I have an 11-year-old son. I don’t want him to have to pay for my ignorance.” So said May Mei, one of the delegates at a forum organised by Asia Tatler to workshop ways to make our lives, businesses and countries more eco-friendly. May effectively was speaking for all present, but hardly from a position of ignorance. She is the founder and executive director of the GoalBlue Low Carbon Development Centre, a Mainland Chinese NGO that aims to promote sustainable lifestyles by encouraging economy, protection of the oceans, and healthy eating—for ourselves and the planet.
Nor was ignorance a trait of the other delegates gathered at the eco-friendly Soneva Kiri resort in Thailand. Some of the smartest business minds across Asia, they shared a passion for and experience in promoting sustainability, a esire to share their know-how, and connections through the Asia Tatler network.
It was her knowledge of this continent- wide network that led Julie Lee to conceive the idea of the Asia Tatler Sustainability Forum at Soneva Kiri. As chief innovation officer of Edipresse Media Asia, publisher of the eight Asia Tatler titles, she realised the organisation could make an important contribution to developing sustainability by drawing together influential industry players from across Asia.
“There is a possibility here to create long-lasting relationships, and because everyone here is powerful and connec ed to other powerful people, this enables positive change,” Julie told the delegates on the first day of the inaugural three-day forum in November last year.
The English poet John Donne once wrote that “no man is an island, entire of itself ”, expressing that, individually, we cannot be self-sufficient and therefore have to rely on each other to thrive, and it was in that spirit that the forum’s discussions proceeded. The topics included “Waste To Wealth”, where delegates brainstormed ideas on how to build more circular economies, and “The Power of Influence”, focusing on how to make a difference through impact investing. The lively debates often over-ran their time slots as impassioned speakers shared concerns, ideas and possible solutions.
This story appears in the March 2019 issue of Indonesia Tatler. For the full story, grab the copy at your nearest newsstand, or subscribe here