The Path to Sustainable Business : The internship team from Africa hears a talk by Mr. Donald Eubank, Read the Air
The below lecture and report have been organized and written by Aldino from Mozambique, Trevor from Côte d’Ivoire, and other summer intern members who are from Africa and studying in Japan.
Four of our interns, named “SIMBA Team,” from different African countries, attended an online talk given by Donald Eubank (Photo: bottom right), a Co-founder and Principal of Read the Air and an advisor to businesses integrating sustainability into their core strategy, and entitled “The Path to Sustainable Business”, on August 30, 2021. The talk discussed how a company could achieve the UN’s 2030 Agenda, translated into Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Read the Air is a specialist advisory practice that enables companies to put sustainability at the core of their business for purpose and profit. Donald Eubank discussed the importance of the SDGs for the success of a business, how sustainable business looks today, the importance of partnership and innovation, and the individual and civil society’s role to achieve the goals.
Eubank pointed out that we live in an agitated age where young people spend less than the previous generation because they have less money. This led to the emergence of protest movements causing changes in the customers’ and companies’ attitudes. Customers’ preference for sustainable products and the labor force searching for work in a sustainable organization led the companies to change their direction and rethink sustainability. The shareholder business model was replaced by the stakeholder model, where decision is made by consensus.
The speaker emphasized that the SDGs play a vital role in business. They bring new business opportunities and challenges to business-as-usual. For its success, the company must consider all the 17 SDGs and implement them in its operation process because sustainability also improves the company’s performance.
Other important factors for sustainable business discussed are transformational partnership, innovation, and building a mission-driven organization from the start. According to Eubank, a partnership is essential for business; a company cannot have expertise in all areas without partnership. Many of sustainable starts-ups with transformative innovations also prosper, and missions are indispensable for any company.
Scaleout Inc. is working towards the SDGs. In our attempt to tackle Quality Education goal, one of the SDGs, we have offered learning opportunities for African students, who pursue master degrees at universities in Japan, through the online internship program in summer 2021.
The internship has been conducted through hosting the JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) program that assists international students in Japan.
We’d like to sincerely express our appreciation to Mr. Donald Eubank for the the precious talk.