GSB Delegation Takes Part in the Annual International Sustainability Week at the University of Antwerp
The interactive online programme "International Week: Challenges for Business", or Sustainability Week at the University of Antwerp, has been held since 2014 and aims to raise participants' awareness of global sustainability issues, the transition to a circular economy and the introduction of ethics in business. This year, 160 students from 25 countries on 4 continents participated in the programme. This year's programme partners were 8 leading universities around the world, including The Higher School of Economics.
For the first time, a delegation of 10 students from HSE took part in the conference. The students were divided into groups with participants from different countries, where they were able to gain experience of working in international teams. The conference participants prepared and defended projects on sustainable development, highlighting environmental issues, green economy and the world's best practices in this field.
Visiting professors from Belgium, Hungary, Brazil, USA, South Africa and Russia together with flagship business and NGOs from BASF, WWF, BNP Paribas, Lidl, Umicore and others shared conceptual models, best practices, cases and business models for bringing sustainability and circular economy principles to life with the students. The practice-oriented approach, cross-cultural teams, emphasis on the latest scientific developments and the aesthetics of the final student group projects made the programme rewarding for all participants.
Ekaterina Ivanova, Associate Professor of Department of Strategic and International Management, shared her impressions of the event:
I-Week on sustainability at the University of Antwerp is a project that we started last summer and we can now see the payoffs. It was an amazing event in terms of energy, content and degree of intensity for all participants. Leading professors, practitioners and students from all continents came together. I had the chance to speak at the plenary part of I-Week, where I inspired students to be creative and shared tips on how to make the final posters more creative, compelling and responsive to the challenges of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. And in the workshops, I shared with students the theory and practice of shaping a sustainable worldview at an individual level. I very much liked the well-coordinated teamwork of all the I-Week organizers, the international nature of the event and its applied significance for each participant. I sincerely hope that in 2021, the ninth year of I-Week, the GSB delegation will be able to visit Antwerp in person.
Ilya Salabay, a third-year student of ‘Logistics and Supply Chain Management’ Bachelor’s programme, spoke about the conference:
The daily intensive pitch of radically new approaches and concepts from leading experts and business representatives is insanely inspiring and motivating. I liked the concept of the week as a big complete picture, where every day is a piece of the puzzle, its component. On the last day of the conference, we were able to see its central idea that sustainable development is the only possible development.
I-week is a place where in a few days you get contacts from all over the world and a sense of involvement in the global environment.