Environmental Sustainability is definitely this century’s big issue. After hundreds of years of irresponsible industrialism, we officially reached the limit and heading into a point of no return. But the current youths today have inherited the responsibilities of the past and the decision power to choose a sustainable future. Personally, doing something to benefit not just me but generations to come of almost all life on this planet seem like a beautiful opportunity. As someone who really enjoy participating in beach cleanups, volunteering at the neighboring nursing home, and learning about Biology, David finds purpose, something greater than mere happiness, when he tries to contribute to the big issue.
David moved from Hong Kong to a rural boarding school in the US to pursue his education. When he settled in a small town in Connecticut, I found myself surrounded by the natural world. There were seas of trees and little creeks, and one can literally see the seasons. Then COVID hit and he was stuck at home for the entirety of my sophomore year. Although he lives in the more rural area, most of the city is metal and pollution. Missing all the nature, he wondered why can’t more of the city be greener. There are many excuses why most of Hong Kong, and other urban cities, is so detached from nature and he did believe it, until he did my own research. After discovering the idea of urban rewilding and its various benefits, he knew it was something worth implementing.
To amplify his mission, he founded UrbanWILD, a platform containing blueprints that will allow youth globally to engage with urban rewilding. Students can collaborate on design, research and execution of urban rewilding projects in their neighborhood, helping them connect with their local communities and taking the first concrete step in real environment action. In combination with his school’s horticulture club, urban rewilding can serve communities not just for environmental and mental health factors but medicinal and economic factors as well.
For David, for youth to lead systems change, one must choose something one is passionate about. It will make everything easier. Educate oneself on the relative topics until one is well versed enough to voice one's vision, goals, and plan to a peer who knows nothing about the topic (In my case, it was his brother). Then, he recommends research into already existing organizations working towards similar goals. Take notes and inspiration from what they done and try to incorporate the successful methodologies with the project. Finally, he suggests to find people with similar passions to work with. One person can’t do everything, and having multiple perspectives and minds will help generate more refined plans and ideas, and lead to more impact.