This week we meet Udit Singhal, who is a first-year Management Science student at UCL, a United Nations Young Leader for the SDGs and the founder of Glass2Sand - an environment-friendly zero waste initiative.
What are you studying, why are you interested in this subject and what do you plan to do in the future?
I study Management Science at UCL, a rigorous course which combines core management studies, mathematics and economics with data analytics and artificial intelligence. I am getting exposure to a more holistic, data-driven management approach which I hope to channelise in driving sustainability effectively. I hope to gather the tools to amplify my work with sustainability to create a testament to youth action. Sustainability is not a lofty concept but is in fact equitable and can be embraced by anyone, in any industry, regardless of their age. We owe it to our successive generations.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve done, seen or got involved with while at UCL?
It is very encouraging to see that UCL, through Sustainable UCL and its own SDG team, is affording great attention to sustainability and that UCL students are taking initiative to facilitate active engagement on necessary, future relevant topics.
Have you discovered any hidden gems during your time at UCL?
In my short time at UCL, somewhat restricted due to the pandemic so far, the inclusive open-door policy where anyone can knock on any door at UCL (figuratively in this new digital world) - even the Provost’s - for any kind of support, is a hidden gem.
Give us your top three things to do/see/go to in London:
What’s one thing you’d like to see in a post-Covid world?
Greater innovation afforded by the increase in use of technology and active involvement by all levels of society in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by Jeff Bezos who, in being forward-looking and solution-oriented, was able to afford conveniency to shoppers worldwide. Amazon has been able to revolutionise the way shopping is done across the world - by anticipating and effectuating evolving customer expectations.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
While my generation influences; I effectuate. For me, it’s not just about optics and acoustics. I don’t want to be another nodding head in a numbered strike.
I founded Glass2Sand, an environment-friendly zero waste initiative that focused on ’no glass to landfills’ to address the growing menace of empty glass bottles by crushing them to valuable sand. Against all odds, I started when I was 16 years old, battling challenges to make this successful.
It was a great honour that my commitment was recognised by the United Nations when I was selected as one of only 17 ’Young Leaders for the SDGs’ from around the world in September 2020.
As a UN Young Leader for the SDG’s 2020, through my two-year honorary appointment, my aim and work is to galvanise youths towards the SDG’s by driving awareness, emphasising the need to act and facilitating engagement at a young age. And I am encouraging the community to embrace a better civic sense to create sustainable living spaces.
I have had the privilege to working closely with the UN Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth and several high-ranking UN teams. In a meeting with the UN Secretary General, H.E. Mr. Antonio Guterres, I discussed the opportunities to effectively drive achievement of the SDG’s.