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MSDI business students named finalists in international sustainability award

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Three Monash business students have been named finalists in a global, high-education competition that recognises business’ role in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Classmates Baoyi Zhong, Vladimir Slaviero, and Yongjun Chen Chen, who all undertook MSDI’s Sustainable Practice and Organisations unit in 2018 through the Monash Business School, have been named finalists in the prestigious international 2019 Flourish Prize, hosted by AIM2Flourish.

AIM2Flourish is the world’s first higher-education curriculum, story platform and prize for the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and business’ role in achieving them.

To participate, students are required to interview business leaders and write about a recent, positive and profitable business innovation that advances the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Baoyi, Vladmir and Yongjun were among 76 students named as global finalists for 2019. Their stories were written under the direction of Gitanjali Bedi, Senior Learning Coordinator/Lecturer with MSDI’s Sustainable Development Education Program.

“Over 800 international business student stories from business schools around the world are submitted to AIM2flourish each year. I'm thrilled three students from the MSDI’s 'Sustainable Practice and Organisations' unit, delivered as part of the Monash Business School, have been shortlisted” said Gitanjali.

“This challenge motivates students to understand how the business landscape is changing; how business can be part of the solution and address global sustainability challenges through new and innovative, less harmful business models while generating profit,” she said.

“This challenge also inspires students to consider how they might want to channel their newly gained skills and knowledge after graduation.”

Baoyi Zhong was recognised for her story 'Turning Ocean Plastic Waste into Packaging' which captured the story of how UK cosmetics retailer Lush is using plastic waste collected by Ocean Legacy in the waters of the Pacific Northwest to make recycled black pots and bottles for its product packaging.

Vladimir Slaviero was honoured for his story 'Tiny Ideas, Massive Impact' about Fred's Tiny Houses - the first tiny house builder to develop purpose-fit tiny houses for an Australian climate, providing a long-term solution for many of Australia’s sustainability challenges.

Meanwhile, Yongjun Chen Chen’s story 'A Wonderful Building Technology for the World' told the story of Australian company iBuild Building Solutions, which design container-like homes and modular buildings that can be erected in as little as a few hours and can reduce the building’s energy bill by 25 per cent – thanks to its 7-star energy rating.

The 2019 finalists come from 30 universities in 16 countries under the guidance of 35 professors. The businesses profiled come from 27 countries and more than 19 industries.

The prize-winning businesses, professors, universities, and students will be announced in May 2019.