While several topics were addressed during the discussion days, many of the young adults quickly identified a “culture of domination” as a central underlying factor in environmental degradation.  A representative for a consumer watch group in the USA shared that in North America a complex political and economic system, in which greenwashing or lobbying is prevalent, often over represents a specific interest group. As a result, industries like the American meat and dairy sector are not held accountable for unregulated high yield cattle production techniques with disastrous implications for the environment, animal and human population.  To date, the natural water sources in states like Minnesota have been corrupted and contaminated due to factory farming of cattle.  

Others spoke to the dominant influence of family oligarchies throughout Latin America, and in some cases monarchies that still have land holdings in nations like Jamaica.  It was stated that the ruling elite often invite foreign investors to utilize vast amounts of national lands to boost trade opportunities, valuing profit over ecological integrity.  Participants shared that big agriculture and the proliferation of monocultures, like palm trees, are making a stronger appearance in the Latin America region, though they are known to eradicate plant diversity, increase pesticide use, shift the natural landscape and destabilize the local ecology.

Thematic discussions examined more closely personal relationships to the environment and the importance of educating around traditional ecological values.  A delegate representing the Northwest Indian College spoke on efforts to revitalize native plant populations in his area of Washington state in the USA, which had been destroyed during a new college development project.  Both the youth discussants and program mentors highlighted that these types of environmental mistakes among a local population are often the result of the vestiges of a colonial mindset, where exploitation of land and resources for personal gain is predominant.