Over the last year or so, we have been invited to meet students from all walks of life, and share our story. Back in May we sat down with grade schoolers from Shanghai International School. The month prior, Michael Murray held class at The Hemlock School in Garden City, New York. Post is here. And before that, we presented bambu to a NYU students and posed four business challenges for them to tackle. We have a lot of fun interacting with students. And it stretches our minds a bit.
Last week, we had the opportunity to go back to school. This time, to China Europe International Business School (CEIBS). Internationally ranked, the school is recognized for its international MBA programs. More on CEIBS is here.
We were invited by Richard Brubaker to share our story. Rich is the leading voice on issues of Sustainability in China. The tireless Rich Brubaker, operates two leading and well-respected blogs on China, All Roads Lead to China and Cleaner Greener China. Rich Brubaker is also Founder of Hands On, a fast-growing volunteer and community support organization that is doing some fantastic work in China.
Rich is also teaching this year, Sustainability & Responsible Leadership to a class of 190 graduate students at CEIBS. Rich asked if we would break from our busy day, and come in and present our story to his students. We jumped at the opportunity.
Joining us for the day were IDEO, the exceptional design consultancy firm based in the US, and WALMART. We found it odd to be sharing the stage with Walmart.
But despite introducing himself as representing the 'evil empire,' Edwin Keh, COO of WalMart Procurement, presented some really interesting information on WalMart's charge to bring sustainability practices to its supply chain. From our point of view, the jury is still out. We are certainly not going to change our views on doing business with Walmart. But we do applaud the desire to engage in new conversations. Rich shares more details of Walmart's initiatives from All Roads Lead to China here. Edwin shared his journey of going from NGOs to Walmart, a dramatic transition by any measure.
Certainly a contrast to Rachel and my own transition from large multinational companies to bambu. We shared our journey, and the challenges and milestones along the way. As entrepreneurs, we can have a tendency to get so focused in our own worlds. We find it refreshing and insightful to pause, step back and remind ourselves where we started and why.
We fielded a lot questions during and after the presentation. The level of engagement was encouraging and reminded us the pleasure of being around young (global) minds.
We are excited to be embarking on a really cool 'bambu China Project' next Spring. We will be working with a team of CEIBS students to help us drive this breakthrough idea for China. More lessons, more students, more sustainable ideas to come...