Iffany Zou Impact Story (China)

“The most important part of creating this project was how my own awareness grew and how my own actions changed.“

— Iffany Zou, SIMA Academy Student Award Winner, 2020

Iffany Zou is a high school student at Concordia International School Shanghai in Shanghai, China. Inspired by the film A Thousand Suns, Iffany created a podcast about food waste that won her the Student SIMA Award, which celebrates the impact storytellers of the future by awarding students who have utilized SIMA’s social impact films as a springboard for their own creative impact projects.

A Thousand Suns tells the story of the Gamo Highlands of the African Rift Valley and the unique worldview held by the people of the region. The film explores the modern world’s untenable sense of separation from and superiority over nature and how the interconnected worldview of the Gamo people is fundamental in achieving long-term sustainability, both in the region and beyond. Through the film, Iffany connected with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Number 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.

Please tell us what you learned in the process of creating your project?

Through creating this project, I realized my passion for food sustainability and discovering and implementing sustainable solutions in general. It led me to starting a food waste initiative at my school with my classmates and changed me every day thinking about my consumption habits. The best part about creating this project was talking to really interesting people in the food industry. It also connected me with friends and teachers passionate about the same thing. By far though, the most important part of creating this project was how my own awareness grew and how my own actions changed. Some challenges would be editing the podcast. Since I was new at making podcasts and editing, it definitely took me longer than it should have, but it was a learning process that I learnt a lot from!

What did you learn from the film(s)? Did your perspective about the issue change or did you discover something new?

I learnt that there are a lot of amazing people spreading awareness and taking action which was truly inspiring to see. It showed me the art of filmmaking and helped me discover these captivating stories that evoked my empathy in such real ways.

Tell us about one thing you will do differently in the future after learning about this social issue and creating your own project about it.

One thing I will do differently is have a new outlook on the things I have and things others do not have. After learning about this social issue, I have not only become more mindful and grateful, but also I have realized my privilege and apathy. I am more aware of the things I consume and the things I waste.