Connecting Ideas to Build a Network of Change


As children, we are taught to read and write but, rarely to listen. When I started to play the piano, I learned to listen to sounds, not separately, but in their musical sequence. To appreciate music, it is important to be able to string together not only the notes that are next to each other on the keyboard but also the ones that are furthest away. This is effectively what happened at the Summit where our 22 voices from different countries were united in perfect harmony.

My passion for writing arose from my desire to harmonize words. I believe words can weave the tissue of events and move consciences, opinions and entire populations. When this harmony is created special things can happen, for me, this was the G(irls)20 Summit.

The words of Ziauddin Yousafzai – father of Malala Yousafzai -“secondary education gives you the wings to fly,” has been my main source of inspiration. Every morning, the first thing I look at is a photo from the 2017 Global Summit and I start the day knowing that I am driving change in my community.

“Every morning, the first thing I look at is a photo from the 2017 Global Summit and I start the day knowing that I am driving change in my community.”

Because of the Summit, I understand the value of communication and public speaking skills. I learned that the strength of words could become a tool to reach my goals, however distant. The opportunity to meet inspiring figures and exchange ideas assisted in the way I now conduct my academic studies and projects.

The Communiqué content encouraged me to continue to participate in policymaking. I am now responsible for coordinating 50 students in my school, as the Editor-in-Chief of an editorial committee. With the help of the Treccani Institute, who promote the Italian language in the world, we had access to substantial space on their website to create a new magazine called Il Chiasmo. Following the Summit, I also became involved in a project called READ ON. It includes a series of coordinated actions aimed at improving student performance through the promotion of literature by implementing reading and writing best practices within local libraries.

In September 2017 and 2018, as part of the READ ON project, I joined Blurandevù, a group led by two professional writers. The objective of Blurandevù was to interview four important speakers who gave talks at Festivaletteratura, an Italian Festival of Literature. Engaging in the work of storytelling with the authors by means of interviews was essential for inspiring my post-Summit project idea, an online platform on educational issues.

Being actively involved provided me with concrete experience in generating the force that is the interconnection of ideas, an uncontainable and unstoppable power, typical of every epochal change. When I interviewed Nona Fernandez, writer of human rights violations in Chile under Augusto Pinochet, she told me, “I can’t imagine building a better world without cooperation, social connectedness and empathy. This is the recipe for a better world.”

Like a seaman who observes the stars which shine and emit light even though they have already passed, in the same way, we should look to the past and use it to guide and build our path to a better future. Each of us should play an active part in the network of change which speaks the voice of inclusion and leaves no one behind. In Munich, this network continues to expand and enrich itself with new lights every year and in 2019, in Tokyo, it will return to radiate that multi-potential energy which turns dreams into projects, and projects into a social, economic and cultural evolution.

By: Valentina Pagnanini, G(irls)20 Ambassador, Italy