GFAR blog

Four Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be a Youth Delegate or Social Reporter at a Global Conference

…..Especially not one of Peter Casier’s social media reporters.


  1. You will get to meet inspiring people…. 
    And who likes to do that? You’ll learn from experts in their fields in sessions and round-table discussions, you’ll work together with other young people doing inspiring work and studies, and you’ll network with people from a huge array of organizations and backgrounds. Of course, that’s all terribly annoying. It might even give you ideas and inspiration for your own future path. Who else gets a headache just thinking about that?
  2. You’ll gain knowledge and new skills…. 
    Which is never fun. And the usefulness of such is definitely overrated. Whether it’s improving your writing for general audiences, or using social media to reach the wider world, or learning new tools like audio and visual to get messages out there, it’s all quite dull. You might even start a fairly big project which will really give you the chance to test your abilities, like maybe making a Behind the Scenes video. And believe me, nobody wants to work on projects like that.
  3.  You will be really busy with a whole array of different activities… 
    Doesn’t everyone just want to sit back and do nothing? Instead you’ll be running from a discussion on an important global issue to conduct an interview with a field expert on an interesting project and then grabbing a cup of coffee (or five) to sit in the buzzing media room with your peers while you knock out a blog on why old ways of thinking are holding back global systems. If you want to take a nap right now just from reading that, I promise I don’t blame you.
  4.  You will develop a camaraderie…
    And everyone hates new friends, don’t they? Who cares if you’ve gotten to know other young people from across different countries, backgrounds and fields. You’re way too close to these people now that you’ve commiserated together over chaotic days and late nights. You have far too many inside jokes (#WhoIsLuis? #YouCantEatTweets, #ComeToDaddy). And you’ve created fun memories together from singing “Hakuna Matata” to shooting silly videos to stealing the drums left out by the entertainment and attempting to dance salsa. I know, having fun together is gross.

Bonus Reason:

You will definitely lose sleep…. Maybe to some people all the great experiences and opportunities to learn, share and grow would make it all worth it. But you know what I say to those types of people? Nothing, I cross the street when I see them. You should too.

group photo GCARD3 social reporters

A very decided no-thanks to:

  • Peter Casier, our social media bootcamp mentor and “Daddy”
  • GFAR for putting on GCARD3, the global agricultural research conference with a strong youth component, the South Africa’s Agricultural Research Council (ARC) and CGIAR for contributing
  • Fiona Chandler (GFAR), who put in too much work to get us there
  • Mark Holderness (GFAR), who recognized the importance of having us there
  • YPARD, the Young Professionals for Agricultural Development, which gave many of us the opportunity to be there, particularly Marina Cherbonnier, Michelle Kovacevic, and Courtney Paisley.
  • My 70+ co-conspirators/trouble-makers of the youth delegates, YAP finalists, and social media reporter,  particularly Ratih and Rustam for helping me with the video (and Jim, Josine, Showkat, Mary, Maya, Sergio, Daniela, Mariola, Giovanna, and all the rest for keeping me entertained)
  • Charles Plummer, Tanya St.George and Michelle Kovacevic, who helped mentor and edit our work
  • Kim Geheb, my own boss in CGIAR Water, Land and Ecosystems Research Program (WLE) for letting me be there, and indeed the whole team back at Naga House for hopefully pretending to notice I’m gone
  • Michael Victor of CGIAR Water, Land and Ecosystems Research Program (WLE), who also recognizes the need for capacity building for youth
  • All the plenary speakers, theme chairs, session catalysts, organizers and everyone else who worked hard to make GCARD3 and the social media bootcamp a reality

Blogpost by Natalie Orentlicher, #GCARD3 Social Reporter – norentlicher(at)
Video by Natalie Orentlicher, Ratih Nawangwulan and Rustam Ibragimov

This post is part of the live coverage during the #GCARD3 Global Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, 5-8 April 2016. This post is written by one of our social reporters, and represents the author’s views only.

2 thoughts on “Four Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Be a Youth Delegate or Social Reporter at a Global Conference”

    1. I wouldn’t recommend at all! Plus who wants to make a high level networking? Or to know about the reality and possible answers to global issues? The worst: as a young, have the opportunity to being hear by global scale experts?
      Ps I wouldnt recommend to the youth to continue seeking opportunities abroad. There are too many!

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