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After two years of inactivity, the Business and Sustainable Development society has been reformed. I sat down with the president, Vanda Balázs, to gain an insight into the revived society, to see what challenges they’re faced with, and to find out what they hope to achieve in the coming years.
What drove you to reform the Business and Sustainable Development society this year?
I saw a great opportunity in re-opening it. I wasn’t really active in terms of participating in societies last year, so when I found this society and the previous president we sat down to have a chat about it. Their work not only inspired me, but made me dream bigger. This year, our aim is to provide a platform for students at Lancaster University to meet and work together in the field of business and sustainable development; learn from the evens, workshops, business challenges and conferences organised by us; and undergo rapid self-development in order to gain the skills necessary to create and run businesses in a sustainable manner. To achieve this we are going to be collaborating with several other societies in order to make our programmes stand out and to involve as many students as possible into our activities.
Some people may have doubts about how serious your society is after two years of inactivity. How to you intend to address these worries and establish yourself once more as a well-known society on campus?
We are committed to our goals 100%, and will do everything we can to achieve them. I understand that two years of inactivity means a considerable loss in terms of member participation and campus awareness, but to avoid being invisible we are creating a new scheme with the exec team. Muge, our Marketing Manager is working on our publicity and design for marketing material, while Naomi, our Communications Manager is responsible for our social media, so we can maintain a firm online presence, and keep in contact with our members. Moreover, some of our events, such as the Sustainable Enterprises Conference, will require press presence. We intend to collaborate with local press to raise awareness throughout all of Lancaster, including Lancaster University and University of Cumbria.
What can you offer to Lancaster University students?
Our main goal is to educate students about sustainability while providing them with the chance to engage with it deeper in conferences, workshops, debate days or even TED Talks. The reason we stand out from other societies related to sustainability is because we ensure that students understand how and why the three pillars of sustainable development fit into today’s economy and businesses. Besides our academic and educational programmes, we are also planning lighter events such as debates, or lunches with figures from business. We are not leaving out the fun either, and are planning socials throughout the year.
Do you plan on collaborating with any other societies for any events in the future?
Definitely. I believe that together we can make the events more attractive and valuable while ensuring our members get the chance to network with each other. I have contacted a few societies over the last two weeks, and managed to arrange collaborations with most of them, while others are still under negotiation. Honestly, I cannot wait to work with them; they all do an amazing job, and they are really interesting people, so I think there is always something new to learn from each other.
What is your vision for the society in the long term?
My vision is simple: Set your goals and achieve them. I envision my society as one of the biggest societies on campus by the end of this academic year and I will put in 100% to achieve this. My aim is to involve our students in sustainability, to make them understand how important this matter is, especially nowadays, and to motivate them to create their own ways of being sustainable.