As part of a joint initiative on tackling plastic waste pollution in Pakistan, Coca‑Cola and WWF-Pakistan collaborated with Pakistan’s first ever TEDx green event held in Lahore following the theme of ‘Imagined Futures’. The event was organized at the Ali Institute on Sunday, October 20, 2019 and was attended by over 500 guests from all walks of life including students, teachers, professionals and experts from science and humanities. This was a ‘green event’ because all the carbon footprint generated through this event was planned to be set off by planting trees in partnership with Coca‑Cola Pakistan. Moreover, all plastic beverage bottles at the event were also collected for recycling as part of Coca‑Cola’s ‘Pakistan Without Waste’ program – to invest in solutions for plastic waste management.
A total of seven well noted speakers and one performer participated in the event curating ideas on various topics that can possibly influence or shape our future, including environment and plastic waste management.
“This is a perfect example of establishing social partnerships to protect our combined future, with companies like Coca‑Cola joining hands with social organizations like WWF-Pakistan and social advocacy platforms like TEDx, coming together to discover solutions and ideas that resonate to a wider audience and suggest ways of understanding the immediate threats to our environment more clearly and how we can tackle them as one team” commented Fahad Qadir, Director Public Affairs & Communications, Coca‑Cola Pakistan & Afghanistan Region.
More than 500 guests attended the event, carefully selected out of the 1,500+ applications received by TEDxLahore. While the response was overwhelming, a closed event like this allowed the right size of audience to network with all fellow guests and speakers - inspiring young minds with ideas and success stories. Through this partnership, Coca‑Cola Pakistan was able to generate meaningful conversations around plastic waste management and also focus on innovative and collaborative sollutions. The segregated waste bins installed at the event by Coca‑Cola in partnership with WWF were a great hit as part of the World Without Waste vision of the Company focused on sustainable packaging, and Amal Foundation was the official partner in recycling the waste collected from the event. More than 500 Dasani water bottles and 300 Coca‑Cola cans were collected at this even, properly segregated and recycled by Amal Foundation later.
Speaking about the event, Hammad Naqi Khan, Director General, WWF-Pakistan said, “This year's theme of TEDxLahore is Imagined Futures, which is relevant to the work we are doing for the past five decades in promoting environmental education and awareness as one of the key components of achieving our mission of conserving the environment in Pakistan. Looking back at how we have shaped the narrative of the environmental debate in the country reiterates the importance of platforms like TEDx.” He added that TEDx events share ideas, covering a broad spectrum from science to business to global issues. “Through such events, we aim to motivate people to think about nature conservation and explore ideas in protecting the Earth’s natural resources for a sustainable future.”
Speakers who delivered talks at the event included:
1. Dr. Mehr Nigar; She talked about her journey on becoming an ‘accidental environmentalist’ since she experienced the environmental abuse of her hometown in Murree. She advocated in favour of PET recycling and how it’s revolutionized the medical equipment and textile industry etc.
2. Naheed Mooraj; Naheed talked about how we need to be responsible citizens and reduce plastic waste, which starts with waste segregation at household level.
3. Dr. Anis; Dr. Anis, a dentist by profession, talked about his journey on becoming the Wildlife Guard in Islamabad Wildlife Management Board. His passion for rescuing certain species in Pakistan has earned him massive respect and he recently hosted the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their visit to Pakistan. He advocated for protection of our rivers and lakes through safe disposal of waste.
4. Uzair Zaheer Khan; Uzair spoke about how animation can be used as a tool to create awareness at school level for conservation of environment. Animation is a tool of education that is highly underrated, and Uzair is working hard to push it in the mainstream curriculum of schools.
5. Akbar Nasir Khan
6. Maarya Rehman
8. Usman Malik
Talking about the event, Irteza Ubaid, Curator at TEDxLahore said, “In its tenth year, TEDxLahore is not only the oldest running TEDx event in Pakistan, but also, one of the first few TEDx events globally. Organized under license by TED, TEDxLahore has been instrumental in giving a platform to the community to share their ideas and stories and have successfully helped shape the local discourse in our community to move towards a more resilient and sustainable society. TEDxLahore is a platform for the community by the community”.
Apart from taking numerous initiatives to promote nature conservation, ecosystem management and sustainable practices, WWF-Pakistan promotes innovative ideas to tackle the environment issues of today. It regularly funds projects and research submitted through its Small Grants Programme as well as the Green Innovation Challenge. Through the partnership, it also aims to highlight the good work that is already taking place in the country and to encourage other innovators and change makers to come forward.