Conference tackles the role of business in sustainable development

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Aimee Christensen, who is the founder of the Sun Valley Institute --- an Idaho-based organization that focuses on protecting regional quality of life --- talked about the importance of communities to be self-reliant to prepare for challenges such as natural disasters and climate change.

The sixth segment from the University of Guam’s virtual conference series on island sustainability last Friday discussed the role of business in achieving green economic growth and sustainable development.

The second to the last installment of the University of Guam’s Center for Island Sustainability’s virtual conference series centered around “Women Business Leaders: Sustainability Solutionaries.”

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The segment featured two panels and seven business owners dedicated to advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Aimee Christensen, who is the founder of the Sun Valley Institute — an Idaho-based organization that focuses on protecting regional quality of life — talked about the importance of communities to be self-reliant to prepare for challenges such as natural disasters and climate change.

“My experience is that island wisdom has been vital to our community and communities around the world. I think this pandemic has woken us up to how much we need to be locally self-reliant and build community and connection to support each other,” Christensen said.

Adi Tafuna’i, the executive director of Samoa-based Women in Business Development Incorporated, discussed the effects of COVID-19 on small island nations.

“And now with COVID-19, we don’t really understand what’s happening. The other thing we rely on is tourism. Those markets are at a loss, so we should be looking at virtual markets and things like that,” Tafuna’i said.

For those interested in becoming an entrepreneur, Maria Leon Guerrero, who is the chief operations officer of the Bank of Guam, suggested to the conference’s participants to seek guidance from a mentor.

“I think that access to a subject matter expert is so important to empower women who are looking to get into business. My takeaway to everyone is if you are able to be a mentor, be one. If you have time in your life for that. If you need a mentor, reach out to someone you admire and connect with them,” Leon Guerrero said.

The seventh and final segment of the virtual conference series will be held this Friday, June 12, at 9 am and will focus on “Achieving a Sustainable Global Future.”

You can register online for free at UOG.EDU/CIS2020.

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