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Daniel Chen is curious about the world and is set to explore all its whys. He sees climate change as the crisis of our time and economics as an essential tool to solve it. To further his impact in this area, he has been nominated to join the global leadership team of Future of Sustainability, an international youth think tank empowered by the Unlock the Future campaign of the UN Foundation. He is a Youth Delegate at COP28 in Dubai, invited by UNFCCC and Learning Planet.

The Story

Daniel grew up in a family of engineers, yet his childhood resembled more to that of an artist. On an eventless evening of the four-year-old Daniel, he heard a faint melody from his neighbour, who happened to be a Chinese zither instructor, then proceeded to check it out, thus starting Daniel’s lifelong companionship with music. There were many challenges along the way–the hours of practice, the naturally weak and awkward fingers of a four-year-old, or the complexities of the music too overwhelming for the four-year-old brain–yet Daniel persevered somehow, eventually competing and performing internationally at a semi-professional level. This experience has ingrained in Daniel the skill of endurance and persistence and taught him that hard work will be rewarded eventually. 


Inheriting an analytical mind from his parents, Daniel feels at ease with analyzing different factors and tradeoffs in society to achieve maximization, a concept at the core of economics that seemed to help him succeed in school. He achieved a Silver and a Gold medal at the International Economic Olympiad and is currently working on an economics paper. 


Daniel is passionate about the environment and is determined to create change. That is why he started the Human and Nature Youth Club, a youth-oriented educational/promotional organization that hosts lessons and summer camps for nature-minded students. He also took part as the initiator, co-leader, and speaker in the Canadian Local Conference of Youth 2022 and 2023, which had over 400 participants from across Canada. Through this experience, Daniel realized that inspiring the younger generation to become environmentally conscious is not only fulfilling but also crucial for the future of our planet. Daniel is more motivated than ever to continue his mission of advocating for a healthier, more eco-conscious planet.


He is also the chairman of Canada Youth Music, a youth volunteering organization that performs regularly at senior homes. With over 100 volunteering hours and 30 active members, Daniel finds serving the elders in his community as well as leading rehearsals a meaningful activity that fulfills both his passion for music and his commitment to serving the elderly.


Daniel plans to major in environmental economics at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduation, he would like to work in a field that allows him to create a sustainable world.

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