Why I joined Gone Adventurin’

Story of a young French woman taking the leap into social enterprise in Singapore

A little bit about me

Before I moved to Singapore last January to study at ESSEC Business School, my Grandma asked me;

“why, once again, would you want to leave the South of France!? .. the warmth of Mediterranean lifestyle, the people and cuisine…??”

I tried to explain to her it was my passion for travel, discovery and adventure that fuelled this desire to discover new places, meet new people. Born and raised in Nice, my irrepressible curiosity lead me to study in Paris and later Hong Kong. That first Asian experience got me hooked and I was quickly back for more. Indeed, less than a year after I had returned from HK, I decided to move to sunny Singapore to finish my Master’s degree and explore more of the region.

Koko and Kyaw, 19 years old, Buddhist Monks met in Bagan, Myanmar

The past 6 months I’ve spent in the pristine, diverse and bustling city-state have been extraordinary. Meeting people from all over the world, with various backgrounds and at different stages of their lives has been truly exciting and rewarding. My numerous trips to Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines were packed with adventures (e.g. surfing and exploring bat caves in Lombok, Indonesia) and unexpected encounters (e.g. spending a day with Buddhist monks in Bagan, Myanmar).

Driving towards sustainability

Living in Singapore and traveling in Southeast Asia has also taught me tolerance and humility and given me a drive to get involved in something meaningful. I witnessed firsthand how economic inequality, social exclusion and environmental degradation harm these beautiful, welcoming, diverse and yet fragile countries. I started looking for internship opportunities in organisations addressing these issues and it wasn’t long before I was brought to the Hub and discovered the amazing work of its members.

Check out courage.thehub.sg to find out more about our Global & Interconnected Office Space!

One enterprise particularly caught my attention: Gone Adventurin’.

Meeting GA

When someone told me about it’s enthusiastic founders, whom organised and documented adventures, creating bridges between local communities, big companies and consumers in all of Southeast Asia, I thought to myself “dream job”. It only got better when I dug into the company’s business model.

An overview of the different services GA offers

Their process includes incubating ideas with brands to come up with implementable impact strategies, then activating projects on the ground. When they finally add a story of adventure into all this, it helps bring uncared social & environmental issues to mainstream audiences.

Who is behind this unusual venture?

Jacqui, Laura and Ashwin have spent much of their life passionate about social and environmental issues in Southeast Asia and the world. Just ask them about anything, whether it’s waste management in Singapore or deforestation in Indonesia, and they will come up with great ideas of how to address them. They are, of course, travellers and adventurers — having lived in countries all over Asia and traversed most of the globe! One of the co-founders, Ashwin, was in Papua New Guinea only last week in preparation for their next Project.

They are creative, organising events, shooting films and documentaries such as “Diving in Timor Leste”, which I highly recommend you check out!!

They are passionate change-makers, striving to develop innovative and sustainable business solutions for their clients.

A picture of Laura Allen, the “CEO” of GoneAdventurin, who cycled 3000*kms as part of a Gone Adventurin Project to to help Standared Chartered raise funds to end avoidable blindness throughout Asia and the world.

So why did I join them?

Many reasons led me to apply for an internship at GA. Other than the startup spirit and intensity, one of the most important aspects for my joining is GA’s great team and combination of personalities, skills and talents: hardworking yet fun, creative yet analytical, ambitious yet methodical. The many current and future projects throughout Southeast Asia addressing various issues such as deforestation, waste management and access to water also convinced me.

Of course, the company’s ambitious mission of spurring social responsibility and environmental sustainability through adventure is another factor. This is ambitious, because it doesn’t just aim at companies’ traditional CSR programmes — but aims to make the clients core businesses more sustainable and ethical. The rationale behind this goal is simple: when consumers are made aware of social or environmental issues, including how specific brands are addressing them — they gear their consuming behaviours towards more responsible organisations, products and services. In time and in turn, corporations have to adapt and offer appropriate solutions to the new demand. The adventure dimension allows us to do this through exciting and inspiring storytelling, the most powerful medium for triggering human emotion and raising awareness.

I am really excited to join the Gone Adventurin’ team as a Business and Project Developer — but most of all, I’m proud of the positive social and environmental impact we are creating.

Article by Paula Miquelis

Ashwin Subramaniam
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