When we caught up with Wander for his Garager Stories feature, he was still feeling the effects of three days at Clockenflap. It was only right that he was there to enjoy the festivities; as Director of Research ConsultancyGlobescan, Wander worked with its organisers to help make the music festival more environmentally sustainable.But the social responsibility effort doesn’t end there. Through his involvement, Wander also offered Garagers two VIP tickets, with proceeds going toShangrila Home, an orphanage he sponsors in Kathmandu. But let’s start from the beginning. Hailing from the great city of Amsterdam, Wander first visited Hong Kong on a backpacking trip in 1996, where he fell in love with the city’s vibrancy and multiculturalism. He made a permanent move just a year later, and called Hong Kong home for the next 8 years. Wander missed Hong Kong after moving to Buenos Aires in 2005; after all, his children were born here. As a nature lover, he also missed weekends hiking the city’s countless trails. He moved back in 2009, and took on the task of heading Globescan, of which Asia was one of the few regions the company had yet to expand into. Globescan is a Canadian Marketing Consultancy firm that helps clients build valuable relationships with their stakeholders through initiatives in environmental and developmental sustainability. Despite working with clients like Esteé Lauderthroughout his career, Wander admittedly feels a greater affinity for environmental issues. He has no qualms about doing marketing research for cosmetics, but environmental degradation is where his true passion lies. In fact, he considers this quagmire to be the most pressing present-day issue, as it’s also a systemic cause for social inequity. Within Greater China specifically, he notes air pollution to be the most serious environmental concern. But like any idealist, he doesn’t believe we’re “past the point of no return,” noting Hong Kong’s new maritime conservation policy to be a reflection of more result-driven efforts. Despite these milestones, Wander’s a firm believer in the belief that non-governmental organisations are key to combating environmental and other sociopolitical issues. He uses the MTR as an example; a public transport system used by 2.3 million Hong Kongers daily, helping to cut down on excess emissions caused personal transport. More changes are sure to take place at next year’s Clockenflap, as Globescan’s works to overhaul the festival’s sustainability efforts rests in reducing waste and the carbon footprint of air travel. He proposes for more music festivals in the region as another measure, which also speaks well to the cultural richness of the city and its people (we’re definitely not going to complain about that). Want to know how to reduce your carbon footprint to lead a more socially responsible lifestyle? You know who to call.
Today’s entrepreneurs do not like getting tied down and are inherently drawn towards options that let them progress at their own growth-plan. Personalisation and a sense of creative freedom has picked up the pace and is here to not only rule but also dominate the work culture.
As part of Garage Society’s Well-Being Month, we sat down with Dutch entrepreneur Madelon van de Ven, to learn more about her flourishing plant subscription startup and her mission to get more urbanites to experience the health and well-being benefits of plants.