The programme aims to inspire and empower a generation of influencers and doers to lead change and amplify their voices and action for a more sustainable future.
#WeGotThis (WGT), a global youth sustainability incubator programme presented by Temasek Foundation and organised by WWF-Singapore, in collaboration with Green Is The New Black and Grey Singapore, launches in Singapore today. As a youth-led community movement targeted at youths between 18 to 25 years old, the programme creates a safe space for them to come together to be empowered to take the lead in their own sustainable future, through social media advocacy.
WGT features masterclasses, a boot camp, as well as a six-month practicum and mentorship incubator for sustainability doers and better world seekers to learn about climate and sustainability, innovation, conscious living, and digital advocacy.
At the core of it is the programme’s unique advocacy-building approach, where youths will be provided with the knowledge, skills and tools from speakers and mentors to design and execute strategic sustainability advocacy campaigns on their chosen topic of interest, for them to take action to build and drive change in their own social following and the larger community.
WGT believes in the importance of building a vibrant community of youths, including influencers, innovators and entrepreneurs, who are actively engaged to find creative solutions to critical sustainability issues we faced not only as individual nations but globally. WGT seeks to be the platform for like-minded partners to support our youths to step up to become leaders of tomorrow and translate their ambitions into impact.
“Our youths today embrace global sustainability issues and digital conversations. They recognise that community advocacy cannot be about getting louder on social media or on the streets to protest. There is a skills gap that needed to be bridged in sustainability advocacy among youths. Temasek Foundation is happy to be part of the team to bring together like-minded partners to launch #WeGotThis, with a focus on helping our youths to do, try, test, speak up, and build small wins one upon another,” shared Lim Hock Chuan, Chief Executive of Temasek Foundation Liveability.
“With WWF-Singapore’s multi-stakeholder convening experience, global network and expertise, we were able to collaborate with Green is the New Black and Grey Singapore to overcome the challenges of designing a programme that suits youths of various cultural contexts and stages of the sustainability journey. We are proud to have youth ambassadors and outreach partners to mobilise participation of youths from 18 countries across four continents joining the boot camp. We look forward to empowering them with the skills needed to inspire their peers for a positive change.” said Robin Carney, Head of Philanthropy, WWF-Singapore.
WGT to date: Masterclasses and five-day Boot Camp
WGT kicked off with a slew of free masterclasses for over 400 youths from around the world in attendance, held weekly across three weeks in June and July 2021. The masterclasses featured global sustainability change-makers sharing inspiring insights, learnings, and approaches to effecting change.
As a follow-up to that, 130 submissions to be part of the WGT incubator programme from youths, including those from Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Thailand, were received and 89 youths making up 65 teams were selected to be part of the intensive five-day virtual bootcamp from 4 to 8 September 2021.
Over the course of five days, participants were provided with foundational knowledge in areas such as material science, solar energy, conscious living, digital advocacy, sustainable cities, fashion, and food. Speakers at the bootcamp included Isabelle Boemeke, the world’s first nuclear energy influencer; Ho Jia Jian, entrepreneur, engineer and filmmaker who co-founded Vidsee, a leading video entertainment platform for short premium content; Garrette Clark, Sustainable Lifestyles Programme Officer in the Economics Division of the United Nations Environmental Programme in Paris; Vanessa Timmer, Executive Director at OneEarth; Maggie Zhou, Melbourne-based writer, podcaster, content creator and slow fashion advocate; AY Young, producer, singer, songwriter, entertainer and entrepreneur. (Full speaker details can be found in the Appendix.)
“My favourite part of the WGT boot camp was the line-up of an amazing, diverse group of speakers and sustainability advocates who spoke on highly relatable, well-structured content while emphasising the urgency of action. My team, Back to Ground Zero, definitely benefited from the programme and we’re excited to implement our learnings in our upcoming initiatives. We’re currently brainstorming ideas to highlight the intersection between mindfulness and sustainability – we believe we’re better equipped now to design content that best represents our unique voice and identity and able to communicate more effectively to influence our community,” said Maria Tan, 26, data scientist and co-founder of Back to Ground Zero, a community initiative for sustainable living in Singapore.
What’s next: launch of campaigns and six-month-long exclusive mentorship
On the back of the bootcamp, participants will be working towards launching their own campaigns in the next month, having benefited from hands-on skills-building by prominent speakers and trainers, who are key movers and shakers in the sustainability space. Key sustainability areas that participants are passionate about advocating for include biodiversity conservation, plastic pollution, clean energy and mental health and mindfulness.
“After the WGT boot camp, I am much more confident of launching my own sustainability campaign now. Our team is working towards launching an Environmental Journalism Movement where we create stories showcasing solutions on how to protect our planet by featuring sustainability champions such as activists, social entrepreneurs and leaders who are making a difference. Here in Uganda, the media devote startlingly little time to environmental change, so we hope to bridge the information gap by creating an environmental media platform to train environmental journalists,” said Derrick Emmanuel Mugisha, 24, Chief Executive Officer at Biodiversity Hub International and Regional Director Africa at EarthDay.org, Uganda. “Another unique feature of the programme is the mentorship programme post-boot camp, and I am looking forward to the additional guidance that we will receive throughout our upcoming journey.”
More than 60 mentors and expert advisers with expertise in the sustainability space have also signed on to be part of the six-month-long exclusive mentorship starting October 2021 as they journey with the youths towards creating their own communities and starting their own micro- campaigns.
WGT thanks the more than 20 partners, who shared and helped realise the WGT vision to enable youths to catalyse impact. They include knowledge partner, United Nations Environment Programme; leading partner, Allen & Overy; supporting partner, foodpanda; country partner, Big Bang Angels; experience partners, Confetti, Green Monday, and Meshminds; outreach partners, Asia Institute of Mentoring, British High Commission Singapore, Carboncents, Cindi Wirawan Millennial Coach, CoAction New Zealand, Eco-Business, Eco Youth Collective, Global Compact Network Singapore, Global Green Economic Forum, Interseed, Makan for Hope, Science Centre Singapore, TechInAsia, Textile and Fashion Federation Singapore, Wantedly Singapore, WholeTree Foundation and Youngo; as well as WGT youth ambassadors, Bye Bye Plastic Bags SG, BYO Bottle Singapore, Green Nudge, Lepak in SG, and Package Pals.
Tiffany Teo Hill+Knowlton Strategies
+65 9111 1771