACGC) Top 30 Under 30 Magazine.

The ACGC is a coalition of voluntary sector organizations based in Alberta, which work locally and globally to achieve sustainable human development. 

The annual magazine highlights the work of 30 outstanding young people whose work is inspiring positive change in Alberta and around the world.

This year’s magazine includes a message from the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, who describes those included in the magazine as “deserving of our admiration.”

Those selected are done so as a result of being nominated. Odenigbo, who found out about his nomination via email, said it was a pleasant surprise. 

Speaking to Salzburg Global, he said, “It was very flattering. It’s always really nice when your work is appreciated. You always feel good about it. You don’t get into nature [work] for the glory, but the glory is nice to have.”

Originally from Nigeria, Odenigbo said his inclusion in the list made him feel like he had established a home in Alberta. The 24-year-old is passionate about community development and international cooperation. 

Examples of his past work include working with the Canadian Parks Council to create “The Nature Playbook.” This document looks at the significance of connecting with nature and reaping the positive health benefits.

He has also worked with fashion retailer Club Monaco as an operations manager, where he made significant strides to include nature in the shopping experience. 

In 2015, Odenigbo attended the inaugural session of the Parks for the Planet Forum: Nature, Health, and a New Urban Generation. The following year he returned to Schloss Leopoldskron for Beyond Green: The Arts as a Catalyst for Sustainability. Odenigbo returned again to be the rapporteur for the second instalment of the Parks for the Planet Forum: Transboundary Cooperation for Biodiversity and Peace.

Odenigbo believes Salzburg Global helps people focus on the issues at hand and it pauses events which are happening in the outside world. He said whenever conflict appeared in discussions, it was a sign of a Fellow’s passion for the topic and how much they cared to make progress.

He said, “It is a breakaway from the real world, which allows you to come back to the real world stronger, more inspired, more refreshed, and more Austrian!”

Odenigbo is due to return to Salzburg Global for a fourth time later this year when he will reprise his role as rapporteur at the third session of the Parks for the Planet Forum, The Child in the City: Health, Parks, and Play, which takes place later this month. 

He is currently undertaking a Master’s degree in Environmental and Occupational Health with a focus on Toxicology, having returned to education after a three-year break.

Odenigbo said: “My biggest challenge is trying to ensure I balance everything, so I don’t fail school, and that I don’t put my professional career on hold because of school. That’s been an interesting and fun challenge so far. It’s been exhilarating - I wouldn’t have it any other way.”