Eight LUMS students attended the 2015 Annual Meeting for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in Paris.
The students worked as session hosts and note takers, as well as being given permission to attend some of the gatherings. Over 800 delegates were present and our students listened to keynote speeches from former US Vice President Al Gore and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and rubbed shoulders with around 100 CEOs from leading global companies such as Unilever, BT, Siemens, Toyota and PriceWaterhouseCooper.
Victoria Wood (BA Law) explained: “The calibre of people we have been surrounded with is just amazing. Though for me it isn’t about who they are and that they may be an important CEO. For me it is all about what they do, what they use their position for and what they are implementing in their company to move towards a low-carbon future.”
Xiaoyu Chen (BA Organisation and Management HRM) said: ‘This experience means I can connect my knowledge with practice, listening to different international ideas and cultures and collect first-hand information from CEOs of big companies.”
“Being able to hear industry leaders discuss real action and engage in sustainable practices, and the most effective way to implement them, has been an immensely valuable experience. I believe I speak on behalf of all the students when saying that we feel as inspired as ever to make a change in the business world,” said Celia Iordache (European BBA Management).
In addition to the hearing and networking with industry leaders, the undergraduates formed connections with students from the Rotterdam School of Management, Hogeschool Zeeland University and Yale. The students that attended the five-day event were Xiaoyu Chen, Jan-Oliver Distler, Alexia Petricu, Celia Iordache, Miriam Luft, Ferdinand Weiler, Veronika Wiesner and Victoria Wood.
They had won a competition attached to the LUMS Department of Organisation, Work and Technology course: ‘Management and the Natural Environment’ which is convened by Dr Alison Stowell. Dr Stowell and Joe Bourne from the Lancaster University Students Union organised the experience and accompanied the students.
The funds were raised from a crowdsourcing campaign, staff, alumni, friends of the University, the LUMS Alumni team, LUMS, the Department of Organisation Work and Technology, the Lancaster University Student Union, the Centre for the Study of Technology and Organisation, the LUMS Career and Employability Team.
They all contributed to a blog about their experiences.