On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were announced at the United Nations Development Summit as objectives to promote the reproduction, survival and development of human beings and other species. The UN set out 17 sustainable development goals for economic, social, and environmental protection, covering 169 sub-targets and 231 indicators, and called for the world to take these 17 goals into account in decision-making. Today, every issue is interconnected, and it is up to all countries of the world to work together to turn the tide and make sustainable development possible.
The Office of Responsibility and Sustainability Actions (ORSA) of the College of Management at National Sun Yat-sen University held an SDGs Proposal Competition with the theme of “Green Christmas” to encourage students to use their knowledge to integrate and develop feasible Christmas decoration plans. The design had to incorporate environmental protection and low-carbon thinking, reduce the consumption of resources and energy in Christmas decoration, and highlight the efforts and achievements of the students and faculty of the College of Management in the area of SDGs in order to draw attention of the SDGs. It was hoped that students could make the best use of resources to recycle seemingly worthless waste with their ingenuity to make this year’s Christmas memorable and meaningful! We also hoped that this learning model would not only stimulate creativity, but also encourage students to learn planning, execution and problem solving, thus enhancing their competitiveness.
The panel of judges was made up of: NSYSU Institute of Public Affairs Management Professor and Director of the ORSA Hsin-pei Lin, Institute of Marketing Communication Associate Professor An-shou Chen, and Institute of Public Affairs Management Associate Professor Chin-Chang Tsai. Students were evaluated based on the completeness of the content, feasibility of the project, presentation design, and oral presentation skills, and given suggestions and feedback.
The winning team, Extraordinary HAM, consisted of three international students, Michal Polacek, who is an alumnus of our GHRM MBA program and is currently in the PhD program at the Institute of Human Resource Management, and GHRM MBA students Teo Yongfeng and Jan Sourezny. The group’s proposal was based on SDG12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and SDG14 (Conservation of Marine Ecology) as the core of the design. The team observed that the beaches are filled with PET bottles, which not only harm the ecological beauty, but also lead to invisible plastic particles entering the food chain, causing harm to marine life and humans. Therefore, the team proposed to collect PET bottles from the beach to get the materials needed to make a Christmas tree, reusing marine waste through beach cleaning. The team designed two Christmas trees. One is to be made from a stack of plastic bottles, supported and fixed with wooden sticks, steel bars, and wire rope to convey the importance of plastic reduction in daily life. The other tree is to be filled with marine garbage, and the outer layer of the tree was covered with a layer of discarded fishing nets, presenting the plight of marine life, so that the students and teachers participating in the event can understand the seriousness of marine issues and care about marine ecological conservation. Finally, a banner is to be put up showing the results of the efforts of the College of Management faculty and students in the area of SDGs so that more people can join in supporting the goal of sustainable development.
The second-place team, “If You Hadn’t Suddenly Entered My Life,” was composed of Bachelors in Business Administration students Cho-chan Tsai, Kuan-shuo Huang, Shu-feng Chen and Yu-ting Huang. They used SDG12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and SDG13 (Climate Action) as the starting points, designing a 200cm tall, 150cm diameter PET bottle Christmas tree, made of 12 layers of PET bottles. Some of the bottles were to be filled with paper strips from the students and faculty of the College of Management about sustainability, environmental protection and social practices. The tree was also to be decorated with Christmas lights, powered by an innovative design that echoes environmental protection and low-carbon thinking. A direct current system that converts movement into electricity was to be set up so that students, faculty, and staff passing by the College of Management could use bicycles to generate electricity for the Christmas lights. This design is meant to not only promote the concept of energy saving and carbon reduction, but also promote the concept of using bicycles instead of motorcycles, creating a more environmentally friendly and healthy lifestyle. The judges were very positive about the creativity of the proposal and suggested more detailed planning in terms of implementation, budget planning and post-processing arrangements.
The third team, “24Hr,” was composed of Bachelors in Business Administration students I-chen Wang, Yun-ju Lin, and Ching-tang Huang, who proposed a design based on the theme “Who lives in the deep waters of Coral Lake?” with SDG14 (Life Below Water) as the core concept. The students’ proposal was to reuse bottles, which are considered marine garbage, into a colorful coral reef on the road by stacking and painting them. In addition, contributions of the College of Management in the area of SDGs were to be written on recycled paper and placed in the bottles, symbolizing that the goal of sustainable development is gradually being fulfilled. Students and faculty walking by would be able to open and appreciate the bottles, creating an atmosphere of opening Christmas gift surprises. In addition, there would be a box of fortunes next to the coral Christmas tree for students and teachers to draw their own SDGs, encouraging them to achieve the tasks written on the fortunes to achieve a new vision of sustainable coexistence. The judges acknowledged the novelty of the students’ proposal, but suggested that the group should carefully assess the feasibility of the project, including the stability of the Christmas tree and the feasibility of recycled paper.
The Honorable Mention team, “Christmas Tree Reborn” was made up of Bachelors in Business Administration students Yu-yen Ting, Hsun-i Wang, Ching-Chih Chen, and Hsin-Yu Hsieh, whose proposal was based on SDG1 (No Poverty), SDG3 (Health and Well-being), and SDG4 (Quality Education). A three-tiered wooden ladder serves as the main body of the Christmas tree. On each level, there would be cardboard boxes and special decorations, such as syringes, stethoscopes and other medical instruments, as well as stationery such as pencils and erasers. The cardboard boxes would be decorated with SDG information related to the College of Management. The slogan “Leaving no one behind!” would be pasted on the top shelf to clearly express the SDGs’ goal of eliminating all forms of poverty and ending discrimination and exclusion. The judges suggested that the team should have a more precise understanding of the SDGs and grasp the core concept of this activity, so that their idea of “Green Earth, Hope for the Future” could be better realized.
National Sun Yat-sen University has started to promote education on SDGs and offer courses related to SDGs, but so far only some of the students and faculty have been exposed to these issues. In order to make various visions of the SDGs more fully developed and realized, the College of Management held a “Green Christmas” event, combining sustainable development with the festive season. Students will design and create a set of unique Christmas decorations for the College of Management, hoping to raise the public’s awareness of the SDGs and to get more people to participate in the SDGs activities, so as to raise awareness of the issue of sustainable development.
(Written by Kuei-ying Huang, Department of Business Management / Edited by the College of Management)