IMPACT 0527: BUILDING A MARKETPLACE FOR SUSTAINABLE ACTIONS
Youth Action Challenge (YAC) is a platform for youth to provide solutions that tackle the issues we are concerned about. Since October 2021, over 80 teams and more than 310 youths have undertaken the YAC Season 3 journey.
Jason, 28, is currently a Client Partner with Unity Technologies — helping schools, developers and NGOs learn more about 3D technology. Through YAC, he started ecocentive alongside two of his friends to try to support individuals and corporations in being more sustainable beyond just lip service or virtue-signaling. Today he shares more about the project!
Could you share more on how your project has a positive impact?
We’re building a marketplace for sustainable actions between corporations and individuals. While there are companies who engage in various environmental activities/events and applications for individuals to track their carbon impact, we find that these current activities are often inaccurate or unable to be verified in terms of their actual carbon impact.
By building our system to measure and validate eco-actions from individuals, we’re allowing corporations to support ground-up change in the environment that they can trust in terms of the positive eco-impact.
What was your role within your YAC project?
Together with my partners, I was responsible for developing and refining our product concept. From running it through potential users to refining our business model to be more sustainable, I handled more of the business and outreach side of things. Then again, in projects that are in such an early stage, you really do a bit of everything (besides coding, I’ll leave that to my technical experts!).
What motivated you to join YAC?
The wish to create value for myself and society beyond just my day-job. For myself, I got to do something different, interesting, and challenging, as well as learn new skills and meet new people who come from all walks of life and experiences. On the other hand, I also appreciated that I’d get to help our community in however small a way.
Can you share with us your experience with your YAC project?
It was honestly quite empowering to be building something that would hopefully engender genuine positive social change. It was working with more meaning than what my day-job provided. Working with people in my team and with my mentors was also a great learning experience, as I was required to develop aspects of our project that were not in my expertise or relevant to my prior study.
What are some challenges you faced while working on your YAC project?
The main challenge was definitely time-management and boundaries. Juggling a full-time job while also devoting the time to working on my YAC project, ecocentive, puts a strain on my physical and mental health and my interpersonal relationships. Honestly, it was quite arduous. When it got hectic, the team barely had any time to themselves, and it might continue this way when we ramp up our efforts in the next few months.
Were there any key takeaways or learning points from your time with YAC?
That people are genuinely the most important aspect of running any business or project. More specifically, it is their expertise, connections, and most importantly, their willingness to help and support ESG causes at the cost of their time with no benefit to themselves that make a difference.
This article was published on Apr 20, 2022