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The Journey of Best Representative

As we wrap up How Do We Look? From Fast Fashion to Eco-Fashion Forum and get ready for the Coexistence: Case Study on Peace & Change Forum, we want to mark the transition by sharing the reflection from the winner of Best Representative, Prachi Agarwal, from DRS International School. Prachi has participated in multiple competitions and has won multiple awards. Her experience throughout her development with GED in the past year is a worthwhile read for any teens who are interested in taking on our global challenge:

"My BWB Forum Journey began in January 2023. I have been a part of two other forums earlier. The first one was the Happy Teens Website Challenge where we developed a prototype for being able to analyze the mental health problems that teens face and help them cope with those. As per my research during the forum, I discovered that the leading factors for mental health issues among teens in India are the inability to understand one’s own emotions and the deteriorating parent-child relationship. The first segment of the prototype included an online journal wherein one could label their emotions.

The next forum I attended was about Women and the Economy. We looked at ways in which women could be empowered financially. Solving the challenges women face in getting their fair share of opportunities may provide the best return on investment in any country. For more than two months, students around the world formed international teams to review microloans on KIVA. The teams designed logos and brochures, conducted country analyses and market evaluations, and brainstormed ideas to improve their chosen businesses. Our team had chosen livestock as the business. These forums I think are great ways in which we can connect with like-minded individuals all over the world. In addition to this, it also generates a sense of collective belongingness...

With my participation in the forum, I won the Pioneer Award along with which I also received a scholarship worth $300 to initiate the BWB club at my school under my presidency. My team and I have successfully launched the club focusing on SDG 3. Our main focus was to destigmatize mental and menstrual health in a country like that of India. And then I joined From Fast Fashion to Eco-Fashion Forum as a representative from our club.

I began the forum having the experience of two other forums already and so l was all set to help my teammates in understanding anything that they were confused about and lead a helping hand. In the warm up week we got to meet each other for the very first time. We had an icebreaker in the meeting to understand each other better. The warm-up week helped me understand how the forum works. The previous two forums that l was a part of were on Facebook but this one was slightly different as it worked on Google Classroom. I also made it to the Top 3 performers in the Warm Up week and was recognized as a ‘Rising Star’! This week was an eye-opener for me as it helped me realize how big of a problem Sustainability in the Fashion Industry is. This however remains a very neglected topic that needs more attention.

The landscape week gave us the opportunity to understand the position of our assigned country, USA with regard to Sustainability in its Fashion Industry. We collaborated to make the team presentation where we chose to represent 6 topics, 2 each. While presenting it in the Global Session, my teammate who was sharing her screen faced some technical glitches but I understood the importance of teamwork then and quickly offered to present my screen instead. We got constructive feedback to be careful about the ratios according to the importance of the topics in the presentation. We took this gracefully and ensured to provide weightage to topics accordingly for the final presentation.

We utilized the Brainstorming and Ideation week to brainstorm potential solutions that we could implement to promote sustainability in the American Fashion Industry taking inspiration from the best practices in the world. The next week we focused on making a script for our final video presentation. We worked on a Problem-Evidence-Solution-Limitation approach. It was a fun experience how we worked on our parts individually and how well they synchronized. But there was a problem. The video was 8 minutes long, exceeding the limit by 3 minutes. We presented the 8-minute video during the rehearsal presentation and we utilized the feedback to shorten the video and also added subtitles so that it was clearer.

We utilized the Final Week to work on the essay and make changes to the video presentation. Our team has recognized three main problems that the American Fashion Industry faces and have used the same Problem-Evidence-Solution-Limitation approach to complete our paper so that it aligns with our presentation... Initially, we worked independently on distributed work. Then each of us checks on the work done by the other in order to give feedback where there is room for improvement and appreciate when someone does exceptionally well. This way we also find a common ground on having opposing points of view.

All in all it was a fun-filled learning experience that helped me develop my skills. Writing the weekly articles and responding to other articles using comments helped me develop my research skills...Meeting people from different cultural backgrounds enabled international mindedness within me."

We welcome you to join our borderless global community, where everyone gets to speak up and roll up their sleeves to make the world AND their community a better place.

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