3 December 2014

Enactus Australia Ranks on the World Stage in Social Entrepreneurship

This October, the University of Sydney Enactus team travelled to Beijing to present their social entrepreneurship ideas, projects and results at the 2014 World Cup.
Monitors and billboards flashed their vibrant colours, the keen walkalators buzzed in its efforts, the floors dressed in its finest outfit and the air was unmoving. It was as though Beijing Airport was holding its breath in anticipation to impress its guests – a strange but warm welcome for the team from down under. Little did we know, this was merely the beginning of a life-changing journey. We are Enactus Australia, students, representing University of Sydney, on a mission to impress and be impressed at the Enactus World Cup 2014.
My name is Jack Huang, a first-year student in Enactus Sydney. In week 12 of my second semester, I had the privilege attending the Enactus World Cup with the National Champion team of Enactus USYD. The three day competition and conference exposed me to the cultures of 33 countries across the world, and the exciting ideas and innovations which students like us are dreaming up across national boundaries. On the first day of the conference, a cultural fair was held. Each country blazed their national pride with items of their unique culture. Exotic foods and symbolic hand-outs were a common sight. Many stands had quirky activities like Korean Tuho, taking a Polaroid to an iconic Ukraine background, wearing a traditional Mexican dresses and many more. I remember seeing a rainbow of different cultural dresses, dancing to Chinese lion dancing drums, led by a billboard-sized Egyptian flag. Everyone was warm and smiling and having a good time embracing other cultures.

The next day, our new friends turned into our competitors with the opening of the first heats of presentation. The competition ran in 3 rounds with 34 teams. I was able to witness some of the most outstanding Enactus teams from around the world, each with their individual flavour and way of presentation. The Australian team presented projects on supporting artists with a disability; refugee issues and women living in shelter housing. This impressed the judges and led us to rank first in our league.

We were deeply inspired by the work of teams across the world including China and Morocco. The Moroccan team innovatively built a clay device to filter water to a drinkable standard and created a business model to support their communities. This year, we finished as a Top 8 team out of 34 countries and over 1600 teams across the world. This was a significant win for Australia. Inspired by our experiences, our student team will continue to work on projects to empower our community throughout the summer break and ready ourselves to compete again next year!

Jack Huang and Joy Chen
Students at The University of Sydney Business School

No comments:

Post a Comment