The Global Learning Collective’s six-week summer project-based (PBL) internship program came to a conclusion last month, with each of the four groups representing Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia delivering their final presentations. During the program, diverse student teams collaborated virtually on company-assigned project work while having regular weekly contact with company hosts and academic mentors. In addition, students participated in cross-cultural collaboration sessions, cultural activities, and reflection conversations.
The group assigned to Asia worked with the Thailand-based NGO OurLand, a wildlife sanctuary based in the Western Forest Complex on the Thailand-Myanmar border. The group’s primary task was to provide OurLand with research and recommendations to sustainably develop its land into an eco-tourist destination while ensuring human-wildlife coexistence.
To increase global awareness of OurLand its efforts to combat habitat loss, environmental degradation and human-wildlife-conflict, the student group devised an educational campaign to bring conscious tourists and educational groups to learn about sustainability and the environment.
The student group also considered several strategies to develop the land into an eco-village through the construction of individual, residential and communal living spaces. The group researched other eco-villages in Thailand and across the globe to provide a detailed development and investment and feasibility plan with expected financial returns.
From a design perspective, the group suggested the development of mud and bamboo housing for long-term residents and tent houses for short-term stays. Each unit would be powered by solar energy and would be designed for comfort but with sustainability living at the forefront. The group also suggested locally sourcing products to lower costs and reduce the overall carbon footprint.
Lastly, the group provided a “roadmap” for OurLand for its eco-village expansion, including promotion, the pursuit of grants and international expansion.