By Jason Deegan, President of Anti-Corruption International. In this short article he writes about his past experience with the EST as Ambassador for Ireland and his current occupation as ACI President. In the future the EST and ACI will cooperate on different areas.
Don’t forget your roots!
“My motivation to be a part of the European Student Thinktank is to be involved in an area of progressive thinking and discussing various factors which impact heavily on the lives of students.“
This quote is from my motivation letter to join the European Student Thinktank over two years ago. A lot has changed since that time, not least my face has become a lot fuzzier and my hair is now a little shorter. But if I was writing to become an ambassador of EST would my message be any different? No.
Being an Ambassador for the European Student Thinktank was an experience that I not only enjoyed a lot, but it was an experience that has shaped my worldview to the point of action. Before I was actively involved in EST, I was inspired to see so many talented young people from across Europe working together to have student voices heard in a respected manner, no more fulfilling of stereotypes or accepting of platitudes, this was to me amazing, and I very much wanted to be a part of it.
When I wrote my first Ambassador blog article for the EST, I was extremely proud I shared it everywhere I could possibly do so, I pestered friends and family to check it out and like it and share it, and ultimately it spurned me into action, reaching out to every university within Ireland to try and develop relationships with student societies and faculties, with minor success. I realised the power of opening up discussions and then acting on what is agreed upon.
This is where I am writing from now, because of my experiences in the EST I have been inspired to work with young people from around the world to tackle a global issue, the issue of corruption. Within 6 months we have expanded rapidly and consider to do so, we are reaching out to build partnership with youth organisations such as the EST and will continue to work with young people from around the world in relation to how we can best tackle corruption.
I would encourage anybody reading this, who may well be considering whether to get involved with the EST to do so. It is a fantastic organisation and if like me you are willing to work hard to see a better world in whatever issue drives you, it may well just give you the gentle push you need.
President of Anti-Corruption International