Creative minds tackle real-world problems in Southeast Asia

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Photography: Maja Baska

Postgraduate students from the University of Sydney’s Business School shared a series of innovative ideas in June, as part of a new initiative that called for solutions to real-world problems in Southeast Asia. East.

A collaboration between the Sydney Southeast Asia Center (SSEAC) and the Business School, the “Make a Real Difference” initiative offered Master of Commerce students the opportunity to apply their analytical and problem-solving skills problems in the context of Southeast Asia.

During the semester, students faced a range of key challenges relevant to one or more Southeast Asian countries, from food security and the spread of misinformation to environmental degradation and preservation of cultural heritage. Many of these challenges were global in scope and also resonated for countries like Australia.

Academic members of SSEAC provided students with in-depth topic guidance and produced ten self-contained videos that gave students insight into each Southeast Asian country, including cultural, political, and business considerations.

Students then worked in small teams on their chosen problem, conducting further background research and testing ideas before shaping their proposed solutions. On June 17, 12 shortlisted proposals were presented as a business case to a panel of academics as well as industry leaders including CISCO AppDynamics, Maven Data, Nestlé and Ogilvy Australia.

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