HOW CAN WE ENABLE THE INFLUENCERS TO ADDRESS CHINA’S ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES?
Towards this end, we started the Lien Challenge (*连“环”挑战奖) as a competition which is integrated into two of NTU's Masters’ programmes (also known as the Mayors’ Class as students are mainly senior Chinese officials).
The Challenge harnessed the political clout and will of the students by offering a practice-based learning platform for them to identify and implement real-world projects that will significantly impact rural communities in China. It also gave them an opportunity to be water advocates, and help the poor and rural communities by improving the quality of life through these projects.
The competition provided students the opportunity to turn their ideas into environmental solutions.
MOVING FORWARD, HOW WOULD THE CHALLENGE CONTINUE TO BE IMPACTFUL?
Originally conceived as a three-year programme, we have since endowed this as a permanent programme and renamed as the Lien Challenge for Sustainable Society. Retaining the vibrant competition format, the new programme will be more policy paper-based, with a focus on getting participants to exchange ideas and share best practices.