On a (zero e)mission to change the world

Hi, my name is Silje and I am 25 years old from Lillehammer. In my spare time, I enjoy running, cycling, dancing, hanging out with friends and working on projects that contribute to a green social development, which contributes to a greener world, a better world, such as the creation of the Innovation Center About Tomorrow.

I grew up in an over-medium-spirited and hiking (!) family and was quickly just as smitten by nature as my parents. A new summer holiday has usually meant new mountain summits, card games and yes, for the last 9 years, summer jobs. The latter has meant working at the Energy Center, the hydrology department at Eidsiva AS and chemical oceanography at NORCE, all three of which are jointly linked to climate, energy and the environment. The nature that surrounds us has always meant a lot to me, and I want future generations to have the same opportunities.

It was perhaps not a big surprise that I ended up studying climate, atmosphere, and marine physics at the University of Bergen. However, I didn’t know what I was in for, but it turned out to be incredibly exciting. The study has enriched me with a lot of knowledge about the climate system on earth, and I have learned about the importance of ocean currents and knowledge in this system. Today I specialize in a Master’s degree in physical oceanography, where I research how deepwater is formed and where this water flows in the Nordic Ocean, with maths, physics, and programming as tools.

Undoubtedly, a deep dive into the field has given me tremendous motivation to take an active part in the community. With increased knowledge of the climate system, I feel a responsibility to communicate and build bridges. Bridges between people and sectors, such as academia, business, and politics. I believe that together when we all go in the same direction, we will be able to change the system that has led us to the climate crisis we are experiencing today.

I also believe that experiencing climate change yourself is also a strong stimulator and motivation for working for a green shift. When I was exchanging in Australia, a tropical hurricane occurred, which led to huge floods where I lived. I also got to go on a field trip with the climate history course at the university, where we got to snorkel in the coral reef with spectacular colors and experience the animal diversity. We also saw disturbingly large areas of dead corals, most actually dead – dying in parallel with rising global temperature. When I came home to Bergen after this year it was clear, I wanted to do more. In doing so, I volunteered and thankfully accepted the leadership role of the Geophysical Professional Committee and the Conference Committee of “Let’s Talk About Tomorrow 2018”. In line with the workload, the ambitions for this conference grew. To put it this way, all late evenings (read: nights) at the Geophys and money spent on Godt Brød were finally very worth it, because the response we have left after the conference in Grieghallen was formidable, and the experiences I gained from organizing has become very valuable!

After all, there was no doubt that we had to continue with the work, and my personal journey from the conference to the founding of the Foundation About Tomorrow has been a bit of an adventure. Everything from hunting polar storms in Iceland and the Greenland Sea, to project work at Harvard University and meeting with climate and energy organizations at MIT – I feel really privileged! At the same time, I have met an incredible number of wonderful people along the way who I look forward to working with towards our common agenda: a greener world.

I am convinced that About Tomorrow will be a strong resource for the community, and I look forward to working with and welcoming, many committed souls out there who want to become part of our community. I also look forward to working on the foundation of the foundation, with innovation and dissemination, and projects for tomorrow’s society: a greener world. A better world.

xoxo, Silje


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