Young Leaders of Tomorrow Learn About Sustainable Living


Participants of the Ecosperity Young Leaders’ Dialogue studying the 3D model of Singapore on exhibition at the Urban Development Authority (URA) Centre

One of the greatest challenges of the 21st century will be balancing urbanisation and ecological sustainability. The United Nation estimates that today, half of the world’s population live in cities and this number will climb up to 75 per cent by 2050. As people move from villages to cities on an unprecedented scale – and cities double their collective size – the world must seek better ways to solve urban problems such as over-crowding, pollution and inadequate public services. To discuss these issues, the Singapore Technologies Endowment Programme (STEP) hosted the Young Leader’s Dialogue (YLD) for the first time, in partnership with the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities and Singapore University of Technology and Design.

The three-day YLD event, which took place in Singapore from 15 to 17 September 2016, gathered 75 undergraduates from 16 countries in Asia and United States, and saw them grapple with the twin themes of medicine and technology – how each field impacts the other and, more importantly, how this will shape humankind in the years ahead.

The YLD was held in conjunction with the 3rd annual Ecosperity Conference, also funded by Temasek, which had “Sustainable Living, Sustaining Lives” as its theme and explored the innovations that exist to provide a better quality of life, through science, technology and the improved application of big data. The YLD aimed to provide a platform for the young leaders of tomorrow to connect with industry experts and discuss and discover the latest issues and solutions concerning sustainable living.

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About one of the YLD participants and his virtual reality pet project

Meet Aishwarya Prabhat, an Information Systems Technology and Design (Computer Engineering) major at Singapore University of Technology & Design and one of the participants of the YLD. This 19-year-old has a bold plan to ‘disrupt’ classroom learning – through the boundless possibilities virtual reality technology presents.

About STEP

STEP is part of Temasek Foundation International, a non-profit philanthropic organisation funded by Temasek Trust, which aims to develop capabilities with programme partners in Asia and beyond. Now in its 19th year, STEP has been focused on building bridges among youth in Asia with the mission of “Engaging Youth Beyond Borders.”

STEP organises youth programmes and events that focus on social and cultural activities, leadership, innovation, life sciences and the environment. The YLD organised by STEP will be an annual event and interested participants may email for more information.

Did you know…

The name “Ecosperity” combines the words “ecology” with “prosperity” – embodying the belief that growth can take place in a sustainable and successful manner without harming the environment.