ABOUT GOOD BUSINESS PROJECT

Living in Cameroon and studying with the locals was an experience that completely changed my life.  It triggered my first questions about creating sustainability in the long run and the urgency of it. 

I tried to answer them by broadening my horizons and getting out of the comfort zone of Environmental Sciences. In the process, I got to work at an international peacebuilding organization, and learned to apply design thinking to projects. 

With every new experience, I felt a step closer to the answer because I could see a bigger picture. Every new sustainability problem I got to solve, made me look at it with new eyes. 

Sustainability is complex, and it doesn’t have one, straightforward answer. Instead, it’s a decision-making process that forces us to take time, approach it attentively, and define priorities. 

– Ana

Sustainability means acting as if we’re here to stay. And yet, many of our businesses, leaders, elders, and educators simply don’t do it.

I believe sustainability should be everyone’s business – because the future of our civilization depends on how well we incorporate it into our daily lives.

This blog is a platform to share thoughts and ideas about all-things-sustainability: business, lifestyle, travel, politics, trends. Together we can leave this world a slightly better place than we found it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR OF GOOD BUSINESS PROJECT

My name is Ana Maksimović and I am a sustainability consultant + researcher. I designed zero-waste events and waste management programs for communities in Italy, I worked on finding sustainable packaging solutions for brands in Romania and Slovenia, and I developed a circular fashion project in Serbia.

My whole life has been a learning curve on what to do about environmental issues. While I was growing up, I thought I wanted to be a vet. I ended up studying Ecology instead.

Unsustainable waste management in Cameroon

I was so sure that getting into the Conservation field will help me make an impact. My studies took me to Cameroon where I had a chance to experience the other side. I saw poverty, waste management issues, drinking water problems, poaching, and illegal trade… and I couldn’t do anything about it. All that made me think about how much a scientist can actually do to change the situation. I had so many questions that didn’t let me settle for a career in academic research.

a person standing looking at horizon in Cameroon
Photo credits: Charlie. Ana in Cameroon.

The truth about resource management in Italy

The journey continued and the next stop was Italy where I learned about politics while working for an international NGO in the field of conflict resolution. It was such an eye-opener for me as a scientist who was previously involved only with taxonomy and animal population density maps. The chance I got to understand how the root causes of poverty, poor resource management, and pollution were linked to international governance completely changed the way I experienced the world. I couldn’t go back to science. It didn’t make any sense to me.

Outsourcing pollution in Indonesia

Hence, my search continued in Indonesia, a country of thousand smiles. I learned Danone was the main water supplier for a country stricken by massive water pollution. The French multinational was selling bottled water to Indonesians because their rivers were contaminated by the outsourced production from Europe. As a consequence, with every used bottle, plastic litter continued building up.

This vicious circle made me think even harder: What was the thing to do to address the environmental issues? Was there anything to do at all?

boy collecting trash at Asian landfill
Photo credits: Hermes Rivera

Sustainability and community

I got to witness diverse sustainability problems while traveling. At the same time, I got to experience amazing local initiatives that bring back hope in community and leadership. I started believing in the power of like-minded individuals that can make a change by making conscious choices.

Therefore, I invite you to join my journey to discover together how to develop sustainable business models, lifestyle decisions, and problem-solving processes for our planet and for the generations to come.

conscious consumer holding groceries in a weaved bag
Photo credits: Sylvie Tittel