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What you missed at SBC's first ever Sustainability Networking Event

a review by Paige Poutiainen

Last week I had the privilege to attend SBC’s first ever Sustainability Networking Event as a participant instead of an organizer.

Wow! When talks of this type of event started at the beginning of the year, no one expected that it would catch the attention of so many students and companies. Event organizer, Tilman, announced during his welcome speech that 200 students signed up for only 40 available spots.

Clearly, SBC is addressing a need for students and companies to come together around the issue of sustainability.

The evening was organized by SBC and co-hosted by Sitra. It brought together 40 students and the following organizations: Gaia Consulting, Unilever, Deloitte, EY and Demos Effect.

Although the event had some short lecture-like presentations, much of the night was spent interacting with companies in company stations, at dinner, and during free networking time.

For me, the best part of the night took place during the free networking time. I found myself in a very interesting conversation with 4 students who were very knowledgeable about sustainability and one of the company representatives. We discussed some really hard, wicked questions like:

  • When should you kill off a brand instead of trying to make it look more sustainable?
  • How big should a company grow until it’s big enough?
  • How to communicate sustainability without looking like a greenwasher?
  • Should you have to communicate sustainability at all? Shouldn’t your products speak for themselves?
  • Are smaller companies better suited and more flexible towards sustainability than big ones?

I met a lot of passionate people, discovered a new interesting company, and met so many entrepreneurs that are creating their own sustainable startups and events. I look forward to some new SBC collaborations in the future!

The night was a tremendous success. I want to congratulate the organizing team and give you a big thank you! I believe that the Sustainability Networking is only the first in many great networking events to come.

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