Kimsor Oeng

After Kimsor finished his undergraduate degree, he never thought he would go back to school. But after eight years in the professional world, he came across the area of food sustainability - which made him join the Master’s of Science in Sustainable Development at University College Cork. 

Although initially unfamiliar with STAND, when researching about the organisation’s programmes, Kimsor decided to apply to the STAND Changemakers Academy. The design thinking component piqued Kimsor’s interest, particularly given his background in public service and early efforts to integrate such methodologies into public sector provisions: "My two biggest motivations when applying were to learn about design thinking and to build a network because, being eight years into sustainability work, you realise how important it is to have a network of like-minded people to lean on and to bounce ideas off of."

Surprised by the STAND Changemakers Academy’s newness and its inviting, fluid structure, Kimsor found the experience to be both enlightening and humbling. He appreciated the opportunity to shape the programme and the encouragement to contribute his perspectives. Kimsor noted the diverse backgrounds of his peers, which included professionals from architecture, health, law, and other fields. Their interactions shone a light on the need to make changemaking both engaging and enjoyable: "For our project, we wanted to shift things emotionally because when it comes to climate action, there's a negative connotation to it. We wanted to bring a message of inspiration and empowerment."

Kimsor expressed a strong commitment to staying involved with STAND, appreciating the organisation’s responsive and participant-driven nature. "The STAND Changemakers Academy puts design thinking into practice. The organisation is listening to the participants of the programme and involving people with the process. It's quite enlightening."

Kimsor's journey with STAND was marked by profound learning, personal growth, and a renewed commitment to sustainable development. His experience highlighted the power of design thinking, the importance of cooperation, and the value of grounding changemaking efforts in local contexts. Through his ongoing involvement, he hopes to continue contributing to STAND’s mission, fostering meaningful connections and impactful actions within his community.