Sometimes the limits of Zoom, and digital interactions generally, make themselves painfully apparent. One of those moments occurs when you interview Model G20’s award-winning Head of the National Space Program, India native Aaryn A., and he tells you almost immediately into your call that, as good coordination and the exhilarating impact of Bollywood musicals would have it, he’s a passionate student of the dance school of hip-hop. Our rectangle of video communication could never convey the sick moves of this young self-confessed aspiring diplomat, who can [insert hip-hop lingo — and note that “hip-hop” and “lingo” seem to be the two least compatible words in the English language] with the funkiest of them.
His favorite color is black (information that met with my manifest approval — no sage green, neon orange, or any other notably on-trend colors for him), and swimming is his sport and leisure option of choice.
Give Aaryn, our Head of the National Space Program, a big round of applause for his performance at Model G20’s 2021 July Summit, A Healthier Earth and Beyond!
Justine Hudock: Please tell us what your name is, where you are from, what year you are in school, and a silly, fun fact about yourself!
Aaryn A.: My name is Aaryn, I’m from India in the state of Madhya Pradesh, I’m in Grade 11 — that’s equivalent to a senior in the US — and a fun fact about me is that I am a singer, but a really bad one.
JH: What did you find most interesting about designing for the needs of your home country? Were you surprised by anything?
AA: I would like to say I found a comforting fact about my country. Any resource which any country in the world required for space travel, China was its highest producer — graphite, Teflon, aluminum titanium, and many more. We didn’t have a lot of difficulties in resource allocation, so it was quite convenient.
JH: To say the least! Which of the two topics did you come to the Summit more interested in? Was it more global health for you, or was space exploration your area of interest?
AA: Honestly, I came for global health, because I found it more related to economics, particularly micro and macroeconomics, at a much higher level. And I have a keen interest in economics. So I thought with the help of economics, critical thinking and creativity, I could create some viable solutions to the problems of the pandemic. But as I got into some specifics of space exploration, I got more curious and I found out that it is much easier to comprehend. So I began the Summit with quite an extensive interest in global health during the role selection meeting, but I rather did “flip” to prefer the space exploration side by the end.
JH: To what extent does your interest in either Summit topic inform your path? For instance, in adult life, do you imagine incorporating knowledge of either topic into what you choose to study, or where you’re going, as far as a job is concerned?
AA: Speaking frankly, regarding global health, I actually don’t have much of an interest in the medical sciences. Biology is one of my least favorite subjects. And space exploration, while interesting, is probably somewhat beyond me, too. That said, I still think that the discussions which we had in the Summit have given me a great set of soft skills that will last me a lifetime.
JH: What was your favorite part about the Summit?
AA: My favorite part was definitely the symposium, on the second day. I interacted with so many people, talked about so many issues, talked and listened about my issues, my hobbies and theirs. We listened to music, we sang songs, watched videos, and expressed our opinions. We spoke about each and every little thing you can imagine for an hour and a half. It was so great!
JH: Besides Model G20, what else do you do outside of school that you really enjoy?
AA: I’m a very serious debater, and swimmer. Before the pandemic shut us down for a while, I was in the top eight in India for swimming events. I love dance, too — I have participated in several dance competitions.
JH: What kind of dance?
AA: I’m more into hip hop and a bit into pop. I also do some breakdancing!
JH: If you could invent one thing that would make life easier for people, what would that be?
AA: In regards to global health, and even space exploration, this one is basically to reduce the efforts required in both of them: mitigating your global health problems and increasing space exploration chances. One of the main problems humanity is facing right now are our massive carbon emissions. So, I would rather like to invent something which would convert carbon dioxide into water. And that water would then be purified, cleansed, and filtered into something drinkable.
JH: What is one goal, personal or professional, that you would love to achieve the next five years — what’s your wildest dream?
AA: I would love to be on track to becoming a diplomat, to represent my nation, to lead it better and create a better future for the nation.
Classes at school?
Math and computer science!
I have many, but probably most of all, The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown.
Chocolate crepes and bacon!
“The problem with the future is that it keeps turning into the present.” — Bill Watterson