LDP Acts Locally, Inviting NTU Students to Plan the Future Yilan

By Lee Ssu-Han, LDP Cycle 4, junior, Dept. of Electrical Engineering

 The aim of LDP is to educate leaders who care about the society. LDP Cycle 4 students pioneered the co-operation between NTU students and government by organizing “The Yilan County Creativity and Entrepreneurship Concept Village Policy Research and Development Contest & Government Interactive Learning Project”, resulting proposals being officially approved, and thus activated the social serving will of NTU students.

On Sep. 21st, 2011, Yilan County Magistrate, Mr. Lin Tsung-Sian, held press conference on “The Launching Year: Creativity Industry by Young People”. He looked forward to “recruit talents,” “preserve talents,” “develop talents” and “employ talents” via the concept of “Creativity and Entrepreneurship Concept Village” as to revitalize businesses in Yilan. LDP students, who have always cared about social issues, had incidentally had the opportunity to co-operate with Yilan County Government in this sense.

The story began on Sep. 24th 2011 when the Leadership Boot Camp for the LDP Cycle 4 freshmen took place in Yilan. During the activity, the students felt the friendliness and energy of the local people and thus developed a sense of belonging towards Yilan; furthermore, the idea for the project began to emerge. Encouraged by LDP Director, Prof. Ko Chen-en, and senior student, Peng Ren-Hong (Cycle 1), Ye Jia-I and Jang Ji-kang (Cycle 4) contacted Yilan County Government, hoping to co-operate with the government to urge NTU students to do something outside the comfortable campus. “The Yilan County Creativity and Entrepreneurship Concept Village Policy Research and Development Contest & Government Interactive Learning Project” was hence initiated. The project focused on raising NTU students’ concerns on social issues and further proving them not a group of young people who cared about academic performance only but also about the society and making a difference.

As what was planned, “The Yilan County Creativity and Entrepreneurship Concept Village Policy Research and Development Contest & Government Interactive Learning Project” would teach the participants about the purposes of launching “Creativity and Entrepreneurship Concept Village” and therefore enable them to plan for the project. The competition lasted one and a half month. It included lectures on certain topics, workshops and a field trip, the participants hence came to understand Yilan and its business background. The activity coordinator Ye Jia-I (sophomore, Department of EE, Cycle 4) stated “We are not just hosting a competition. What really matters is that we and all the participants learn and grow because of it.”

On Dec. 17th, 2011, all the participants visited Yilan. The field trip included the planned sites for the “Creativity and Entrepreneurship Concept Village” and a tourist factory that had successfully transformed from the traditional industry. At every single stop, the participants all focused on the introduction and took notes every now and then, for fear of neglecting something important. After every introductory session, the participants still followed the expositor closely to ask about some anecdotes related to the local industry. As what Lee Su-Han (junior, Department of EE, Cycle 4) observed, “The participants exhibited their desire for knowledge. Even the chills of winter couldn’t lessen their passion for learning.”

On the night, the participants stayed at a local hostel, wishing to experience Yilan industry more in terms of its food and accommodation. That night, participants shared the reasons why they joined the competition. “I live in the suburb near Taichung City, where there was railroad nearby. My home was the biggest san-ho-yuan (a traditional house) in the neighborhood. However, due to a MRT construction plan, the government demanded the land of the whole village. From then on, I decided to involve myself as much as possible in every local policy. I wish to do something for the society,” firmly said Lin Yi-ting (senior, Department of BICD). Guo Jin (freshman, Department of Medicine) said, “I lived with my grandma in Kaohsiung while I was a kid. Recently, the government demanded my grandma’s house, too. That’s why I want to do something to care about the social policies.”

On the second afternoon, all the participants headed for the Yilan County Government to communicate their ideas about the“Creativity and Entrepreneurship Concept Village” to Mr. Lin Ming-Sian, the head of Industrial Development and Investment Promotion Committee of Yilan County. The communication went great. With the advice of Mr. Lin, the participants came to know more about the policy project. The field trip ended afterwards. On the way home, Lin I-Hsin (sophomore, Department of Geography) said what she felt, “I feel touched for the two days. Thank you all for showing so much passion for my hometown—Yilan. Thank you for loving this land.” Tsai Huei-yu (freshman, Department of LIS), also an Yilan resident, expressed, “I’m glad to know you all. Thanks to your devotion, I have learned so much from you.” As the two-day trip came to an end, the participants now have whole new feelings and thoughts toward Yilan and the background knowledge for the policy and competition.

In order to improve the participants’ performances in the final round, the hosts formulate a series of workshops. In one of them, they invited Professor Lin Yu-Jen (Graduate Institute of Building and Planning), who has long researched on Yilan. During the two-hour interactive lecture, the participants came to know more about the social customs, people and culture of Yilan. Besides, they invited LDP Cycle 3 students to provide one-on-one guidance on proposal writing. Furthermore, they invited Hsiao Fu-Yuan, a chief in Industrial Development and Investment Promotion Committee of Yilan County, to instruct the participants on their initial projects so that they could correct their mistakes and compose intact projects that would meet the needs of the government. After all the learning, the participants improved not only in proposing skills but also in communication and cooperation with others.

Time flies. On Jan 17th, 2012, all participants nervously headed to the Yilan County Government to give their final briefing. After one month of frequent discussions and corrections, the participants now had unique and thorough opinions on the “Creativity and Entrepreneurship Concept Village”.

Every participant was well-prepared, wishing to do his/her best. Sung Shen-Jun, Hsu Cheng-Hung, Liao Han-Siang and Guo Jin (Team B) chose to study and learn from Huashan 1914 Creative Park and proposed to focus on arts, literatures and transportation. Chen Da-Wei, Lin I-Ting, Gao Yu-Ting and Lin Sin-Yi (Team A) proposed to make Yilan the top city in terms of green energy. The Industrial Development and Investment Promotion Committee favored the proposal and even handed it to “The Estate Fund Project” of the Ministry of Economic Affairs after the competition for actual execution budget, wishing to help Yilan further.

Sieh Jen-Guang, Liu Yi-Jung, Chang Jing-Yu and Tsai Huei-Yu (Team C) proposed to adopt the young and lively image of flowers and butterflies for the project. The team speaker, Tsai Huei-Yu, brought life to her presentation by briefing vividly with excellent intonation and gestures. This quite reversed everybody’s impression on her, for she stayed mostly silent on the previous field trip. Even the judges admitted they were very much impressed with her performance.

 After one and a half hour, the three teams’ briefings ended. The judges were very glad that the participants had developed a sense of belongings toward Yilan and devoted themselves to the project. Lin Ming-Sian stated, “The project is all about creativity. We can really use your brain, and we need you to devote yourselves to the society and the domestic industry. Thank you NTU students for communicating your ideas with us. We have learned a lot from you, too.” Dean Ke Chen-En said approvingly, “The competition inspired me a lot. I would try to convince other professors to make this kind of social service a theme of LDP.”

Finally, Chen Sing, the Secretary Director of Yilan County Government, awarded the winner, and “The Yilan County Creativity and Entrepreneurship Concept Village Policy Research and Development Contest & Government Interactive Learning Project” perfectly ended.

On the way back to Taipei, Lin Sin-I said, “As a Yilan resident, I used to not dared watch the scenery outside the bus windows every time on my way home, because I knew from my heart that the beautiful scenery would change some day. And I didn’t want to face the changes. This time, I’m finally able to look outside the windows and find Yilan really beautiful. I thank the competition for I’ve realized that even though the environment would change sooner or later, those who love the land just like me would continue work and fight for it. Thank you for caring about Yilan so much.”

 “The Yilan County Creativity and Entrepreneurship Concept Village Policy Research and Development Contest & Government Interactive Learning Project” indeed ended with everybody moved. By cooperating with the government, NTU students proved themselves capable of cooperating with the society and gained approval from Yilan County Government. This cooperative relation is just a beginning. LDP will stick to the belief of local caring, providing more chances like this and make other students be able to align themselves with the society and surroundings.