Week 2 – Greening Sustainable Communities

Plenty of activities and events happened in the second week of the programme! Besides settling down in the City of Rochester, Minnesota, two of the significant moments included sharing about what I did with university students, as well as attending a regional sustainable conference.

While it was not the first time that I had to share what I do, this was one presentation that I had to go back to basics in explaining where my country of Singapore was located.

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Part of the campus occupied the top level of a shopping mall which was refurbished from the cinemas.

Taking the time to set the context was not just humorous (yes, it’s true that Singapore banned chewing gum!), but it also reminded me the difference perspectives that I had to do for outreach. It would be laughable to say that our target audience can easily understand what we do, unless we make it easy for them to understand and respond.

Attending the sustainability conference in the city of Dubuque was an eye-opener in terms of the content and sharing of experiences by various stakeholders in the region. It got me to think that our problems faced in Singapore were not unique, but really are just similar problems in another context. What this also means is if we can share our ideas, we could also find solutions that could solve problems in different cities.

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Acknowledgement was done at the beginning of the conference, and was attended by everyone at the event.

What I found memorable for the conference was not just the content, but also how the conference took the effort to acknowledge the ancestral land occupied by the indigenous people. This may be a small gesture, but it amplified what the conference was able in respecting not just the environment, but the people behind the environment. And that’s was in itself an extremely humbling reminder and experience for me.

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