Philip McMaster, a notable civil rights activist, former MBA professor, and eco-entrepreneur, is on a mission to promote a sustainable future for children worldwide. Having attended eight COPs since 2015, McMaster recently returned to the UAE, recognizing its transformation into a “hub for sustainability information, innovation, and training.”
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Distinguished by his three-finger sign symbolizing harmony between society, environment, and economy, McMaster advocates for a balanced relationship between artificial intelligence (AI) and children. He encourages parents to allocate screen-free time for play with their children and establish a ‘Change Wednesday’ ritual at home, fostering habits of smiling, embracing change, and disconnecting from screens.
Santa for Sustainability
Explaining his choice to dress up as Santa, McMaster emphasizes its role in spreading happiness and sustainability. He notes, “People are attracted to the red hat, and they discover their love for the sustainable Claus message, spreading happiness and awareness throughout communities to make the planet healthier and happier.”
Evolution of COP28
While praising the remarkable efforts of COP28 in addressing global issues, McMaster observes the conference’s evolution, noting a more interactive and populous green zone than in previous COPs. However, he expresses disappointment at not being granted two weeks of access to the blue zone for the first time, citing a loss of community and intimacy at the conference.
Optimism Amid Commitments
During the initial days of COP28, substantial commitments and accords on loss and damage were announced. McMaster remains optimistic, stating, “This COP is a landmark event as it has captured the attention of all civil society and the media. Dubai has helped the world realize the urgency of addressing climate change and taking action to mitigate it.”