First fully virtual 3-day summit held on shaping a more sustainable future

The summit, which is into its 12th edition, featured a series of panel discussions and virtual site visits. PHOTO: GLOBAL COMPACT NETWORK SINGAPORE/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Over 1,000 delegates from all around the world participated in an unprecedented, fully virtual three-day summit organised by Global Compact Network Singapore (GCNS) from Tuesday to Thursday (Oct 13 to 15).

The summit, which is into its 12th edition, featured a series of panel discussions and virtual site visits led by leaders in the fields of corporate sustainability. An average of 575 viewers globally tuned in daily for the live sessions.

The purpose of this annual summit is to facilitate conversations on the United Nations' 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For the first time, GCNS also organised a youth track at the summit to engage young people aged between 18 and 35. The young men and women discussed food sustainability issues, such as food security and the circular economy. Nearly 500 participated in the youth track, approximately half of whom hailed from Singapore.

Delivering the opening keynote address on Tuesday, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee spoke about how the Covid-19 pandemic has led to significant global shifts, pushing everyone to re-examine how they work and live.

He also highlighted how Singapore set up the Emerging Stronger Taskforce in May under the Future Economy Council to examine how the nation can stay economically resilient and seize growth opportunities arising from the crisis.

People from all walks of life were also encouraged to share their ideas and aspirations for Singapore through the newly launched Emerging Stronger Conversations initiative, Mr Lee said.

"A common theme that has emerged quite strongly across all these (Emerging Stronger) conversations is sustainability. Many participants pointed out the need to redefine measures of success beyond economic growth," he said.

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu also spoke on Thursday, the final day of the summit, sharing how young people can be powerful agents of change.

She reiterated the Government's commitment to a low carbon and climate resilient future, touching on how the Government is putting in place energy efficiency schemes to help companies become more energy and carbon efficient.

Ms Fu also announced the winners of the City Developments Limited (CDL)-GCNS Young SDG Leaders Awards. In its 10th year, this annual case competition offers young people a platform to champion sustainable development and SDG integration into business.

The competition saw participants submitting business case proposals, with selected finalists participating in practical work attachments and mentorships.

Of the 64 teams that applied this year, a team comprising students from the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Management University and London School of Economics emerged victorious.

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