The 8th edition of the CDL E-Generation Challenge 2017, in partnership with GGEF, is a youth-centric competition targeted at encouraging and empowering youths to come up with urgent solutions against climate change. Started in 2010, the Challenge initially provided an avenue for youths to learn about eco tips through games in an Amazing Race format. It was revamped in 2017 to put the spotlight on passionate environmental youth advocates.
Participants were first invited to write a 3,000 word essay with their proposed solutions for climate change. Ten finalists with an impressive track record and proposed solution were then shortlisted and required to run a social media campaign to create awareness and garner support from the public, and present their ideas to a prestigious judging panel which consisted of industry experts in sustainability and conservation.
The closely contested finals eventually saw an outstanding winner being selected to join renowned environmentalist and polar explorer O.B.E. Robert Swan for a two-week expedition to Antarctica in March 2018. O.B.E. Robert Swan, a champion for youth empowerment in environmental advocacy, is also the first man to walk both the North and South Poles. Ms Jessica Cheam, founder and Managing Editor of Eco-Business, and a well-established environmental journalist and advocate with extensive outreach to businesses and the public at large was announced as the unanimous winner.
Due to the high calibre of finalists, the judges also gave a Distinction Award to Ms Inch Chua, a talented local singer-songwriter with a significant following in the arts communities and on social media. The award, co-sponsored by CDL and OCBC Bank, will fund approximately half her expedition cost.
The award is timely as Singapore gears up for 2018, designated as the Year of Climate Action. Both winners will be a formidable force to expand awareness and rally actions to combat climate change through their sphere of influence.