Day 9: March 6, 2015

Early Friday morning of March 6th, the Hot Cities team departed from Jakarta and took a two hour flight to Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali. As soon as we arrived, we were greeted with clouds and rain, but that didn’t stop us from being excited to visit the “greenest” school in the world. The Green School had been founded by John Hardy, a businessman from Toronto who is an extreme advocate for alternative education and sustainable living. Today, the Green School employs over 150 people on eight acres of land and had been featured on various media around the world. Previously John had operated a jewelry business, which he had sold before starting Green School. He is currently an active member of the school, and he gave us a tour of the establishment, which mainly consisted of buildings made out of bamboo. During the tour, John repeatedly emphasized the importance of creating a sustainable future by eliminating practices that destroy the environment such as abandoning the use of plastics. He also criticized how large multinationals, particularly resourced-based companies, are destroying the Earth, as most of them solely focus on maximizing profits, according to Hardy. However, in business schools, we are learning that today’s business environment no longer supports the single bottom line objective of companies, but rather companies today must adapt the triple bottom line mission, which incorporates social, environmental and economic goals.

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After the walking tour, we rushed to the car as we were hit by a vicious rainstorm. Though we were all wet and tired, we had a delicious Indonesian and Balinese supper at Bambu Indah, where we stayed for one night. This resort had originally been built to host business clients from Green School, but had changed to host people from across the globe. It felt as if we were living in the jungle, as our housing was built with bamboos and decorated with nature. During our dinner with the team and John, we learned that the minimum salary in Bali is around $100 US per month, and that working in agriculture allows a higher wage of about $150 US per month. As for artisans such as those who helped to design Green School and the hotel, received around $250 US per month, which is considered a decent salary in the local community. We also found that some of the main challenges that Bali is currently facing is its waste management. From a local source, about 90% of the waste produced in Bali is sent directly to the ocean without any treatment processes. In fact, most hotels pay the locals to dispose of their wastes, which are often tossed and left on land. Moreover, we discovered that rice production took over Bali as the main crop because of its easiness of production and simple harvesting method. However, rice production also requires a significant amount of irrigations and as a result, smaller dams had been built to irrigate large surface of lands.

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The night quietly ended with our team discussing about the Green School and bonding over some drinks.

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