Alumni Achievement Award Recipient 2019
Mobilising people towards a healthier and more sustainable world
Li An Phoa contributes to people’s health and a more sustainable world in inspiring, mobilising and practical ways.
As an RSM student, she gave classes to teach peer students about business ethics. She also assisted in the development of an outdoor business course on climate destabilisation, ecological boundaries and footprints, and stewardship with academics in RSM’s Business-Society Management department. She also became a lecturer on two of RSM’s master electives about sustainability, and is a guest lecturer at Hogeschool Leiden and Nyenrode Business School.
Her entrepreneurial journey started when she set up Beautiful Earth Action and Research (BEAR) in 2005 to support the transition to regenerative food systems and sustainable agriculture, for example as part of Unilever’s preparation towards its sustainability strategy.
In 2012, Li An founded Spring College, a nomadic school which has taken thousands of people on educational outdoor walks to boost people’s awareness of natural systems and bring cultures together. Drinkable Rivers is Li An’s latest initiative. It emphasizes the relevance of drinkable rivers as an indicator of healthy living and care for the environment.
By contributing to society through business and education, Li An cares for current and future generations. Nominators and fellow alumni Grace de Waal-Chong and Mascha van der Graaff say: “Li An really gives 100 per cent to her work and no challenge is too big for her. She and RSM can inspire the world with ground-breaking work to achieve several of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”