oikos MMC Blog Competition: Knowledge base for all

The idea that I have in mind is relatively straight forward- sustainability consultant business.

The concept is not significantly different from the services that are already being provided by many of the large consultancy businesses- helping other businesses to build up more sustainable models, in both environment and economic terms. Of course, it doesn’t end there. The real challenge is how to extend the service beyond large corporations and create a bigger impact among the wider public environment that affects most people’s everyday life? Well, the idea is to create an open access knowledge database where everyone can share their own sustainable development knowledge and experience. While profit can be achieved by providing more complicated and individually tailored services to larger size business clients, public and smaller size businesses would have access to the open resources expense free.

Take a step further, this platform would allow students with interest or knowledge in developing careers in the area of sustainability to create their own profiles and upload any project work that they have completed. By doing so, the network would help our business clients to identify talents for their recruitment needs.

The message this idea aims to present is that while the progress of sustainable development affects all of us, no one should be barred from using available knowledge to make sustainable development contributions.

The development of this idea would require a team of IT engineers and consultants with relevant knowledge and experience. Similar to other business ideas, start-up finance would probably be the largest obstacles in early stages. The nature of the idea itself also demands good relationships with different academic institutions- especially those which are already providing academic programmes in relevant fields. Should this businesses idea be developed, More Than Money Careers and oikos are organisations that would be good starting points for the building of partnership networks.

Three years from today, I can foresee myself using my spare time building up a personal network and meeting people who have the skills to make contributions towards the establishment of this platform. It probably would take considerable amount of time to achieve its optimal scale and I would need to gain more professional knowledge to provide the relevant professional consultancy services.

Until then, you probably would see me energetically going around attracting attention, sharing my knowledge and persuading people to make contributions towards sustainable development on the little things- another way to make a difference, I believe.

This post has been written by Juntao Zeng from oikos Newcastle. Juntao is currently pursuing his masters studies in Banking and Finance at the University of Newcastle.

oikos MMC Blog Competition: My meaningful career that creates impact, Liz McDermott

Every year, human kind adds six to eight billion tons of carbon to the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels and destroying forests. Even though the U.S. makes up only 5% of the world’s population, it produces 72% of all hazardous waste. Now we are faced with a new issue; how should developing countries develop? Can we expect them to develop sustainably when current industrial countries didn’t? As Economist Nicolas Stern believes, these two things do not need to be mutually exclusive and rather should happen simultaneously. He provides us with two options: continuing to use dirty energy, which will “destroy our chances of avoiding a climate catastrophe and let climate change push poor people deeper into poverty. Or we innovate and start a clean energy revolution. Now is the time to choose.” I would like to work in international development focused on sustainable development practices that allow for developing countries to raise their citizens’ income per capita while also pursuing environmentally friendly practices.

Even though I am still very young (only twenty years old), I have a good idea of what I want my future profession to be. Ultimately, I’d like to work for a non-profit or a US government agency focused in development like the US Agency for International Development (USAID). USAID recognizes the continuing demand for resources as the world population grows. Increasingly, non-profits and development agencies are acknowledging the need for countries to develop with a moral compass; making sure to do so in an environmentally friendly manner.


I believe that individuals in developing countries have the right to decide how to manage their resources but I want to help provide them with the necessary means to use them sustainably for their sake and for the sake of future generations. Countries around the world are blessed with diverse natural resources that provide them with great opportunities to grow if harvested and used properly and efficiently. USAID helped at least 930,000 people word-wide improve their incomes through sustainable natural resource management and conservation activities in 2010. It is crucial that organizations like these maintain their support to developing countries in their pursuit of sustainable growth. If industrial countries expect developing nations to grow sustainably, they need to provide them with the tools and means to be able to do so.

As Robert Swan eloquently stated, “the greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it” and I strive to inspire and encourage others to do just that.

This post is by Liz McDermott. Liz is a student at the London School of Economics and is currently the President of oikos London.