Updated: Feb 20
Every Friday we have a lecture on the SDGs with TigerMov and Clark High School. Today, based on what we have learnt over the past six months, four students told us about the SDGs initiatives they would like to undertake in the future. For the first four months, we talked about sustainability with non-disposable masks because of Corona pandemic. But, for the past three weeks, we have given them a bit more freedom in their topics, saying that "any subject is fine".
They came up with an idea based on the 5-steps for achieving a vision and the 5-steps for pitching. For example, the student who told us her vision for the first step "I want to reduce food waste" looked at the third step's current situation and found more food loss from households than from factories and restaurants.
In a logic tree, she broke down the food loss at home into three categories: 1) over-peeled food, 2) leftovers, and 3) expired food. In the fourth step, she focused on the problem as expired food, and in the fifth step, she presented an attractive solution using QR codes.
I thought she was a smart girl by nature, but it was a masterpiece when she used the 5-steps so beautifully. It was really great that she didn't have a solution first, but instead thought about what she wanted to achieve, found the problems with it, and then proposed a solution when the time was right. We should look for the solutions, especially the ones that seem to be the easiest to do. The "abolish plastic bottles" story also showed us that many people won't take up the solution if it's a pain in the ass. Simultaneously, if our solution is not easy to tackle, we won't start it either.
The solution she came up with is very interesting, but there could be a more straightforward solution. On a remote island where my wife is from, a high school student group prevented about 150 to 200 items a day from going to food waste by putting what they called "Eat Me stickers" on food that was about to expire at the supermarket. This doesn't require any special skills and is an excellent place to start. Ideas alone are meaningless. It's all about practicality. If you don't find the solution interesting, you can improve it or stop and try something else. You can't even stop working if you are just thinking about it.