Lancaster students travel to Singapore to take part in global sustainability debate

Ten students from Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) have just returned from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) annual meeting in Singapore, where they participated in a global debate about sustainability in business

They joined 500 delegates, 65 CEOs from companies across the world and 90 senior executives from various industries who came together to talk about key sustainability issues affecting the world today.

The ten were chosen from over 1000 LUMS students who prepared a 7-minute video offering their thoughts about sustainability, knowledge of the WBCSD and experience in a bid to secure their place on the trip.

During the three-day council meeting which focused on leading, transforming and succeeding in business and sustainable development, the students were event hosts and ambassadors, helping to ensure the smooth running of proceedings. They also got to attend the discussions, hearing from a number of prominent speakers which helped to bring the theory they've been studying in lectures, to life. 

WBCSD is a global, CEO-led organisation which comprises of more than 200 leading businesses who work together to accelerate the move to a more sustainable world. Its annual conference brings together hundreds of executives and senior managers from the likes of Santander, Olam, Unilever, Microsoft and Apple who share important insight into innovative ways to tackle the challenges linked to sustainability in business.

Dr Alison Stowell from Lancaster University Management School helped arrange the student trip. She said: “These students have already done incredible things, but this trip - which is a key part of a module unique to LUMS - gives them  the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, all striving to make the world a better place.

"Attending such a prestigious event gives the students the chance to hear and meet leaders from all over the world, and showcased another country's response to sustainability. It seems to have had a transformative effect on our students - they now feel part of a wider community striving to make change.  I felt extremely proud and privileged to work alongside them. The energy and professionalism they brought to the event was incredible."

The student group also made the most of their time in Singapore with a number of cultural activities, including exploring the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay, the vibrant Little India markets and a walk amongst the trees at The South Ridges. 

Arienne Maravilla was one of the student group. She said: "People say if you really want to get to know someone, you should go travelling together. After a total of over 24 hours of travelling, 1 week in Singapore and 3 intensive days at the WBCSD Council Meeting, 10 strangers left as 10 friends and advocates for the Green Movement in business practices. It's hard to quantify how valuable, unreal and enriching our Singapore experience was."

“The field trip to Singapore and the entire 'Management and Sustainability - World Business Council for Sustainable Development's Student Bootcamp'  module this trip is attached to, has been one of the most inspiring and motivating experiences I have had as a part of my degree. I have learnt so much about the world around me, environmentally and commercially," Ishani Dutta, another student attendee added.

Fellow student, Kim Widmann, said: “Being provided with the opportunity of listening to inspiring sessions on the most urgent environmental issues that need to be addressed at our young age, has been an incredible experience and a huge privilege. It inspired all of us to start making the changes that are necessary and to one day hopefully implement them in our own workplaces."

The full undergraduate student group comprised of Arienne Maravilla,  Rebecca Pipes and Anastazja Klimczyk who are studying BSc Marketing Management; Danyaal Sabir who is studying for a BSc in Business Management, and Leonie Friedrich, Kim Widmann and Franziska Nguyen who are each studying for a BBA in International Business Management. Alex Macmillen (Accounting and Finance) also attended with Michael Gilmore (Business Studies) and Ishani Dutta who is studying for a BSc in Marketing with Study Abroad.


The students wrote blogs where they share interesting background information about themselves, their time in Singapore and their insights from the conference. You can read them here.