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Young Changemaker Incubator

Hong Kong’s first blog for SDG education news and announcements


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Integrated thinking approaches to sustainability

There is a tendency in the sustainability space to focus on problem solving. But is doesn’t (arguable shouldn’t) have to be this way. Systems thinking is an increasingly well-known approach to deal with our complex environment and to fully understand how systems operate and interlink. But it can often be retro fitted. It is therefore worthwhile having an integrated thinking approach which tries to combine systems thinking with both futures and design thinking. Futures thinking in its simplest form can be a bit like strategic planning. But real futures thinking goes beyond the plausible scenarios from the present to also consider bigger “what ifs”. In doing so we become naturally more innovative and motivated and more likely to begin designing for those “impossible” futures. And if we close the loop and design in systems then perhaps we have a way to approach real sustainability. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

UNSA 2022 Share Talk by ITS Foundation

ITS Foundation founder Danny Harrington was selected on to the UN Summer Academy 2022. A group of 115 sustainability actors from 58 countries brought together by the UN Systems Staff College for an intensive week of activity. In addition to the fantastic plenary and workshop group activities and expert contributors, Danny was further nominated to deliver a “Share Talk”. In this breakout event, he was able to talk about what led to the formation of the Young Changemaker Incubator and ultimately the ITS Foundation, the needs it speaks to as well as highlighting some of the challenges it faces and the ways in which these can be overcome. Then the participant group went into a Q&A which delivered some great insights and suggestions which Danny hopes to be able to integrate back into YCI in the coming months. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Case study: Charting a More Sustainable Course for the Tourism Industry (IISD) The Urgency of Transforming Biodiversity Governance (IISD) Research shows tropical cyclones have decreased alongside human-caused global warming – but don’t celebrate yet (The Conversation) UN sustainable development goals failing to have meaningful impact, our research warns (The Conversation) Case study: Global South metropolises 10 times more likely to be affected by flooding than rich cities (eco-business) Asian bankers with ESG job titles under pressure to sell products they 'don't fully understand' (Eco-business) Indigenous peoples warn of global delay on forest protection push (Eco-business) Research paper: Extreme weather impacts of climate change (IOPScience) Case study: Review of carbon credits system after expert labelled it a ‘fraud’ (The Guardian) Behind The Burger: How Scientists Make Plant-Based Foods Look, Taste & Cook Like Meat (green queen) Production . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Food - security and sustainability

When it comes to food supply, security has always, indeed must always, take precedence. However, we are also now very much more aware that poor agricultural practice is unsustainable and probably feeds into longer-term concerns over food security. It would be the perfect example of the Brundtland report statement if the agricultural practices of today met the needs of the present but compromised the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The WTO and FAO are currently facing a perfect short-term storm with covid and Ukraine, but climate change is already here and adding to these woes with the more worrying characteristic of being long-term as well. What to do? Well there is much wrangling, but this excellent article in IISD give a great picture.   . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

United Nations Summer Academy 2022

The UNSA 22 starts today and runs all week. Just 115 people have been selected from thousands of applicants to attend this 5 day course of intensive work building sustainable development partnerships and networks. The 2022 Programme will explore sustainable development from a multi-sectoral perspective, focusing on critical themes such as health and well-being, social protection, economic transformation, and climate action. Participants will look at how transformative thought frameworks of systems thinking, futures thinking, and design thinking can address these issues in a complex and volatile context. Alongside these core themes and conceptual approaches, the Programme will also feature trending sustainable development topics such as innovation for sustainable development and frontier technologies. Experts will highlight the latest developments in these areas and their potential contribution to sustainable development efforts. ITS Foundation founder Danny Harrington is one of the . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

High fossil fuel prices are good for the planet – here’s how to keep them high while avoiding riots or hurting the poor (The Conversation) Greenwashing: how ads get you to think brands are greener than they are – and how to avoid falling for it (The Conversation) Another Indonesian province moves to reclaim forests from palm plantations (Eco-business) Mangroves face overwhelmingly negative impacts from climate change in a 2°C warmer world: study (Eco-business) The case for colocation data centres: green, flexible, convenient (Eco-business) Scientists unveil bionic robo-fish to remove microplastics from seas (The Guardian) Nearly 20% of Food-Related Emissions Come From Transport (green queen) It’s time to put Indigenous Peoples first at the UN biodiversity talks (Climatechangenews) Data exclusive: The ‘junk’ carbon offsets revived by the Glasgow Pact (climatechangenews) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Food waste v packaging waste

One of the great challenges posed by addressing sustainability issues is that so many of these problems are “complex” or what are sometimes called “wicked problems”. It is very difficult to know whether an action that seems beneficial at first sight is actually going to be beneficial in the long run. For example, how many of us actually know the net benefit of us using a cloth bag instead of plastic throwaway bags at the supermarket? How was the cloth bag made? How much energy did it use? How many plastic bags will it replace? Etc etc. Another area now under consideration is food packaging. The gut reaction is that we should not have so much, if any packaging. But what about the shelf life of food as a result? What is the net impact of having more food waste against less packaging waste? Read a really good entry article on this in Eco-business. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

World Refugee Day

Every year the UN marks 20th June as World Refugee Day and highlights the commitments under the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1967 Protocol which are the only global legal instruments to try and protect people who have been forced from their homes by “a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”. The commitment extends across all types of refugee such as asylum seekers and so on. In 2022, with refugees from a number of conflicts around the world and newer push factors such as fleeing climate change, we need more help and simple compassion for refugees than ever. Unfortunately, many governments are acting in the opposite direction. Under the 1951 Convention refugees have: The right not to be expelled, except under certain, strictly defined conditions; The right not to be punished for illegal entry into the territory of a contracting State; The right to work; The rig . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading
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