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Posted at 11:28 PM ET, 01/30/2011

Is this the end of the journey?

By Raquel Helen Silva

British Council Global Changemakers is a network of young social entrepreneurs and community activists from 110 worldwide.

The World Economic Forum annual meeting would come to its end today. That was what I had in mind when I woke up and managed to think properly. I was amazed by the fact that I felt incredibly calm and confident. Maybe it was because our ideas lab had been awesome or maybe because my mind could not function properly because I was too sleepy to understand how important it is to be in the closing plenary. I wondered what I had to pair with Professor Schwab, Cristine Lagarde, Nick and Dan. But that was the whole point.

The name of the session was "Inspired for a Lifetime," and the diversity of the panelists made that impressive. I was especially surprised and happy to know how France's minister of finance is inspired by the fact that there are always people in worse situations than the ones we are facing.

Nick, Dan and I agree that God is above everything and no matter the name you give to it, spirituality and the belief that there is something bigger than ourselves is what keeps us going, especially during times of struggle. One of the takeaways from the Women Leaders Dinner that I mentioned in the plenary is that failure is part of the process of achieving success If you can hold onto the values that drive you, may that be your family references, your spirituality, your college or company code or any other kind of social convention you can always find an example of inspiration.

Arts and nature are also very inspiring. We have to keep our eyes, hearts and minds to be able to notice how inspiring every simple moment can be.The whole session was all about sharing, leaving behind the preconceptions and the titles and come back to the human interaction. That plays an important role when it comes to pursuing shared norms for a new reality. We have to find things in common to be able to share them. To make that happen, real dialogue is very important.

After the closing plenary, we went all the way to the top to the Schatzhalp Hotel to have lunch outside. Everything was so symbolic to me. Climbing to the top of the mountain and seeing that beautiful landscape. The sun was so powerful and the sky was so blue. I had the pleasure to enjoy this rich buffet with my fellow Davos Changemakers and some great friends we had the chance to make this week. After that we went sledding. It was hard in the beginning and I fell down several times. Even though I was struggling, It was still so much fun and I got to have Anjali ride with me after her sled went down the hill.

It was just amazing and I will keep this day in my memory forever. And if you ask me, "Is this the end of the journey?" No, its not. Its another beautiful chapter of an unpredictable novel named life. I will miss this place and the great times I spent here. However, it will be an honor to be back home, improve and implement my projects, keep in touch with the incredible people I met and share as much as I can about the forum. I wish everyone in the world could have the chance to come. Because that is not possible, I will make sure that many people can experience this great opportunity through my own time at Davos.That is why I cant wait to share everything.

Raquel began working in her local community at age 9. For the past decade, she has been involved in various volunteer efforts, from dance and teaching English to helping underprivileged children, and collecting, separating and selling recycled materials to raise money for community projects. She has served as a Brazilian youth ambassador in the United States since 2008, and in 2009 she was the only Brazilian delegate in the Women2Women America Conference. Raquel believes in the power of great ideas, curiosity and opportunities. She is enrolled at the Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais, where she is studying international relations, and the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, where she is studying government. Raquel is fascinated by different cultures, which is why she has learned how to say "butterfly" in more than 20 languages.

By Raquel Helen Silva  | January 30, 2011; 11:28 PM ET
Categories:  Raquel Helen Silva  
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