Maria Milcheva Sopova from Bulgaria is our next featured advocate! Maria is currently a member of Table 4 and is working on the topic "Economic Growth and Human Well-being" with her table-mates.
"We all know that inequality throughout the world has risen dramatically in the last decade. Yet, only recently there have been discussions about the profound impact economic inequality has on all social layers in our modern societies. Inequality and poverty affect each other directly and indirectly through their link with economic growth and ultimately, happiness. "
Q１. Please tell us what are the reasons/motivations that made you apply for ISC65?
A while ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a former participant in the International Student Conference who shared his outstanding impressions of the conference when he visited back in 2014. Ever since his exciting story, I have planned to apply for the forum and finally this year I have this chance as I would like to experience the same energy, to form new long-lasting friendships with people from all over the world and to learn more about the fascinating story and culture of Japan. Finding a bridge between theoretical knowledge and real life challenges is of paramount importance for me both as a student and an individual who always strived to stay well-informed and well-educated. Being confident about taking action, exercising power in ways that extend beyond material gain and developing a vision by examining the impact of today’s actions are all personal traits that good leaders have in common. What excites me most in the prospect of taking part in the 65th edition of the International Student Conference is the opportunity to experience a world-class forum with rich history and a very long-standing tradition of inviting a carefully selected cohort of distinguished individuals from around the world for a week of exciting discussions on topics of global importance.
Q２.What do you think about your table’s topic?
We all know that inequality throughout the world has risen dramatically in the last decade. Yet, only recently there have been discussions about the profound impact economic inequality has on all social layers in our modern societies. Inequality and poverty affect each other directly and indirectly through their link with economic growth and ultimately, happiness. We need to rethink the notion of happiness and build our pursuit of happiness on different foundations – starting off by the individual understanding of what constitute happiness and an in-depth exploration and re-evaluation of our values and morals system as well as taking the necessary steps to start a broader conversation amongst ourselves as active citizens thus putting the happiness agenda as an organising principle in the policy making process of each country. Efforts in measuring happiness are only a part of the larger concept to understand what constitutes wellbeing. The topic is one that holds incredible importance especially for young people as we are the generation that can bring positive, meaningful change but before that happens, we need to make sure we have the foundation that will enable us to grasp the issue in its complexity and severity.
Q３.What do you think about your table’s activities in overall now?
Our table chief has planned a very ambitious yet exciting agenda and I am confident the learning and sharing would be beneficial for every single participant.
Q４. Can you share hare with us some of your feelings towards the upcoming ISC65?
I am incredibly honored and excited to be part of this year’s edition of the International Student Conference. I am sure it is going to be a great experience for everyone involved and I am looking forward to meeting like-minded and motivated individuals from around the world.
Q5. Can you tell us a little bit about your hometown?
Sofia is the capital city of my home country - Bulgaria. Located in the western part of the country and serving as the center of economic activity, Sofia is a home to more than two million people. But to me it is more than a home, it is where I happily return after new adventures and where all my favourite people reside, create and inspire every day. I love walking on the signature yellow pavement, just opposite the Parliament’s house, admiring Sofia University’s splendour building while I am on my way to meet good friends for a glass of wine at some of the cosy restaurants on Oborishte street. Seasoned travellers might find Sofia confusing or even hard to navigate, but I am sure true adventure seekers will be able to appreciate the city for all that it is and all that it represents - an eclectic mix of traditional and modern where every visitor is most welcome.