Master’s Students Engage in Insightful Activity about SDGs

Master’s Students Engage in Insightful Activity about SDGs

Assignment Connects Sustainable Development Goals to the Field of Hospitality

On 16 February, a group of Wittenborg MBA and MBM students had the opportunity to learn more about the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by taking part in an activity of the module Critical Perspectives in Hospitality Management. This module is all about being cognisant of the issues, challenges and opportunities faced by the sector to remain relevant, successful and competitive. Key to this is how hospitality businesses respond to the demand for greater sustainability.  

Conducted in Apeldoorn, the session required students to research the SDGs and determine how they could be successfully incorporated by a selected hospitality business. Participants were asked to identify a stakeholder that would be impacted and benefit from the organisation’s engagement with a specific and appropriate SDG. 

The chosen SDGs were goals 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 5 (Gender Equality), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 2 (Zero Hunger) and 10 (Reduced Inequality). 

Each student delivered an individual 5-minute verbal presentation of their findings and ideas, with the opportunity to receive immediate feedback from Associate Professor of Applied Sciences Vanessa de Oliveira Menezes. After each presentation, students were quizzed on the practical implications of their proposals. Questions focused on how their suggestions would also meet the economic sustainability objectives through increased customer satisfaction, brand loyalty or reduced costs. 

Commenting on the presentations, Menezes, who has done extensive research in the area of hospitality sustainability, remarked, “It was great to see students engage with the UN’s SDGs and apply them to a specific hospitality business. Activities like this help them to reflect on why social, economic and environmental sustainability is essential for businesses nowadays.” 

According to MBA student Clara Ojuade, having the opportunity to create and deliver presentations was beneficial for participants. “It's something I usually try to avoid, but it was good to get some feedback on my SDG suggestion and see how I can improve.” 

Associate professor and module leader Mats Carlbäck pointed out that by receiving immediate feedback, participants can reflect on how to develop their research and presentation skills. “Thanks to Vanessa’s contributions, students now have a real appreciation for the complexities of engaging with the sustainability agenda.”

WUP 07/05/2024

by Ulisses Sawczuk

©WUAS Press