Class of 2020
His Vision: To design a more sustainable and inspiring world through architecture.
When Harry first enrolled in high school at Green School, he didn’t know that saying “yes” would take him on a journey that involved learning in its nature-immersed classrooms to presenting at the International Monetary Fund’s annual conference in Europe, to carrying bamboo across the campus for building a roof, and today, to living in the United Kingdom, studying architecture and environmental engineering at the University of West England. How he got there was a pathway all his own, unique to his interests and passions, as is the case with all our high school students. What he knew – with the encouragement of his teachers – was to nurture his passions and curiosity and allow this to guide his learning journey.
“At Green School, I learned to say yes to every opportunity that came my way, because those are the opportunities that show you what lights you up, and it’s that light that continues to light my own personal path to the future,” Harry reflects. “I think if I hadn’t attended Green School Bali I would have been very set on a well-trod path to the future – go to University, get a Bachelor’s degree, then a Master’s, and then work for the rest of my life. Green School definitely opened a wider range of opportunities for me in terms of potential careers. I always knew I wanted to go to University, but now I’m considering opportunities I wouldn’t have seen before, and understanding how the best opportunities are those that feel meaningful to me.”
Harry and his fellow students work on building the roof of the OROS dome, made from sustainable materials including bamboo
One of these opportunities included joining the student team at Operation Rain or Shine, or OROS, halfway through his freshman year in high school. Like its name implies OROS is a project to provide renewable energy for the school in both the rainy and sunny seasons in Bali, using a combination of hydro power and solar power. During his time with OROS, Harry learned all about renewable energy, the energy grid, how different energy systems can work together, and how to design and construct buildings that support these systems – all while growing close friendships with the other students involved.
“We built the OROS dome on the Green School campus – also known as “The Igloo” – and almost every single student and teacher on campus played a role in its construction. Whether it was ferrying wheel barrows across the field or filling rice bags with dirt. By the time it was built, the field was destroyed! But this became a whole school project, one that most students will remember for a long time to come.”
Being a part of the construction had a massive effect on Harry. The project encompassed everything from earthbag construction to designing and building the bamboo roof. By Grade 10, Harry had gained fundamental construction and design skills as well as a basic knowledge of electricity and renewable energy.
That same year, Harry and his fellow students traveled to Abu Dhabi to represent Green School at the Zayed Sustainability Prize, interacting with other schools and sustainable companies that were taking place in Abu Dhabi for Sustainability Week that year. The experience showed him how powerful even young students can be when it comes to enacting change.
A year later, in grade 11, Harry again said “yes” to representing Green School on an international stage, this time at the Annual International Monetary Fund (IMF) Conference. While there, he was offered an internship at a bank in Amsterdam. He said yes again, and spent a month interning there. But he quickly realized that banking and finance wasn’t where he wanted to be. When he got back to Bali, he was even more clear that architecture and design was what he wanted to do.
“The main reason I wanted to become an architect was to make the world a more sustainable place, to put it simply. Architecture is one of those art forms that – unlike a painting that sits in a museum – is out in the real world for maybe hundreds of years, interacting with and inspiring people across generations. I’d love to design carbon-neutral buildings or buildings that have a positive impact on our environment.”
Harry explained Green School’s own award-winning architecture played into his decision. “Walking around campus, you’re constantly being inspired by all the unique buildings and the innovative, bamboo design.”
The Arc, Green School’s space that supports wellbeing, sport, the arts, community gatherings, and more
Now at University, Harry appreciates how saying yes to so many amazing opportunities at school helped to nurture his confidence when it comes to having more mature and meaningful conversations with peers. “Green School does a really good job educating students about things that should really be common topics among students the world over – things like women’s equality, periods, mental health, mindfulness and wellbeing – I think having a basic knowledge on all of these topics has made me more empathetic, given me a better understanding of the world around me, and allowed me to more easily find people at University who share similar values and worldviews.”
A bright, curious and values-driven young person, Harry represents everything we hope for in our change makers. We have no doubt that he will play an active role in helping to design and construct for a more sustainable world.
“Climate action does not need to start big, anyone can start their own initiative or project that can have a positive impact on the world. The small act of me joining a Green Building class so many years ago has since given my voice and my message the opportunity to be heard by thousands of people around the world. So remember – one small action really can make all the difference. Thank you.”
Harry co-presents a project to the Green Project Hub Team to get funding from the school “bank”