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Community building to enable individuals to solve complex environmental and social problems of today

Chili Padi Academy

location_on Singapore
Increasingly, there is an urgent need to build transboundary collaboration to solve complex environmental and social challenges. Chili Padi Academy aims to facilitate via an environmental leadership and accelerator programme to senior high school students in Southeast Asia to nurture a community of environmental leaders invested in the healthy development of the region and collaboration.
CPA pushed me to think and consider perspectives in ways I hadn't before. The supportive environment catalysed my change-making journey, to face challenges head-on and to grow from them.

Nafla Binte Mohamed Yousuf, 22, former participant, current organiser.


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Anyone can submit their innovation to HundrED Open. All information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been checked by HundrED. Innovation page has been created by PRAGASHINI KARUNAKARAN on May 30th, 2021
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Innovation Overview

Target Group
Updated on June 17th, 2021
about the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

The current approach to the climate crisis is one that is focused strongly on coming up with “solutions”– neglecting the social and emotional aspect of change, such as changing people and the way that we relate to each other. This focus on building up a collective capacity for mutual care and support, which enables individuals to make meaningful change, is presently lacking in the conversation.

How does your innovation work in practice?

We use the head-heart-hand methodology, via a month-long accelerator where participants acquire practical skills like theories and critical thinking (head). We emphasise the need to pair knowledge with Social Emotional Learning (heart), which is worked into every part of the process. This manifests in our uniquely curated curriculum where we facilitate challenging conversations relating to personal identity, environmental justice and privilege. We intentionally hold space for vulnerability, which enables participants to build relationships with each other and come to a deeper ontological understanding. Finally, this culminates in an action-oriented approach (hand) as participants have to kickstart an environmental project in their communities. That we continue to exist as a completely voluntary project while continually improving ourselves is a good indication of CPA’s efficacy. Some projects continue post-CPA, and former participants regularly return as organisers.

How has it been spreading?

CPA as a Southeast-Asia focused community evolved from initially 3 to now 4 countries. Over 5 cycles, we have reached out to more than 85 youths, with around 10-16 senior high school participants and 7-12 youth organisers each cycle. Although our numbers remain modest, we strongly believe in the intimacy of a small community. Additionally, we believe our impact trickles outwards-participants educate their local communities on environmental issues, and many former participants and organisers go on to continue working on environmental and social issues even after CPA. Our goals for the next 2-3 years is to improve our organisational structure and plan for longer-term sustainability. We will continually improve on the accelerator programme, and consider adding more SEA countries to the mix.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

We strongly urge you to target a diverse group of people, in our case, youths from across the SEA region. Center the complex intersectional nature of national, ethnic, religious and personal identities to build empathy and collaboration. Adapt the knowledge portion (head) to your specific context. Complement it with the SEL approach (heart) and move them into action (hand).


Achievements & Awards

May 2021
Innovation page created on

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