At the Final Frontier

Hello everybody!

My name is Nam, I am a final year Marketing and Management student at Lancaster University. This is my introductory blog and will be the first of a series to come.

During my 4 years, I have had the chance to study abroad in the United States as well as complete a placement year with the NHS. Aside from that, I also received fantastic opportunities to witness global issues first hand through travelling with the University, notably the first LUMS trip ever to Boston and New York and a LUSU extensive programme in India. This time around I will be a student in a team of 10 delegates going to the prestigious 2018 WBCSD Montreux Liaison Meeting in Switzerland during April 2018. Needless to say, this will be an amazing insight into how organisations from all over the planet are striving to develop more sustainable solutions in the business world.

Growing up in Vietnam, a developing country in South East Asia, as well as having lived in different parts of the world, I developed a strong interest in sustainability development. In 2016, I visited the Kennedy Space Center in Texas and had the privilege to meet a NASA astronaut. Something that will forever have stay with me is what he said about his first experience observing Earth. Before the launch, it had been his solemn belief that space is the final frontier of mankind. But once he was out there, looking at the blue gem we call home with his eyes, an epiphany washed over him like an invisible solar wind: After so many heroic and desperate quests to find our role in the galaxy, perhaps we have not yet understood our role on our own planet.

I believe that sustainability will be mankind’s ultimate struggle, but also have hopes that positive changes are coming, albeit incrementally, throughout the world. During my travels I have had many chances to witness the issues that each place is facing and how businesses and nations are innovatively combating them.

For example, in developing countries in East Asia, start-ups are focusing on clean water and electricity issues harnessing recycling. Developed nations of Europe and North America focus on renewables and electric vehicles. There were so many astonishing moments seeing the solutions that the world came up with, ranging from women in India using recyclables to make handbags, to the state-of-the-art Hydrothermal Power plant in Iceland and Tesla’s manufacturing in the United States.

The problems we are facing are integrating these changes into our daily lives and systems of thinking, as well as coordinating the driving forces of individuals and organisations globally.

With the establishment of the Paris Climate Accord and organisations such as the WBCSD, the 21st century witnessed, unprecedented in history, our first effort in coming together as a species in defence of Earth and the future generations. We must see to it that this will not be our last.

See you in Montreux!

Nam Le – March 2018

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