As our team peruses the over 600 applications for the 2023 Future Leaders Climate Summit, we want to take some time to introduce you to some of the members from our past cohorts of leaders who have helped turn the Future Leaders Climate Summit into a successful and meaningful endeavor. The Summit brings together individuals between the ages of 18 and 30 who have demonstrated an interest in climate change and sustainability issues.
In this week's spotlight, meet Lotanna Obodozie. Lotanna is a member of the 2022 Future Leaders Climate Cohort and is currently a Climate Campaign Director for the National Young Farmers Coalition. Read more to learn how attending Aspen Ideas: Climate and the Future Leaders Climate Summit deepened her connection to the climate community.
This article was originally published by the Aspen Institute's Energy and Environment Program.
What does being a leader mean to you?
To me, being a leader means setting a strong example for those around you. It means being courageous and willing to stand up for what’s right, even when it’s difficult or unpopular.
Can you tell us about your most meaningful climate project to date?
I’m currently managing the Young Farmers Power in Land, Agriculture, Climate, and Equity fellowship, which convenes 10 farmer leaders from across the country to develop their knowledge at the intersection of corporate power, climate, and farmland access. It’s been wonderful getting to know the farmers in the cohort, who all have such different backgrounds and farming experiences. Farmers are climate leaders, and with the 2023 Farm Bill approaching, this is a critical opportunity to bring our voices together, strategize, and build power for lasting, systemic change.
How did attending the 2022 Future Leaders Climate Summit and inaugural Aspen Ideas: Climate impact how you will move through the climate space in the future?
Having the opportunity to meet so many other smart, talented, and passionate climate advocates was incredibly energizing! Because we all came from different backgrounds and work in different fields, it was wonderful to be with a large group of people in pursuit of one shared goal, even if we’re approaching it from different angles. For me, this served as an evergreen reminder that addressing the climate crisis will require cooperation and collaboration from folks across all sectors, and we’ll need to find ways to work together to ensure a liveable future.
What do you want other young people in the climate space to know that will help them as they progress through their careers?
I want others to know that there’s room for everyone in the climate field, regardless of your background. I regularly encounter folks who might not have an educational background in climate science, but are still passionate about and working towards climate solutions. Thinking outside of the box and being open to dive into the unknown and learn something new is so critical to this work.
What is one climate solution you are most excited about right now?
The 2023 Farm Bill! This farm bill is a massive opportunity to make significant investments in climate action with farmers leading the way. The Farm Bill not only informs how we eat, but also what tools are available to farmers to build resilience on their farms. I’m really looking forward to making sure that climate action is kept at the forefront of the bill.