Project Week Gives Students Insights into Sustainability
Activity Conducted by Wittenborg and Start-up Connect2Co
In partnership with SaaS start-up Connect2Co, Wittenborg’s Munich study location coordinated a project week for 22 bachelor’s and master’s students between 6 and 14 April. Centred on the theme of sustainability in business, the activity addressed multiple topics including the Triple Bottom Line perspective (People, Planet and Profit), how to become a sustainability-focused entrepreneur and the interconnection between the economic, social and environmental aspects of businesses.
During their guest lecture, Connect2Co’s co-founders, Liam Fitzgerald, Martin Caron and Robbie Parisius, talked about the start-up’s trajectory, touching on subjects such as how to start a business, vision & purpose, product design and the importance of understanding who your customer is. They also discussed the work developed by Connect2Co – a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform that connects companies to the people and tools they need to run and scale sustainable and profitable businesses. The start-up provides a one-stop shop console for departments and individuals therein to manage workflows, improve transparency and enable improvements to strategic decision making.
Co-founder and CEO Liam Fitzgerald said that sustainability is a priority for Connect2Co, adding that corporations and government regulators have placed an increasingly high emphasis on this pillar. “As the level of social awareness and regulation increases, corporations are understanding the utter necessity to operate within the guidelines that promote environmental sustainability. Students and younger generations are making career and life decisions to support and or work for companies that embody these principles. Thanks to this, more money is being spent by governments, organisations and customers to support corporations that adopt and innovate on the basis of these initiatives.”
Having been divided into groups composed of between three and five members, the students were tasked with defining sustainability from the environmental, business and social perspectives, as well as analysing entrepreneurship based on Connect2Co’s presentation and identifying and explaining the company’s business models.
At the end of the project week, participants were required to deliver a written group report, an online self-evaluation, a recorded group presentation and a poster.
Fitzgerald highlighted the students’ engagement and motivation. “Students were engaged throughout the entirety of our presentation, asking questions and providing valuable insight into the topics discussed; many of them met with the team off-campus to continue the conversation. The passion was evident and was proven through the presentations the students gave at the end of the project week. The work they produced was engaging for both Connect2Co and the academic department,” he stressed.
The director of Wittenborg’s Munich study location, Sascha Liebhardt, pointed out that, apart from encouraging participants to conduct research on sustainability, the project week was also meant to show them what it is like to be an entrepreneur in a real-life context. “They learned important lessons from a team of enthusiastic young entrepreneurs, and the idea is that this will inspire them to follow their dreams while being sustainability-minded,” Liebhardt said.
by Ulisses Sawczuk