About Us

Our Journey

iDiscover offers accessible and affordable digital mapping solutions. A passion project that started in our hometown Hong Kong in 2015. Now an independent charity that has mapped 80 neighbourhoods across Asia, collaborating with over 500 partners. Through our fun mapping & storytelling projects we give youth a voice, a renewed sense of community and a direct connection to placemakers, planners and explorers; the tools to gain agency in their own urban future. We offer two complimentary services: iDiscover App&Map – award-winning storywalk app – and iDiscover Academy – toolkits & educational collabs. We’re always on the lookout for new destinations and new partners. Want to work with us? Download key info here or get in touch! i- discover@urbandiscovery.asia

Meet the team

Ester foto

Ester van Steekelenburg

founder / director – passionate urban explorer

Ester moved from Amsterdam to Hong Kong just before “The Handover” in 1997… with little more than a backpack. She fell in love with the city’s energy and almost 20 years later, she still calls Hong Kong home; a base from where she works on cultural heritage projects throughout Asia. Her favourite cities include Hanoi, Istanbul and Yangon. In Hong Kong she’s happiest exploring the city’s busy backstreets or hiking in the country parks.


Favourite spot in Hong Kong: Sai Kung waterfront on a Sunday afternoon.


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Paul Schuttenbelt

co-founder  – fervent football player & traveller 

Paul has lived in Nairobi, Zanzibar, Accra, Hanoi, Delhi and New York. In many of these cities, he started youth football leagues introducing the sport to over 50,000 children in deprived neighbourhoods. He now lives in Bangkok, where he enjoys cycling through the backstreets and along the canals.


Favourite spot in Bangkok: on a boat in the klongs


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Sheren Ngan

community manager – iDiscover’s friendly face

Sheren loves to travel. Whether it is volunteering at a school in Cambodia, backpacking in South Africa or hopping on the Trans-Siberia express. Born and raised in Hong Kong she likes sharing the culture of her city with people she meets on the way.  Her multi language proficiency, versatility and organisational skills make her a great fit for the role of community manager.


Favourite spot in Hong Kong: any coffeeshop with a good street view

Board of Directors

Dr. Johnson Cheung

Johnson brings a wealth of on-the ground experience as a social worker in Hong Kong. For many years he was responsible for children and youth projects in deprived and transient communities. He worked for the Hong Kong Young Women’s Christian Association (HKYWCA) where he collaborated with different stakeholders, i.e., NGOs, district committees, government officials, pressure groups, residents, community organizations, and local SME’s. He now teaches at the Department of Social Work at The University of Hong Kong because he believes that it is important to pass on his practical and theoretical knowledge to a growing young generation who want to enter this industry. We’ve met Johnson at a UBS/CUHK NGO leadership trajectory in which our colleague Tiffany recently participated and he was one of the key advisors.

Yeone Fok-min

Ms. Yeone Fok

Yeone is an avid traveller and heritage lover. She has lived in the US, Asia, and Europe, and today calls Hong Kong home. After a career in investment banking at bulge bracket banks, Yeone founded SparkRaise.com, a crowdfunding platform for the socially conscious that helps social enterprises, startups and non-profits succeed. SparkRaise also proudly hosted iDiscover’s first and successful crowdfunding campaign, helping iDiscover launch the first co-created travel guide to be crowdfunded. In addition to exploring urban jungles, Yeone’s wanderlust has led her to trek in more remote locations, including small parts of the Himalayas and the Gobi and Sahara deserts.


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Prof. Johannes Widodo

Johannes originally from Indonesia, now a Singaporean- is a lecturer at the National University of Singapore where he teaches urban history of SE Asian cities, modern Asian architecture, and heritage conservation & management. He is a well-travelled and greatly respected academic and hands-on expert and tireless advocate for heritage conservation throughout Asia. He is a member of several international advisory bodies and industry associations in the field of heritage and has a very wide network of local heritage professionals and NGO’s. We have crossed paths many times and recently collaborated on a cultural mapping exercise for cultural heritage students at the Institute for Tourism Management in Macau.


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We love what we do and we’re delighted there is a community out there that values our work. We even managed to pick up some awards on the way. No matter how big or small, each of these marks another step in our journey. It means the world to us and the people we work with. Together we try to keep heritage alive for a better urban future. A big thank you for the recognition and making us feel humbled and honoured:


2021 . Global . Our World Heritage . winner . IT solutions for World Heritage Sites

2020 . Hong Kong . W3 Awards . silver award . best travel mobile sites & apps

2020 . Hong Kong . DFA Design For Asia Awards . bronze trophy . communication design & new media

2019 . Hong Kong . HKICT Awards . runner up . innovative smart tourism product

2018 . Myanmar . Responsible Tourism Award . runner up . best tourism innovation

2018 . Chiang Mai . Chiang Mai Design Award . winner . graphic design for social purpose

2017 . Hong Kong  . UBS/Chinese University NGO Leadership Programme . outstanding performance .

2016 . Hong Kong .  American Institute of Architects Award . winner . raise awareness for built environment

2016 . Hong Kong .  City Tech Award . winner. innovation of urban walking experience

2014 . Hong Kong . Cathay Pacific Shooting Star Award . winner .  successful, innovative, creative and sustainable entrepreneurship