On 18th January, the Pwee Foundation attended the inaugural Actions For Earth – Global Youth Summit 2014, an event initiated by the Hemispheres Foundation. The summit is a youth-lead global platform for students to network, discuss and initiate innovation for sustainable solutions to protect children, fresh water and the natural environment from destruction.
At the end of the summit, the youths will have to present their projects and compete with each other in their groups (based on schools/countries) in the Senior and Junior Categories. The top 6 finalists from each category will prepare a 3 minute pitch for the judges and the judges will decide which projects are the most sustainable and the most innovative. They will subsequently award the prize money accordingly, the prize money to be used in the incubation of the projects.
The Pwee Foundation came down on the last day of the summit to help out with the judging and the facilitation of the event. Mr. Pwee’s main role was to be a judge for the projects, giving insightful comments on the solutions presented, as well as probing the finalists to think more deeply about the originality and effectiveness of their ideas.
For example, the Australian team came up with a world-wide tree planting project where Mr. Pwee asked, “Across the world, planting trees is a common initiative to help one’s respective country become greener. How is this project more special than the rest of these initiatives?”.
Another project was about gathering researchers around the world to come together to think of ideas that could reduce the carbon footprint, in which Mr. Pwee questioned, “So you’ve defined the problem, so the solution to the problem is to get other people to find the solution to the problem?”. His input was no doubt valuable to the participants as they now were able to relook at the problem from a different perspective and reshape their ideas accordingly.
The rest of the team that came down assisted in guiding the other groups before they went up on stage to present their ideas. The team questioned the sustainability of some of the solutions as well as advised these groups to perhaps, using a different approach in solving these environmental problems.
The summit was closed off by Ms. Ann Phua, who gave the tokens of appreciation to the judges and ended off with her closing remarks.”I hope this would be a continuous journey. When you go back to your respective countries, it is my wish that each and every one of you will share and implement your ideas and social innovations. Just as importantly, I hope you will never forget the great friendships that you have forged and that you will continue to establish and maintain these international relationships. Thank you.”