“With knowledge comes caring, and with caring comes change”: student’s story by Rimante (batch 15)
My name is Rimante, and I was born in Lithuania. For my bachelor I studied Communications. During this period, I took part in 3 exchange programmes in Portugal, Germany, and China. Right before embarking the MESPOM journey I worked as a communication specialist, focusing on international marketing communications.
After graduation, I understood that marketing communication wasn’t my preferred path, and I decided to travel to Australia. There, I became a penguin guide and took care of penguins in a natural penguin colony in Melbourne. This experience allowed my passion for the ocean to grow, inspiring me in putting in place my communication skills to protect it. In this way I started having a very different perspective on marketing communications. I started seeing it as a tool that I could use for any purpose I have at heart. This inspired me and my colleague in creating a magazine that could be a bridge between Melbourne to home in Lithuania, for the Lithuanian-Australian community. A few months later, I accepted a position as a communication strategist at Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute in the Philippines. This is when I moved to the Philippines and lived in remote places, where I could swim with whale sharks, sea turtles, and rays.
I will never forget the moment I saw a whale shark in the open ocean for the first time. I was swimming and suddenly noticed a shark fin. When I dove underwater, I saw the elegant giant swimming near me and chasing the plankton. The size of the Shark, which was around 10 meters long, made me feel tiny. This experience made me realize that Earth belongs to wild ocean animals in the same way as it belongs to humans. However, the number of endangered ocean species is decreasing due to irresponsible human activities. I realized that solving the oceans' problems requires tackling human problems - climate change, clean energy, and financing environmental projects. To better understand those problems and to solve them, I wanted to learn about environmental science, policy and management, so I decided to apply for MESPOM.
I am currently writing my MESPOM thesis on clean energy innovation financing and developing a project "Po bangom" with marine scientists. "Po bangom" is an educational platform about the ocean in Lithuanian. We decided to create it because we believe that with knowledge comes caring, and with caring comes change. If you are interested, you can find more information on the following website: www.pobangom.lt .
In the future, I would like to work on clean energy innovation and continue to work on awareness of ocean's health because "Knowing is the key to caring, and with caring, there is hope that people will be motivated to take positive actions." (Dr. Sylvia Earle).