Hi I’m James Bowers! I study a Bachelor of Arts – Politics & International Relations, Spanish (in my final semester!) and Human Rights Law and Development.
- What is your worst childhood fear?
I was once terribly afraid of the dark! Now, I love the dark. Dark chocolate. Dark beer. Who’s laughing now, night-time?
- If you could have dinner with any figure, alive or otherwise, who would it be?
J.K. Rowling. With Adele serenading us. Can I pick two? I did anyway.
- What advice would you give to students who are currently completing the Global Leadership Program?
Get stuck in! For me, what I get out of the program is decided almost entirely by what I put into it. I think that personal development is just that, personal, and it’s our own drive to push ourselves outside our comfort zones that leads us to bigger and better things. Dive into other ways of thinking and don’t assume the way one society does things is necessarily right or better. Involve yourself in the world, learn another language and experience another culture, you’ll often learn more about your own in the process.
- You just got back from the GLP’s International Symposium to Brazil. What was the highlight of the trip?
It was a pretty intense two weeks! It’s hard to beat standing atop Sugarloaf Mountain at dusk, with clouds forming on the cliffs underneath you as you gaze over Rio bathed in red and gold. More seriously though, walking through the favelas (unincorporated communities) that have been repeatedly failed by poor policy and bad governance, hearing their stories and witnessing the effects of a system based on who has the most friends or the most money, was an eye opening experience. It strengthened my desire to work with communities to make their voices heard in systems that profit from their remaining silent. Definitely a jarring mix!
- What’s your favourite part of the program?
It is a bit of a process: taking colloquia nourished my desire to effect change, in myself and around issues, I feel passionately about. Secondly, the Foreign Affairs Series helped to highlight the skills I could develop and the tools I could use to do so in my field. Finally, the Symposia gave valuable insight into how to deploy these skills and tools to make connections with like-minded people, and gave me some of the real-world experiences that continue to drive me today. The best part of it all is that you can make your program a string of favourite experiences!
- What business, person or innovation has been your biggest motivator?
This one is tricky. It’s equal parts my mum, who has raised my siblings and I single-handedly, and proved the value of hard work time and time again. Also my partner, who pushes me to push myself with his work ethic and endless good counsel; and, more abstractly, the potential power hidden in mankind’s ability to organise as communities, something that has needed to be tapped throughout history to make real change.
- What’s the greatest piece of advice you’ve been given?
Your postcode doesn’t define you.
- In another life what would you have been?
- Your philosophy is…
Do it right, do it well, or don’t do it at all.
- Would you rather have the hiccups forever, or forever have that feeling like you’re just about to sneeze?
That’s a horrific situation. Let’s say pre-sneeze. I suppose that I could learn to live with the endless anticipation.