Studying the Challenges and Prospects of Global Sustainability in East Asia

For the fourth consecutive year, the Center for Asian Business provided a special course titled “Global Sustainability: Challenges and Prospects in East Asia”. This course explores cross-disciplinary theory and practice of sustainability within a global context and with an emphasis on East Asia. Through this course, students receive first-hand learning experiences about global challenges and sustainability practices, and company imperatives and opportunities in corporate social responsibility. To date, nearly 100 students have participated in this popular program, where they are given an opportunity to visit various brand-name companies, listen to special lectures, and engage in cultural workshops and activities.

NEC Fielding - Studying the Challenges and Prospects of Global Sustainability in East Asia
At NEC Fielding, robotics designer & manufacturer

From May 8-22, 2018, Dr. Charles Vance led a group of 22 students to Seoul, South Korea and Tokyo, Japan, spending one week in each country. Dr. Yongsun Paik, Director for the Center for Asian Business and Professor of Management, joined the group in Tokyo.

“This is a challenging course that is very appealing to students of a variety of majors in business and liberal arts. The combined impact of classroom learning and international field experience is very powerful for these students,” said Vance.

While in Korea, students visited Nami Island, had a walking tour of Songdo (a smart city), and toured Bukchon Hanok Village and Tongin market. Company visits included Parsons Brinckerhoff, Samsung Innovation Museum, a briefing and tour of the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ), and a visit to the Seoul City Hall. In Japan, students participated in a city scavenger hunt, had a walking tour of the Tsukiji Fish Market, and participated in a Taiko drumming workshop. Corporate visits included Minato Incineration Plant, NEC Fielding, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (joint venture with Germany’s Daimler), and the IBM Japan regional office; and a special lecture was provided by Seafood Legacy.

In the course evaluations, one student indicated, “This trip was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I got to travel and explore new places while also learning about companies and their sustainability practices. It was a good mix of learning and free time.”

Another student assessed the long-range impact of the course and travel experience: “I now see how sustainable business is possible and necessary worldwide, and that more and more businesses are prioritizing sustainable growth, both in East Asia and in the West. Wherever I end up working, I hope that I can bring with me my experience from this trip and my motivation for sustainable growth to help my company, my community, and the planet.”