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Young Changemaker Incubator

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Natalie Cheung - 2023-24 ITSF YAC Co-Chair

Natalie began her SDG journey with ITS when she was selected for the 2022 Youth Ambassador Asia-Pacific Programme which we run alongside UNITAR. Over that course, she developed an idea which led to the creation of an initiative called Mental Health Means. Subsequently, under the mentoring of the ITS Young Changemaker Incubator, she was able to run her first mental health conference in early 2023. Natalie is a Year 12 student at the Chinese International School in Hong Kong. The school has been very supportive of her efforts and provided the venue for her conference. Natalie jumped at the chance to join the Youth Advisory Committee and her application was approved with ease by the outgoing committee members. At the first 23-24 committee meeting, Natalie was elected Co-Chair by her fellow committee members and went on the lead the organization and delivery of the ITSF event in August 2023 for International Youth Day, kindly hosted by Canadian International School Hong Kong and featurin . . .

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

Local community action

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay   A good article from Ryan Hagen on LinkedIn about the impact we can have by being active citizens at a local level i.e. within our own immediate communities. Most people will think of local government – town halls, district councils and so on. And this is where Hagen focuses. He points out an estimate that 35% of emissions in California could be wiped out by actions taken at local government level, simply applying the powers that they already have. He makes the point though that local governments won’t act unless local people demand that they do. This is especially important because local government may also be more accessible by local business lobbying that usually has profit propositions in front of any other. One of the key reasons that profit chasing increases emissions is that externalities can be created (therefore not paid for in money terms by business). And few people seem willing or able to price those externalities bac . . .

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

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Image by Pixeleye from Pixabay   Climate change ‘dystopian future already here’ (Aljazeera) New research reveals why and when the Sahara Desert was green (sciencedaily) Greenwashing cases against airlines in Europe, US (reuters) Al Gore and Lila Preston question everything in their firm’s new climate report (techcrunch) Debt relief must break dependence on fossil fuel exports (CHN) Small islands slam ‘endless’ climate talks at landmark maritime court hearing (CHN) Goodbye, Leather: Apple Ditches Luxury Material for Eco-Friendly Woven Fabric Alternative (greenqueen) From denial to delay: Climate action blockers adopt new tactics (Eco-business) People who grow their own fruit and veg waste less food and eat more healthily, says research (The Conversation) . . .

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

Salt Lake shrinking

I liked this article in The Guardian about the famous Salt Lake in Utah, USA, and how it is in decline. It starts with a striking photo which shows boat jetties left high and dry as the water level has fallen so severely in recent years. It goes on to present an explanation which should be of interest to many but especially students taking high school level geography. The first reaction anyone would have on seeing the pic is that drought is the problem. And this is true. But drought in the modern world often is not a purely natural phenomenon. In almost all cases we can see human inputs to the issue, both direct and indirect. The direct factors relate to water extraction. When we overload drainage basins with people and/or industrial-style farming, we extract far more water than is available. It is a simple budget. If water out exceeds water in, then drought will follow. This extends the usual definition of natural drought as being a period of below average precipitation, as human dri . . .

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

UN General Assembly 2023-24

The UNGA opened its 78th session (2023-2024) on 5 September 2023 under the theme, ‘Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: Accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all.’ The Assembly is the “annual general meeting” of the UN and the most important of the year. This year’s President – Dennis Francis of Trinidad – reminded everyone of the overarching need to remember the core values and purposes of the UN to address challenges. He underscored climate change alongside entrenched poverty as continuing to present the fundamental issues humanity faces, and that geopolitical conflict only hinders progress. He emphasized the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs as the core framework around which everyone and every country can coalesce. He made a point to say "Let us accelerate progress by capitalizing on the enablers of youth, innovation, and technology." . . .

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

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

UN announces ‘climate breakdown’ after record summer heat (Aljazeera) Electrifying heavy-duty vehicles could reduce environmental inequalities (sciencedaily) Summer 2023 was hottest on record, scientists say (reuters) All products are garbage, and for good reason (techcrunch) Green debt swaps, explained (CHN) From Beans to Buildings: Scientists Recycle Coffee Grounds To Make High-Performance Eco Concrete (greenqueen) India bets on seaweed's future as food industry appetite grows (Eco-business) Rooftop renewables risk making the rich richer, as latecomers will struggle to access the grid (The Conversation) . . .

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

Global Business Forum Recognizes Private Sector`s Critical Role for SDGs

Image by GodImage from Pixabay   The IISD SDG Knowledge Hub ran a very good article covering this forum which brought together government, business, civil society, and the UN. It is a very pertinent point that individuals cannot make good sustainability choices in their lifestyle if those choices are not available for them to purchase or participate in them. It is also ludicrous to accept that business can only change what it offers and how it behaves in response to only market forces or government regulation. It is absolutely the case that business can switch to more sustainable production methods across all elements from energy use to transport choice to supply chain choices and material sourcing. What the forum identified and what needs to happen to more mindsets is that transformation to green approaches to business represent an opportunity not a burden. If more business leaders could bring themselves to see the switches to sustainable processes as investment in the futur . . .

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

ITSF YAC Youth Day event

On Saturday 19th the Youth advisory Committee of the ITS Foundation ran an event at Canadian International School Hong Kong as part of the UN Observance for International Youth Day (delayed from 12 Aug to allow HK school term to start). The event was opened with remarks from ITSF Founder Danny Harrington and Matthew Shulte, Head of Global Engagement at CDNIS. The opening speech was delivered by Professor Veronique Lafon-Vinais from the Business School at HKUST and gave invaluable insight into some of the ways universities are adapting in academic and organizational practice to the demands of sustainability. A panel of fantastic Hong Kong operators then convened to discuss their views on the need for Green Skills in the coming years. Step Ng of Body Banter, James Cunningham of Speed Sourcing, Raymond Mak of Farmacy HK Ltd, Stephanie Chan of Ocean Park and Jayme Ellis of Luuna Naturals, all gave brilliantly honest and up to date opinions on the needs for young people entering the workp . . .

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