Author: Laura Allen

Foodwaste

11 Apr Food security: SE Asia is facing a food crisis

The perception is that farming is not a desirable career, due to unpredictable returns and lack of prestige. As the social value of education increases, more youth leave rural areas, creating a labour drain. If farming is not seen as valuable or profitable, how can it compete with the lights of the city? If over a third of all food is thrown away, it speaks volumes about the lack of value these vital ingredients have in our society. How can it be that food is perceived as something so worthless?

What changes can be made?

Read more in my article here.

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06 Jan “We thought the oceans were too big to fail, but now we know”

Oceans produce over half of all the oxygen we breathe, and absorb more than 25% of all atmospheric CO2. And though they cover about 71% of the earth’s surface, we’ve only explored less than 5%. And while most of us are only barely aware of the enormity and scale of the waters we live surrounded by, we had the opportunity to speak to someone who has spent the past 50 years in the world’s oceans – Dr. Sylvia Earle. We met Dr. Earle late last year when she was the keynote speaker at the NUS SDG Conference, and she shared with us her insights the waters we live surrounded by.

Being one of the earliest explorers of the oceans and having led more than a hundred expeditions logging over 7,000 hours underwater, she spoke to me about the changes she’s seen first hand as a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence – that the biggest problems facing the oceans today are “what we are putting into the oceans, and what we are taking out of the oceans.” as can be seen from the 8 million tons of plastic that go into the oceans each year, and the how in the short span of 40 years, half of all marine life has been lost.

Impact on businesses

With 90% of all goods worldwide being shipped through oceans, most companies’ continued existence is tied to our waters. In addition to this, the oceans have an estimated value of $24 trillion – the sheer economic benefit we gain from them is reason enough to tidy up our act, starting with plastic waste.

“Plastics, especially single-use throw away plastics just doesn’t make any sense,” laments Earle. It is one of the reasons why an equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into the oceans every minute. The worst part is, Asia is the major culprit contributing to plastic waste in the oceans – with 60% of ocean plastic waste coming from China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. This is particularly problematic because Asia has always been seen as a profitable hub for many businesses all around the world.

Innovative Solutions that Exist Today

Thankfully, there are solutions that exist today to begin addressing these challenges. Some of you may have already watched the TED talk by by Boyan Slat, founder of The Ocean Cleanup – the “world’s first feasible concept to clean the oceans of plastic.” Making use of the oceans’ natural currents, floating plastic is caught through solid screens and a V-shaped array, that filters the plastic waste, while allowing marine life to pass through without getting caught.

Image Credit: Erwin Zwart/The Ocean Cleanup

Cleaning up the oceans is the damage control, but preventive measures must also be taken. As Earle says, “there are things that can be done, alternatives to packaging that are more efficient, cost effective and environmentally sound ways for shipping goods from one place to another; we don’t have to wrap them in the ways that they have been before.”

Founded in 2010, Mango Materials, converts waste gases from landfills into biodegradable plastics. Apart from helping reduce the amount of plastics that end up in oceans, this also provides a responsible way to use the waste methane that’s generated in landfills across the world.

With regards to fishing, a startup that is working on preventive measures is Global Fishing Watch. Offering the first global view of commercial fishing activity, anyone can track what commercial fishing vessels are doing for free. This means that problems such as illegal fishing and habitat destruction can be identified at an early stage.

Image Credit: Global Fishing Watch

Embracing the Circular Economy

Ultimately, the only way to benefit from our oceans sustainably is to embrace the circular economy. As Ashwin summarises below, apart from solving the issues of waste, it can also provide employment and empower the millions of people working in the informal sector around the world.

Earle leaves us and businesses with one piece of advice. “Look in the mirror, what are you doing? What are the sources of the problems? And go back to the source, and then do what you can, armed with knowledge, and fix it.”

This article is part of our monthly series of insights to help business leaders discover business value through a social and environmental purpose.

Download our latest 15-page report on OCEANS in Asia.

View our 2-min visual on OCEANS in Asia.

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27 Sep Fighting deforestation “one loo at a time”

There are about 3 trillion trees left on earth, which is about 400 trees per person. Seems like a lot, but what if we told you that since human civilisation, half of all trees have been cut down? How about the fact that 15 billion trees are lost each year?  If that does not scare you, perhaps the yearly haze that covers Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia does. The haze we all loathe is a direct result of deforestation, where vegetation is cleared via the slash-and-burn method for resources like palm oil, paper and pulp.

27 thousand trees are cut down every day just to make toilet paper.  One man is on a mission to change that “one loo at a time”. David Ward is the founder and GM of NooTrees, a subsidiary of The FJ Benjamin Group in Singapore, and which uses bamboo instead of wood. We caught up with him earlier this month to chat about the company, the environment, and how alternative supply chains will increasingly become a key priority for businesses.

Green supply chains – a better alternative for the environment

Unlike wood from trees, bamboo is a much more efficient way of producing paper. “It takes 30 years to grow a tree, but it only takes three years for bamboo to reach maturity,” says David. In the same time frame, bamboo is able to produce 5 to 6 times more raw material than a tree.

The beauty of the bamboo plant also stems from the fact that it can be grown on degenerated land spaces, and does not require the grade A arable land that trees need to grow on. “We can then keep that grade A arable land free for animals, crops, and for mankind’s other uses,” he says.

With one amazing innovation, NooTrees checks off 3 out of the 17 United Nation’s goals for sustainable development!screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-12-32-07-pm

When asked why he began this journey into bamboo, David’s answer was simple. Such a product did not exist in the market.

“I knew the technology to create these things existed, so I decided to use my 25 years of experience building brands, and create a sustainable brand that could push Singapore’s image forward,” he says.

What you might not know about David is that he studied engineering before moving into building various world wide known brands. It re-affirmed our belief that engineering can be one of the most important professions creating and driving sustainable product innovations!

Alternative resources and supply chain management driving business

This technology to use bamboo as an alternative to wood and timber was started by the Chinese government in the 1980s, because the nation was facing a lack of timber. Turning this into a business opportunity, the bamboo export industry in China is now worth approximately $9 billion.

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Also innovating for good business, is Caboo from Canada and Nimbus Eco out of the US. Both brands are using grassy fibers from bamboo and sugarcane instead of wood from trees. Like NooTrees, their bamboo is sourced from China, where 45% of bamboo globally is grown.

David’s plans for the future are to increase the brands bamboo product range. He now has bamboo-made facial tissues and wet wipes, on top of his toilet paper range, but where we feel NooTrees is going to make a bigger positive impact on the environment is its soon to be introduced bamboo core based diaper range called BumBams. This is particularly relevant because conventional diapers and sanitary napkins are some of the most difficult types of waste to manage – made mainly of plastic, hard to segregate, and hard to biodegrade. Diapers are the 3rd biggest contributor to landfills globally! With innovations like bamboo diapers, we could yet dig our way out of this sticky situation that our planet finds itself in.

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What sets NooTrees apart is not just the product itself, but also its packaging. Some toilet paper brands have plastic packaging that takes more than 200 years to decompose. It is ridiculous to think about how long it takes to use a roll of toilet paper, versus the time the plastic packaging takes to degenerate. NooTrees on the other hand uses an oxy-biodegradable packaging that takes only a remarkable three years to degenerate.

It is not just bamboo that companies are using to disrupt traditional supply chains. Ecovate is a company that uses mushroom not to cook your favourite fungus-based dishes, but to also create sustainable products that mimic the properties of wood and foam.

At the end of the day, supply chain disruption still relies much in consumers’ purchasing decisions. An online platform – Project Just, reviews brands of their supply chain ethics and sustainability, to help consumers make a more informed decision before they purchase a product.

We consume more and more products each year, and at current rates, the world’s supply of resources are dwindling rapidly. With a combination of innovations like NooTrees and their peers, as well as moving our industries into circular economies, we not only move towards net-zero impact societies but can drive thriving businesses by doing so!

This article is part of our monthly series of insights to help business leaders discover business value through a social and environmental purpose.

Download our latest 15-page report on SUPPLY CHAIN in Asia.

View our 2-min visual on SUPPLY CHAIN in Asia.

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04 Jul What the SDGs mean to us and how we use them as a framework in the work we do!

If you were asked to think of the idea of a waste-picker in a developing country the image that in your mind is probably a person wearing tattered clothes scavenging for pieces of plastic or cloth in a large open air dumpsite with eager vultures circling overhead. While this image is the reality in many parts the world, I recently came back from a 2-week expedition in India with inspiring memories of how this sad reality is changing for the better. I’ll explain how a global framework is enabling this local change.

Copy of Saahas, at Tetra Pack & Coca-Cola aggregation centre

When we started Gone Adventurin, our vision was to help businesses positively impact local communities. This was born out my previous work experience in a large corporate where I had constantly felt that my day to day work wasn’t directly empowering people. While our vision was clear, we couldn’t define exactly what “positively impact local communities” really meant because it meant different things to different people in our team. For some it meant creating inspiring stories while for others it meant creating sustainable partnerships between local NGOs and businesses.

The launch of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015 gave our social business a clearer sense of what we could accomplish and what “positively impact local communities” looked like. The SDGs have provided a unifying framework where traditional businesses, NGOs as well as innovative startups and social enterprises can work together on the same global development goals in any part of the world.

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Image Credit: UN

Our expedition in India across the urban centers of Bengaluru and Pune is a good example of this. The project started 2 months ago over my discussion with a member of the global leadership team of a leading consumer goods company. The company had then just recently picked up WASTE as a focus of their business innovation and was actively looking to understand the post-consumption waste landscape of its products in fast-growing developing markets of Asia such as the Philippines and India whose urban areas are struggling to cope with growing levels of household waste.

I brought up the idea of looking at waste holistically – this means not just as an issue by itself but also how it affected other sustainable development topics such as Poverty, Energy, Health and Responsible Production. We also discussed how collaborating with local Indian startups working on various aspects of waste management would help the company ensure it also included other sustainable development topics during its innovation process. The company loved the idea and in a matter of weeks my team was off to India to help the company develop a comprehensive understanding of post-consumption waste and identify potential startup partners to help develop its pilot innovation programs.

During the first week we met with 11 inspiring startups across Pune and Bengaluru (both are cities which have active citizen movements and forward-thinking waste management policies). This helped us design and map the post-consumption waste journey and areas where the consumer goods company can focus its innovations.

One of these startups – Hasiru Dala Innovations, has developed an unique franchise-model where waste-pickers with basic literacy skills are able to run their own waste management businesses in dry waste recycling centers across the city. Apart from enabling thousands of waste pickers across the city to get ID cards, the startup has also launched its first women-only waste collection unit where the women who run the unit have driving licenses, ATM cards, health insurance and earn enough monthly income to send their children to school.

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The all women waste management unit enabled by Hasiru Dala

During our second week, we introduced many of such startups to the consumer goods company’s Indian leadership team. The team was left impressed at the business model innovation of these startups. The startups will now be chosen not only based on their impact on waste but also their impact on alleviating poverty (SDG #1), access to quality education (SDG #4), decent work opportunities created (SDG #8) and gender equality (SGD #5). Thus for businesses investing in social innovation programs, the SDGs now provide a comprehensive framework to develop and measure the impact of their programs.

Paul Bulcke, CEO of Nestle AG, says “The private sector helped prepare the SDGs and had the opportunity to give input. This opportunity to contribute, helped make these goals everyone’s goals. So, now is the time for the private sector to make explicit societal commitments, to explain how they will help the world achieve the SDGs”

A recent report by 3BL MEDIA suggests “With only two months of the second quarter of 2016 tallied, the number of Flexible Media Releases mentioning the SDGs had already exceeded the January-March period by 30 percent. Consumer and pharmaceutical brands are tops in referencing the Global Goals. Among the consumer companies outlining commitments to tackle challenges are PepsiCo, Diageo, General Motors, Kimberly-Clark, General Mills, Nestle and H&M.”

To us at Gone Adventurin’, the SDGs have become a powerful tool to focus our work with consumer goods companies in integrating impact into the core of their businesses and measure our impact. We strongly encourage business leaders across all industries to consider doing so too.

 

Read more:

More info on the 17 UN SDGs and targets of each goal

Learn how Nestle is linking its agenda with SDGs

Recent news on SDGs

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18 Jun Why I’ve Gone Adventurin’

Hello!

I am Rachel Quek Siew Yean, a third year student at Yale-NUS College, and majoring in Global Affairs, a combination of Comparative Politics and International Relations.

I love ice cream— mostly green tea ice cream— but I still get excited when I see ice-cream shops or the ice cream uncles/aunties on their ice-cream-mobile parked near the streets. I have a passion for filmmaking, film analysis, photography, and learning about the culture, literature, politics, and food (hehe) of our beautiful Southeast Asian region.

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“Me looking too happy in Japan, the land of great green tea ice cream”

So why Gone Adventurin?

I wanted to learn from the best. I have always loved the art of storytelling through photography and moving images; but the art of storytelling is extremely challenging as it involves the strategic use of visuals and sounds to effectively communicate a story. While I have made a few documentary and fiction films in college, I realised that my films were lacking elements of powerful storytelling. I found Gone Adventurin’s documentary films and was so impressed by their powerful storytelling and beautiful cinematography. I jumped at the opportunity to apply for the internship position because I wanted to learn as much as possible about storytelling, social entrepreneurship, and Southeast Asia from them.

I am in the fifth week of my internship with Gone Adventurin and I have been incredibly lucky to have learnt from each of the Gone Adventurin team members. They are not only willing to share their knowledge and experiences with me, but also challenge me to take on projects that are beyond my comfort zone. I remember feeling overwhelmed with my inability to handle the Canon C100 within the third week of my internship but Victoria challenged me to operate the Canon C100 almost everyday and supported me when I made mistakes with the camera settings or when I overlooked certain details during the film shoot. What is amazing to me is that I grown so comfortable with using the Canon C100 that I can now go on film shoots on my own!

 

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“In the third week of my internship, carrying the Canon C100, tripod, and monopod is a workout!”

Discovering Purpose

I love how the Gone Adventurin team welcomed me with open arms and made me part of the team on the first day of my internship. Jacqui refused to call me as the ‘intern’ and assigned me to the role of production manager for the Singapore Eco Film Festival (SGEFF). I am in charge of producing five short documentary films based on the themes of SGEFF— consumerism and waste, farming and food, climate, air quality and haze, and wildlife and conservation.

Find out more about the First Singapore Eco Film Festival! http://www.sgeff.com/ Click to Tweet

My internship is so unique because I am given the independence to document stories that are close to my heart, balance between playing the roles of a producer, director, and an interviewer, and talking to inspiring people who are passionate about playing a proactive role in solving social and environmental problems in Singapore and the world. I love the feeling after filming the interview with these people because they do not only make me think about my day to day decisions and how these decisions impact the environment or a vulnerable community, but also make me think about how I can play a proactive role in solving some of these issues.

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Me with my camera equipments on the way to a fish farm near Pulau Ubin

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Victoria and me shooting on the fish farm!

I have four more weeks to work on my documentary films, and I am looking forward to sharing stories on water pollution, sustainable fashion, sustainable packaging, haze, and food waste in Singapore and inspiring you the way these people (including the Gone Adventurin team) have inspired me.

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If you see me walking on the streets of Singapore with a camera (and maybe an ice cream), please don’t be shy to say hi! :)

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10 Dec Climate Change: #EarthToParis & COP21

A couple of weeks back our team joined the 4th Responsible Business Forum of Sustainable Development held in Singapore. 2015 is seen as a potentially historic year if the new climate treaty is agreed in Paris, so Climate Change naturally was the theme of the forum

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INSIGHT #1. THE NEED FOR CLIMATE ACTION (SDG#13)

There is an urgent need to make the impacts of climate change real and get our act as a global society together. During the forum the Climate Action SDG was referenced several times. The topical Southeast Asian transboundary haze came up repeatedly in discussions and Q&As during panel sessions.

Issues like the haze make climate change real — and act as a reminder for climate action.They make most people read up about man’s impact on nature or talk to others or write or even think of creative solutions. However, there are other longer-term, irrevocable impacts of climate change that are silently brewing away but most of us don’t realise it till one day we begin to face direct consequences.

For example, even if world manages to limit global warming to 2°C — the target number for current climate negotiations — sea levels may still rise to at least 6 meters or 20 feet (enough to swallow up your entire office till the roof)! A 3°C hotter world sounds like a recipe for disaster.

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04 Sep How New Perspectives Changed My Thinking Towards My Home; Singapore.

Singapore is my home. It has always seemed ‘normal’ and will always be that way.

But it’s not all easy days. My parents are paying a mortgage loan for the past 6 years. They often rely on the CPF funds to pay off the loan. It’s hard for us to afford a car because of the certificate of entitlement as known as COE. Sometimes, I stress because of the competitive educational system. And some days, I feel like I work in a small factory — eat, study / work, sleep.

When I was younger, my dream was to contribute to making our planet a better place to live in. But as a normal guy, studying for my GCE ‘O’ level, how was I supposed to do that? I’ve always had that irrepressive urge to shout powerful messages or to tell a story in order to impact the communities around me. However, at the time, I had no passion that truly supported this mission.

Growing up, I found the best medium to express my thoughts: filmmaking.It allows me to document other people’s lives and helps me hone my skills in being as unbiased as I can. I did a documentary on my heartland — Toa Payoh. The topic was, ‘Places I call Home’. It developed my passion and a year ago I started searching for more opportunities to get exposure and experience.

A snapshot of the documentary ‘ Places I call Home’ I did 2 years ago

This is where I found Gone Adventurin’. I started to help the social enterprise on a documentary project in collaboration with the National Environment Agency called ‘Places we Love’ (a bit similar to the film I did, huh?).

The first production shoot was about a group called Singapore Glove Projectformed by a group of people from all walks of life. Their objective was to explore different parts of Singapore and to pick up litter along the way as an initiative to give back to the society and inspire every person to do their part in keeping Singapore clean.

Group of volunteers from Singapore Glove Project

At first, when I heard about this group and what they did — I was blown away. ‘On a Saturday morning, you come out and pick litter to keep Singapore clean?’ That was surprising. I did not expect anyone would do this, especially when considering how clean Singapore is to me. Their objective is actually not to pick up litter but to educate the community so that all of us can take responsibility and throw our litter in the right place. What was truly inspiring was the words of the founder, Tan Ken Jin, who said “Imagine if everyone of us could pick up one piece of trash every day and put it in the bin? That’s 5 million pieces of trash every day!”

Suddenly, I realised that I was surrounded by SO MANY incredible and inspiring people who are taking actions for the places they love around them. I managed to truly appreciate the amazing city I am living in!

The second experience for me was a group of young students that pick up litter after school. Once again, it was not something I get to see everyday. In my experience, it feels ridiculous to do something out of your limits. Not many people would be willing to pick up litter in broad daylight and when some witness such happenings they might even call them ‘wayang’ (acting in Malay).

Group of Students from Dunman Secondary School

It again changed my perspective and helped me to look at things in a positive way. For example, in the society we are in today — some of us call people who do good deeds, actors. I suggest we can all step back and look at it from a different perspective. What if I was in his/her shoes?

“Sometimes, little things make a big difference…” — Nino Varsimashvili

The following week, our team went to Sentosa for a project that is organised by Sentosa for all its employees. It is known as S.E.L.F (Sentosa Embraces Litter Free) Project. The volunteers did a really great job! (Kudos to them!) Every 2nd month more than a hundred Sentosa staff come together, rolling up their sleeves to pick up litter throughout Sentasa. I think the CEO of Sentosa, Mike Barclay, said it best: “While Sentosa is constantly kept litter-free and well-preened, many of us forget that behind the scenes, a battalion of cleaners are working hard to keep it this way”. So true.

Afterwards, we covered a National Environment Agency initiative known as Green Champs. We filmed a group of kindergarten children from My First Skool who were learning about how a Clean and Green environment can play a big part in Singapore.

The kids at My First Skool with their teacher

Thanks to these amazing experiences, I’ve realised I’m very fortunate to live in Singapore. I must emphasize that there are many things around us that we can always point out flaws in. However, without the form of appreciation and compassion in yourself — we may always be pointing out errors and complaining.

Let us all start by appreciating the bits and pieces, and the inspiring actions around us, whether it be our family, our friends or a stranger on the street. All can inspire us!

Afterwards, we can start to understand the problem or issue we are facing and come out with an ideal solution that can resolve the problem, as shown in book, The 3rd Alternative by Stephen Covey.

They have already done their part. Let us start today.


Watch the video teaser of ‘Places We Love’ here. And the videos on above heroes here:

:: Little ones leading the environment cause — My First Skool and Dunman High School

Cleaning up our backyard for the place we call home — Sentosa’s S.E.L.F programme & Habitat for Humanity

:: Communities that clean together have fun together — Singapore Glove Project and H.A.B.IT (Hold on And Bin It) Programme by Nee Soon South.


Article written by Lenney Leong — Photographer // Freelancer @Gone Adventurin’

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27 Jun Passion and Purpose | Surabaya, Indonesia

My most recent pit-stop in my dream of world adventures was to Indonesia. This was my fourth time to the country but first to Surabaya — its second largest city (as well as Malang and Bromo). This was a school trip where our main focus was to teach English and embark on a construction project at a local village school. At least, that was the purpose we were told of, but during this trip, something that I learnt was that one should always seek his or her own purpose and pursue it with passion when travelling.

For me, my initial purpose was as simple as to explore and enjoy the unfamiliar. And that was exactly what I did.

Our stay in Surabaya was rather fortunate as the amenities provided exceeded my expectations, accommodated at a eco-resort facility, Kaliandra. After sometime, it turned out to be like a little village rather than a hotel. The staffs there were incredibly chilled and remarkably hospitable and what truly struck a chord in me was Kaliandra’s mission. They weren’t a profit-oriented organization but rather focused on things like ecotourism, organic farming, cultural awareness and adventure programmes to help both the local and international community. Being a small part of this big goal was really amazing. And this beauty was similarly reflected in the place which boasts of authentic Indonesian architecture and natural flora and fauna.

For the most part, our daily routine was to get up at about 6am and head down to the local school — Ulum Secondary School. The first few days involved us adjusting and breaking the ice but as time went by, the students there warmed up to us really well. Just looking back, they really taught me a lot. Their school was a single block and their classrooms lacked proper lighting and sturdy furniture yet they were so passionate and willing to learn — it was their holidays and they were coming back specially to sit through our lessons!

They took so much pride in their work and would only draw a line if they had a ruler. They knew how to share and would break their ruler into two to ensure their desk-mate had something to use as well. Leaving the school on the last day was awfully painful as most of us broke down. That moment was really special — as we boarded our vehicles, the students lined the corridor of the building to wave their final goodbyes. It was at that point in time where we all realized we had made, however small, some impact on them.

Apart from the school we were based at, we got the privilege of visiting a home for abandoned and special needs children. And as expected, it was nothing short of inspirational, at least for me. These individuals, or as we’d like to call them ‘physically-disabled’ or ‘mentally-disabled’, ironically are so able in what they do.

From being able to weave without hands to play the piano without sight, they showed me what passion was and taught me how ability was not something we were born with but something we choose to pick up and shine in.

And of course, the trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of Indonesia’s many volcanic craters. I have to say that that day was perhaps one of the best days ever. We stayed up till about 3am after a night of star-gazing to take a jeep up Mt. Penanjakan and patiently waited for the sun to rise.

One word: Magical.

I then rode a horse to the base of the volcano, Mt. Bromo and hiked up to its peak. And as cliché as it may sound, there were no words to express my feelings.

Let the pictures do the talking:

Before leaving Indonesia, we also got a chance to go on a safari tour in Surabaya’s Safari. It was really cool being able to see the diversity of animals up-close and personal:

But perhaps the thing that really left the deepest impression on me was two kids — Ryo and Udin. They were neighbours and best friends who lived right beside the school we were working at. I met them since the first day and ever since, they stopped by the school everyday to pay a visit. Though small in stature, they became huge inspirations to me and although we could not really communicate much, they taught me a lot. They showed me the meaning of friendship as they would constantly be by each other’s side and promised they’ll remain friends for life. They reminded me to dream bigby aspiring to graduate from the village school we were working at. They shared with me their passion to learn as they would continually ask me for the English equivalent of things around them. And most importantly, they taught me the importance of having fun as we would go off catching bugs and running around during breaks. When I had to say goodbye to them on the last day, I couldn’t hold back my tears and as they walked back to their homes, they turned around occasionally to wave goodbye, and I knew that was probably the last time I would see them.

This experience isn’t new to me but it often leaves me to question if we should form relationships if we know they aren’t going to last. But something tells me we should. Not because we wish to gain anything from them but because that’s what travel is about.

Going places, meeting new people, exchanging cultures, and passing on the joy and inspiration we have gained along the way!

So, to Ryo and Udin, thank you for inspiring me and perhaps through this piece, I have somehow managed to pass on some inspiration to you — who’s reading this right now.

This short ten days have opened my eyes to Indonesia and its beauty — both the place and its people. But through this experience I realize the only way to fully indulge in this beauty is to travel with nothing but passion and purpose.


~ Article & Photography by Nathaniel Soon (@nathanielsoon | @restlessearthling)

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09 Jun DESIGN FOR AN EVOLVING COMPANY

THE GONE ADVENTURIN’ LOGO DEVELPOMENT


Design is more than just looking beautiful. It’s a process which captures not only your story, but the meaning behind it. That’s why, when we needed to re-design the Gone Adventurin’ experience, we chose to work with the GRAMM duo.

The Design Story

Mike and I officially started our creative studio GRAMM in February 2014, not long before Jacqui got us involved with the Gone Adventurin’ project.

It all started when we had a coffee with her, and she described what GA has become and what it stands for. With all that energy and positive thinking, we really wanted to work with her and the team to give a new face to GA.


This initial input has been fundamental for us to really understand the core of GA, where and how they started, where they are going and their needs. It is the initial step to understanding the uniqueness of the company.

We wanted to design a logo that really gave GA a fresh and inspiring look and reflected what they are achieving today. A logo that could last, and that could change with the company as it has been rapidly evolving.

Our Pinterest Development

We researched, looked around, and saved images, inspirations…and shared it with the team. We really value input from inside the company as they are the people who know it best and should be able to take pride in displaying it.


Some of the key things that we were looking to bring into our creative were:

  • Bridging companies, communities & consumers.
  • Taking local action.
  • Being an inspiration for new business & big corporations.
  • Changing the way business acts and impact through collaboration
  • Using the impact of on-the-ground projects through social media and advertisements

The logo itself started from a sketch of what the three elements of GA’s processes are:

Incubate + Activate + Amplify

Looking at the drawing on paper, we felt there was something there…

Using these key elements, we created the logo using the arrows to create a “Modern Compass”, which was the way we saw GA positioning themselves: existing to help companies find their way towards sustinable & ethical business models:As we developed the concept we started to integrate more of the fantastic imagery that GA capture through their work. By elaborating on the use of arrows we were able to create some strong design elements and produce a clear brand direction.

We pushed the original GA blue into a greener shade to help provide a fresher look and something that would help to compliment the photography. The traditional compass inspired the red accent colour, the final colour also being taken from one of the images.

The final brand mark was designed to have a lot of flexibility with the ability to remove the arrows and integrate type through if necessary. Each instance still feels like a GA symbol, and provides you with options depending on what it is being applied to. As an example the more minimal versions work well overlayed onto a photograph or as an emblem on a t-shirt, where as the more formal ‘full’ version will appear on company documents.

The website became our largest test of the brand concept. We again wanted to bring the amazing imagery to the front and use it throughout the design.

GA is constantly helping people to write and tell their stories, and we wanted this to come across on the site.

The text areas are styled more along the lines of a traditional article layout as oppose to just blocks of text, with images laid out in the same fashion. It is a platform that can be used to share the GA story and the adventures of their clients.

It has been a pleasure to work on the Gone Adventurin’ brand and a fantastic experience collaborating with such an inspirational team. We are excited to continue our adventure with GA, building and executing the concept across all the different mediums. BRING IT ON!


~ Written by Mike & Mali from GRAMM Studios

Early concepts of logo application

As we developed the concept we started to integrate more of the fantastic imagery that GA capture through their work. By elaborating on the use of arrows we were able to create some strong design elements and produce a clear brand direction.

We pushed the original GA blue into a greener shade to help provide a fresher look and something that would help to compliment the photography. The traditional compass inspired the red accent colour, the final colour also being taken from one of the images.

The final brand mark was designed to have a lot of flexibility with the ability to remove the arrows and integrate type through if necessary. Each instance still feels like a GA symbol, and provides you with options depending on what it is being applied to. As an example the more minimal versions work well overlayed onto a photograph or as an emblem on a t-shirt, where as the more formal ‘full’ version will appear on company documents.

The web site became our largest test of the brand concept. We again wanted to bring the amazing imagery to the front and use it throughout the design. GA is constantly helping people to write and tell their stories, and we wanted this to come across on the site. The text areas are styled more along the lines of a traditional article layout as oppose to just blocks of text, with images laid out in the same fashion. It is a platform that can be used to share the GA story and the adventures of their clients.

It has been a pleasure to work on the Gone Adventurin brand and a fantastic experience collaborating with such an inspirational team. We are excited to continue our adventure with GA, building and executing the concept across all the different mediums.

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