Darden in the Green City of Singapore
By Erika Herz, Director of Intellectual Capital, Batten Institute
Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation recently hosted its Global Innovators’ Roundtable series in Singapore, in collaboration with Temasek Management Services. Through this Roundtable and other Executive Education and Admissions activities, my colleagues and I had a terrific opportunity to learn from Darden alumni and others who are leading innovation and product development activities in their respective Singaporean and Chinese companies. Professor Mike Lenox facilitated a terrific conversation specifically focused on the nature of innovation to achieve sustainability goals.
Singapore was an appropriate location for the discussion given the efforts the small country has made to develop and maintain green spaces for its population. As a few examples:
- New buildings being constructed are required to incorporate into the design the same amount of vegetation as was removed from the site during construction. The result is a city with vines woven into the exterior of most tall buildings, whether business or residential.
- The boulevard from the airport is lined with decades-old trees that soothe the eyes and provide the sound of birds from the roadside, even as one is waiting in traffic. My cab driver told me that these elderly trees are cherished and each even has a birth certificate.
Singaporeans rightfully take great pride in stunning natural attractions including Gardens by the Bay with its cloud forest and climate change-related educational exhibits. Singapore Botanic Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, includes an unparalleled walking tour of orchids that is magical by day or night.
The country is a terrific location for Darden activities, and a convenient hub for business leaders from around Asia. As commercial activity and tourism continue to grow, I hope that the island nation will maintain an orientation toward green spaces and seek sustainable development pathways.