Industry Exchange: Social Impact in Hospitality

12 June, 2017
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On Thursday 8 June 2017, Hotelschool The Hague hosted the Industry Exchange - Social Impact in Hospitality. The night included inspiring keynotes from various guest speakers, a workshop and a delicious walking dinner. As Hotelschool The Hague also wants to make a social impact, an enormous pile of rescued bell peppers was waiting for us at the entrance. For those of you who have missed it, here is a short recap of this eventful evening!

The event started out with a networking session before all guests were guided to the auditorium. After a short introduction by Mrs Stolte, the first speakers to present their social enterprise (or rather their innovative concept of a social enterprise) were three of our own students. Tomas Maxian, Balance Paagman and Thom Roelofs represented the new generation of social entrepreneurs. They developed Carity, a hotel concept which revolves around ‘Voluntourism’. Socially aware millennials are targeted to come to developing countries, where they can contribute to society while enjoying their holiday and exploring a new culture.

After the keynote from these social entrepreneurs, Ynzo van Zanten, Tony’s Chocolonely’s Choco Evangelist, was invited on stage. He gave an interesting keynote about this remarkable brand. It all started in 2005, when one journalist decided he would not be a ‘chocolate criminal’ anymore, and refused to be a part of the slavery that produced the majority of the world’s favourite sweet. Tony’s Chocolonely was the answer to this problem: A corporation which ensures slave-free chocolate by having personal, long-lasting relationships with their farmers in Ivory Coast and Ghana and spreading the message. By showing their competitors that humane and transparent working environments can be just as profitable as the current shady practices, Tony’s Chocolonely hopes to inspire the whole chocolate industry and change the production chain once and for all.

From chocolate to something equally vital: Water. It’s no surprise that there are millions of people without access to clean drinking water. Machiel van Dooren from Made Blue came to tell us exactly how he plans to fight this crisis. Made Blue is an organisation that cooperates with businesses and provides them with the knowledge and technology to save hundreds of thousands liters of water in all kinds of production processes. For every liter of water that is saved, one liter is donated to a country in need. This supplies the locals with a living necessity and provides the local children with the opportunity to go to school. Until now, they have been able to donate over 2 billion liters of clean drinking water!

After these inspiring keynotes, a walking dinner was served. This consisted of four courses, prepared and served by our own Hotelschool The Hague students. The first course was a cold gazpacho, followed by a fishcake with a side of caramelised bell peppers (the rescued ones, of course!). The third course was lamb and asparagus, with a creamy hollandaise sauce. The round-off was blood sausage with apple and onion, or a vegetarian option of peppery zucchini-spaghetti. The dessert was all around chocolate; Tony’s Chocolonely had been so kind as to provide us with all kinds of small bars of chocolate, scattered around the tables.

With new-found energy, the audience was ready for the next social enterprise in line, which was Nerdalize. Boaz Leupe and Florian Schneider, two Hotelschool The Hague Alumni, are two of the three owners of this new and very innovative company, offering a sustainable energy solution. The idea is simple, yet brilliant. Data centres are used all over the world for all kinds of companies. 40% of the energy used for these data centres is used to cool them down. So instead of storing the data in one big location, they are stored right in your home. You get the warmth at a fraction of the cost, three quarters of the energy is saved and companies don’t need huge storing centres to keep all their data save. Everybody wins!

Last but not the least, the German organisation Rock Your Life! and Rock Your Company! was presented by Maximilian Grotz and Jan Boskamp.  Rock Your Life! is a social non-profit organisation, which coordinates tutoring and mentoring relations between university students and high school students coming from less advantaged schools, for them to have increased chances of an apprenticeships and create more educational prospect as well as a better chance on the job market. Rock Your Company! uses their training knowledge to offer and provide trainings for companies and mentors refugees all around Germany.  

After these lectures, it was time to put the new-found knowledge into practice. A few different workshops were hosted. We attended the workshop provided by Rock Your Life!, where the differences in business model elements between Rock Your Life and Rock Your Company were discussed. This was a very interesting experience, and a motivated group of attendants made the workshop very productive.

The evening was rounded off by a short speech in the auditorium, where all attendants were surprised with a goodie bag, containing some delicious rescued bell peppers and a full-sized Tony’s Chocolonely bar. Afterwards, there was an opportunity for drinks and some more networking. This concluded a very successful and interesting evening, of which we hope to have many more in the future! We would like to thank Ms de Jong, Ms Jiménez Herrera, Mr Griep, the organising committee and all participants for this great event.

For more information on these social enterprises, please click the links below:

Tony's Chocolonely
Made Blue
Rock Your Life!
Rock Your Company!

About the author

Hotelschool The Hague

Hotelschool The Hague was founded and funded in 1929 by the hospitality industry to create a central place where industry partners could gain and share new insight, skills and knowledge. Since its foundation, the Hotelschool has become an international school specialised in hospitality management offering a 4-year Bachelor's degree in Hotel and Hospitality Management. This degree course is also available as the accelerated International Fast Track programme. Our 13 month Master Hospitality Management programme is designed to deliver the next generation of hospitality innovators.

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