Giulia Marzetti
  • Giulia Marzetti

    Local Pathways Fellow, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Youth
  • 30 Under 30
  • 2021

Giulia is a sustainability professional educating and empowering the next generation of leaders to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) throughout Europe and beyond.

How are you using education to build more sustainable and equitable communities? 

With my outreach, I provide incremental change both on a large scale and at the individual level. Firstly, I am a person of several EE initiatives. For example, with the multimedia project “European Footprints,” I use storytelling to show young people’s viewpoints on the UN SDGs and inspire action. The storybook, videos, and teaching materials created for the initiative have been published on the NGO World's Largest Lesson and used in classrooms around the world by hundreds of pupils in EU, USA, and Asia. Among other projects, I have led environmental education outreach efforts with Rotaract, Rotary International, and PeaceJam Europe, an initiative bringing Nobel Prize Laureates to mentor youth.

Secondly, through my role as a UN SDSN Youth Local Pathways Fellow and Coalition Wild Excelerator, I create community impact. I utilize outdoor spaces to remind communities about ways to return to their roots, reconnect to the land, re-energize their souls and find their sense of purpose. I also generate individual-level change at a deeper level, by mentoring individuals and providing content and resources to embrace sustainability through a newsletter, content creation, and podcasts.

Tell us about your journey to where you are today. What inspired you? 

When I was young, I worried about environmental abuse and social injustice. Growing up, I was kindled by a strong scientific education and specialized in putting scientific evidence at the base of my sustainability work. Since an early age l have been involved in several sustainability initiatives and have grown into leading and shaping several projects and communities. It all started by leading sustainability initiatives at university thanks to the Young Leaders Programme of the 2050 Climate Group in Scotland.

Nowadays, I bring impact through the communication of scientific knowledge, having curated dozens of sustainability initiatives—from delivering workshops as a STEM ambassador explaining the effects of climate change and how science can tackle it, to delivering talks to hundreds of attendees and empowering them to advance EE. I focus on sustainability issues with an intersectional lens, involving young individuals, communities, and organizations to participate in climate action and leading plans for sustainable innovations in Europe.

Through my different roles and positions, I lead my life with one purpose: advancing the Agenda 2030 and the SDGs in my communities and beyond.

What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders?

In a time where climate anxiety and climate change skepticism are booming, l want to say to the next generation of leaders that your actions are never too small to make a difference. Do not be afraid to start prototyping the change you would like to see in your communities. In addition, you do not need to be the loudest or the most articulate in the room to be heard and to lead the change.

What keeps you hopeful for the future?

Realizing the impact that each one of us can make on a small or larger scale keeps me hopeful. I also feel hopeful when I receive positive feedback from people l have influenced with my EE and sustainability outreach. 

Who do you look up to as inspiration?

I look up to leaders who recognize that all voices need to be heard. This includes leaders such as Jacinda Ardern, current New Zealand Prime Minister, and Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, who also served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. I am also inspired by strong minds who are advancing science, such as Frances Arnold.

Rotaract Club of Melbourne River Clean Up (we rescued a bike in the river!).

Rotaract Club of Melbourne River Clean Up (we rescued a bike in the river!).