The third week is about social innovation and sustainability. In this week, we visited companies like Green Maps who are focusing on innovation and sustainability of the society and the community. Also I saw some innovation inside the traditional industries.
For example, Rudin Management is a real estate company that provides renting and services. This is a traditional industry, while Rudin make it more sustainable through innovation. It has introduced a Digital Building Operating System (DI-BOSS) to monitor and analyze the usage of resources in its buildings. Through dynamically adjusting the energy demand according to practical demand, it has saved millions of dollars, not just for companies but for the whole society. More importantly, it shows a possibility for a traditional industry to grow sustainably.
Another example is Brooklyn grange. This is the most interesting company among the ones that I visited in the past 3 weeks. Its main business is planting and selling vegetables and flowers, which belongs to agriculture industry. It’s not reasonable for a company to start an agricultural business in New York City. What they are doing is to move the plants from grounds to the roof of buildings. Rather than lands, roofs are one of the largest resources that were not explored before in the NYC. And roof planting can contribute to reduce urban heat island effect, lower the temperature of the buildings, adjust draining system and improve air quality. This business has both economic and environmental effects which could be spread out in those big cities all over the world.
What amazed me did not only happen during the class time. I experienced the services from both Airbnb and Uber, who started business in NYC, for the first time. Taking Uber for example. We tried to arrange a taxi from Clark Street to Manhattan. It took us more than 30 minutes to contact with 2 taxi companies and we failed to get any from any of them. When turned to Uber, I only spent 3 minutes to finish registration and get the information of the taxi. I witnessed the amazing changes that innovation is bringing to us. And this might be the most appealing part of NYC.
Time flies. Good time flies even faster. NY module has provided us with a chance to open my eye to a diversified, innovative, open and fast-moving society. 3 week is not long enough for experiencing the city. After all, listening and learning are not the only way to learn. Travelling and living sometimes are ways to better understand the community.
Last but not least, I really appreciate the opportunity that CEU business school provided us. Because this could be a turning point in some of our lives.