During the conference, our team was shortlisted as one of the 8 finalists teams that would have to make a 8-min presentation on the second day of the conference. Thus, after the first day of the conference, we worked hard to prepare for our presentation. I was one of 3 presenters during the second day of the conference. This experience of presenting and fielding questions from experts in public policy was an eye-opening experience. I learnt to think on my feet and be confident in public speaking.
Further, attending this conference has been very useful in preparing me for my work and research in the future as I have a keen interest in sustainable city planning. Working closely with our mentors from UTokyo has allowed me to learn about what works and what doesn’t work in the policymaking, especially with regards waste management, which was the focus of our project. Working on the GPPN conference poster and presentation has allowed me to better understand the limitations of policymaking, which will serve me well upon graduation, as I will be serving in the Singapore Public Service upon graduation.
This experience has also allowed me to learn how to communicate better in a team setting and also allowed for me to learn from my peers as well. It has been a wonderful learning experience, especially since we could learn from presenters from other institutions as well. While our project was about SDG 11, listening to other projects allowed me to gain more knowledge on other SDGs I could work on and I am inspired to take action to come up with a community project to achieve the sustainable development goals. I also intend to do further research into sustainable development during my M2 year by writing a thesis on this. Thus, attending this conference has truly been an important learning experience that I am grateful to have taken part in.