Students of the Wageningen University produced an advisory report for the Resilient Island Foundation as part of their MSc programme in March 2019. The WUR E-ACT report was composed by 6 students from different disciplines and nationalities.
The conclusions of their report resulted in some valuable results for us:
– Feedback on the process of RIF
– Crop selection, with corresponding constraints
– Three business model canvases: economic, environmental and social
– More insight in the need of the market
– Reference projects/ potential local partners
The challenge for us as Resilient Island Foundation, was to get as much information and input from them about our project and organization. During the first meeting we presented our concept, ideas, vision and ambitions to them, in which they could ask all their questions about it afterwards.
Next, they formulated a research question: What is needed for the Resilient Island Foundation to create a financially feasible business around the greenhouse in the Maldives with a focus on sustainable and social aspects?
They also phrased several sub-questions which related to the different expertise of the students.
During the first phase of their project, we as RIF also came to the realization that the demand side (market and stakeholders) needed more clarity. This was also pointed out by the students of Wageningen University. This period was a turning point for our organization: we got more access to the necessary tools and knowledge to get this clarity. It resulted in a change of our organization structure and the additional business model canvases. It was a big key factor for our following steps.
The students from Wageningen University had several conversations with tailing-experts from their university and also reached out to resorts.
Their project ended with their advisory report which they also presented to us.
Overall, we are very content with the results of their project. The conclusions guided us into the directions for our business enterprise.