Singapore Management University Student Challenge: Tackling Greenwashing And Becoming Conscious Consumers

Millions of people travel to Bali every year and enjoy the island’s iconic beachers, landscapes, and landmarks. But very few know of the growing problems that are arising. How might 23 students from Singapore take on this challenge?

 

We partnered with the Singapore Management University (SMU) and Five Pillars Experiences to deliver an 11-day program that examined the sustainable tourism practices in Bali. This program was part of the students’ “Overseas Project Experience” where they needed to question the authenticity of the messages tourists receive, and reflect on their own habits as consumers for the tourism industry. 

To kick-off the project, Tomo posed the question 

“How may Mana Earthly Paradise, as a sustainable tourism operator in Bali, better communicate the ethos and impacts of sustainable travel to the next generation of tourists from Asia?”

And their challenge was to find the answer to the question above and present their findings based on what they learn through their 11-day stay in Bali. Working in their own groups, the students were assigned to specific SDG as their guiding compass.

The students from SMU worked closely with our partner organization Five Pillars Experiences, who took them on a journey to learn more about the Balinese culture, and visited other sustainable tourism changemakers on the island. Together with Earth Company’s team members; Tya (Program Manager), Adi (Mana PR), and DeAndre (Communications), the students’ learned more about what Earth Company and Mana are already doing to “walk the talk” surrounding sustainability.

On their last day, the 5 groups of students each presented their answers to the question based on the following 6 UN SDGs:

  • SDG 1: No Poverty
  • SDG 5: Gender Equality
  • SDG 8: Decent Work 
  • SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 14 & 15: Life below Water & on Land

The Earth Company team were very much impressed by their presentations. Their ideas brought fresh perspectives and opened new potential ventures for both Earth Company and Mana Earthly Paradise to explore as mission-driven organizations. As a reminder Tomo added to the students that as future potential entrepreneurs/business-people “Think about the ‘why’ of businesses. How might one business create a rippling effect that can shake up the industry and potentially the world? And think, is this world better off because your business is in it?”

Overall, the program was perceived very well by both students and faculty. 

Jack Ho, a faculty member of SMU commented  “The experience gave us all front row seats to some of the more potent competing forces in the sustainable tourism discourse… we were pushed out of our comfort zones, and I’m incredibly grateful to have been a part of the experience. Thank you.” We certainly hope that this will be a valuable experience as well for the students to witness the challenges of establishing a sustainable option in the, already oversaturated, tourism industry of Bali.

Impact Academy is designed to nurture the next generation of future leaders.

 

Are you interested in creating a tailor-made program for your students, company, or group to explore Bali’s social innovation scene, while enjoying its lush natural beauty? Then we encourage you to create your own Impact Academy with Earth Company! 

For more information or to customize your own program, send us an email at [email protected]