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YCI Feb '21 Seminar - Fruit Peels to Soap IV

Great to see the YCI community - even if only virtually - for an informative hour with Elin.  The big takeaway? Student projects will blossom in ways that no one can predict.  With Elin, Ethan, and Alfie, we were treated to a multi-generational cross-section of food waste advocates. Ethan and Alfie will both be looking to harness the power of Fruity Clean and saponification, but they still have the challenges of self-organizing and applying their newfound technology to quantifiably reduce food waste.  Elin gave Ethan and Alfie a glimpse of where these projects might lead them. Elin no longer works with food waste, but now lobbies companies and legislators to shift policies towards green technology and away from fossil fuels. No ceiling for Ethan and Alfie!   . . .

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YCI Feb '21 Seminar - Fruit Peels to Soap III

Our headline speaker Elin Chan had such fantastic advice for our students. She talked about how public speaking and pitching as a high school student has given her the confidence and skills to persuade American legislators. She talked about the paramount value persistence. She had the inimitable wisdom of “be comfortable being uncomfortable” - amazing advice for students who retreat into the known.  Thank you so much to Elin, our YCI ambassador for fruit peels! . . .

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YCI Feb '21 Seminar - Fruit Peels to Soap II

Our second youth presenter was Alfred Francis, aka “Alfie”. Alfie was incredibly articulate in his vision to bring food waste solutions to his school. It was wonderful to see a student acknowledge how much information informs ideas. Ideas do not gestate in isolation. Network, community, and public information are the lifeblood of true innovation.  . . .

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YCI Feb '21 Seminar - Fruit Peels to Soap I

Last Thursday’s YCI seminar in sustainability went so well. Thank you to all the presenters. We were very proud of our youngest presenter, Ethan Ho, who spoke about his work as founder of WasteLessFeedBetter. Ethan’s humility and curiosity to learn more about how we can make the circular economy work for food and food waste will pay huge dividends in the future! . . .

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2020 YCI Retrospective - STEMbyHer

Congratulations to Diya Handa on her recent acceptance into Carnegie Mellon University! Not only is Diya a budding young scientist, she is also an advocate encouraging young women and girls to engage a traditionally male-dominated space. Great work Diya and looking forward to the brilliant ideas you’ll come up with next! . . .

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Penned by Youth - An Open Letter to the UN Secretary General Pt III

Part III “To be or not to be ... educated. That is the question. Education is the engine of social mobility that drives equitable access to the opportunity of living a life fulfilled. For students left off traditional educational pathways, I want to enrich their lives through eliciting their creativity.” Alex Lee, Lower 6th Student, Harrow School UK “Inclusivity, innovation, and accessibility are the big issues facing education, which has a tradition of evolving slowly. Students incur unhealthy stress in systems that emphasize tests and not individual development. I want to change that.” Jason Qiu, Student, Island School “Education is the most powerful weapon to reduce inequality. I founded Buddy Wiser to bring a free curriculum of study skills to ethnic minorities and children from underprivileged families.” Alison Carless, Founder and President, BuddyWiser Foundation “Progress stems from education, culture, freedom, and equality. If any o . . .

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Penned by Youth - An Open Letter to the UN Secretary General Pt II

Part II In Hong Kong, we at ITS Education Asia and the Young Changemaker Incubator have listened. We help students trailblaze their own path of education by helping them develop sustainable initiatives within their community. Our educators and mentors, however, merely nudge students to helpful research, concrete action, and making contacts. These students have taught us that once they seize the reins of their education, us adults can take the back seat. These students are not only learning how to self-organize, they are learning they can already inspire change in their communities. They don't need to wait for a degree or an employment contract to shape the world according to their principles and passions. On the topic of Education for Sustainable Development, here are some perspectives from members of the Young Changemaker Incubator Class of 2021: “Education is integral to progress. Our future depends on whether we can inspire the next generation and cultivate their full . . .

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Penned by Youth - An Open Letter to the UN Secretary General Pt I

Today, on the International Day of Education, we at ITS Education Asia are submitting an open letter to the United Nations and to Secretary-General António Guterres to ensure that those we are educating have a voice in how they are educated. Education standards worldwide have fostered hundreds of millions of students to become ready for work. But while they are certainly capable and competent, the question facing these hordes of educated young adults is simply: What type of work? Secondary schools and universities are beginning to realize that their graduates find careers irrelevant to their majors. Many brilliant adults are stuck at miserable jobs simply because they pay well. Many of our brightest minds spend all their faculties trying to make the rich richer. These tragic outcomes suggest, perhaps, that education should not be solely designed by adults. Perhaps it's time to ask the kids what they think is important to learn (see Part II) . . .

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