A great experience in learning sustainability
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“Sustainable development” is a term prevalent in modern society today. However, what exactly is it and how to achieve it? Students from different majors may offer their opinions based on their own unique training. But how should different ideas be linked together?
Agnes Sze Kai-mei and I, students on the BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science and Management in the College of Science and Engineering at City University of Hong Kong (CityU), had a great experience participating in the Joint-University Environmental Innovation Forum on 2 June. It was our honour to join the forum as CityU representatives. The Forum was organised by students studying different majors at six local universities. Based on the insights and comments on environment, technology and innovation by the Hon Leung Chun-ying, Chief Executive of the HKSAR, and the Hon Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, former Chief Executive of the HKSAR, the Forum discussed how innovation could help to bring about a more environmentally friendly Hong Kong.
The Forum comprised three workshops, namely “Energy”, “Architectural Design” and “Environmental Policies”, providing a diverse platform for multidisciplinary intellectual exchange on environmental issues and ways to raise public awareness. Experts were invited to each workshop to share their experience of implementing sustainability in their fields. They also joined a panel discussion to facilitate better communication between the speakers and participants.
“Shamefully, even though I am studying environmental science and management, I have no idea how sustainable development is conducted in Hong Kong,” Agnes admitted. But by participating in this Forum, we got to understand how the government and corporations in Hong Kong had implemented environmental policies and the difficulties they had encountered during the process of implementation. In addition, we have come to realise that we cannot reach sustainable development through technology innovation alone. We need innovations that change people’s mindset and lifestyle.
Gratefully, we gained far more than we had expected in this forum. We were responsible for organising the “Architectural Design” workshop which covered content such as green buildings. In the past, we thought it was easy to organise an event. However, we experienced a great deal of hiccups during the preparation period. For example, many proposed guest speakers declined our invitation and we argued about the content of the forum with other committee members. But all these activities taught us how we should cooperate with others in real life. These skills are not taught in a lecture.