It’s time for Chennai! – Day 5

30th September 2016: 9:45 fourteen Lancaster students are supposed to fly to India. Jay and Divesh are late, no one is surprised. Freddy is running to Barclays to make a note that her card may be used somewhere in India. Jack bought his second coffee for the day and Callum decided to last minute change his joggers to real jeans (stupid decision considering we have a 14hr flight in front of us). Oli our babysitter is a little nervous, he has to make sure we all arrive safely in Chennai. Our minibus driver to Manchester airport was a star, funny stories included. At Manchester airport, we decided to take our first group picture for the trip, including the lovely emirates reception ladies. The excitement is sensible, especially after we realised that we will fly in the A380 to Dubai – best plane ever!

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The Road to Chennai – Day 3


Gail Whiteman surrounded by the Chennai team

28th September 2016: Day 3 – The day we got to meet the heart of the trip – Professor Gail Whiteman, Director of the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business.

Gail shared her extremely diverse career path with the group, from studying for her PhD living with the indigenous people in the Arctic to working in marketing for a cereal company and Dentyne chewing gum. Gail soon released that some things were fundamentally wrong in the industry, and began bringing sustainability into business. Children’s chewing gum shouldn’t pose a carcinogenic risk, and who needs a $1 million dollar party for selling some cars, right?

Gail is the Professor-in-Residence at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and is actively involved in incorporating science into our understanding of sustainability in business practice. Following on from Gail answering a range of questions on her career, inspirations and what we can expect as individuals from our time at the WBCSD, we all look forward to meeting her again when we arrive in Chennai.

Gail your passion was really inspiring, thank you.

Written by Michael Mander, Jack Hill and Frederike Kress

The Road to Chennai – Day 2

27th September 2016: Day 2 – Today we had an early start and things got a little more serious. A whole day of workshops with Rory Dale and Jo Hobbs, both working for the careers department at Lancaster University Management School, was ahead of us. Our first task was to organise ourselves in order of the distance we all had travelled to get to Lancaster; the standard deviation of the room was approximately 6,500 miles with individuals living in Lancaster and others flying from Malaysia! This lead nicely into our talks on sustainability. Continue reading →

The Road to Chennai – Day 1


Welcome to “The Road to Chennai” – the week running up to our flight to India.

26th September 2016: Day 1 – The day we became amateur gardeners with Green Lancaster and apprentice coat-hanger labellers with the Exodus project.

Who would have expected that in between all of those huge modern university buildings is a little oasis of pureness and freshness? Welcome to the Eco Hub, Lancaster University’s very own little farm. Green Lancaster is a collaborative initiative of Lancaster University in cooperation with the Students Union LUSU. The initiative’s goal is to get students to live more sustainably and to create an awareness for the environmental problems of the planet. They run several projects around the university, one of them being the Eco Hub, one of our domains this afternoon. When we were told “Wear stuff you don’t mind getting dirty!” everyone was expecting some kind of team building activities, outside in the lovely English weather. Have you ever heard of the Gordian knot? That kind of stuff. Putting on wellies and rain jackets and building a path in the Eco Hub exceeded all of our expectations. Many thanks to Paul, who is researching his PhD in crop drought and root systems, for being so inspiring and helping us complete the project. Continue reading →