An Exploratory Analysis of Activities of Social Enterprises in the Northwest of the UK in relation to the U.N Sustainable Development Goals
Student: Juleyka Uddin
Dissertation: An Exploratory Analysis of Activities of Social Enterprises in the Northwest of the UK in relation to the U.N Sustainable Development Goals
Dissertation category: Food
Please provide a summary of your research.
The SGD'S are a global agreement, set out by the United Nations between world leaders on how to ensure that the social /economic and environmental activities of the planet are carried out in a way which is sustainable and in line with earths capacities. The focus of my thesis was how these activities of food sustainability enterprises align with the following goals:
1.Goal 12 - Responsible Consumption & 2.Goal 3-Good Health
The findings of my research could potentially give rise to other large-scale studies which will aim to explore the impact that food sustainability enterprises have on the SGD's and potential ways to help increase funding/engagement within these organisations.
How did your research partnership happen?
I was trying to think of ideas for my dissertation, I knew I wanted to do it in food sustainability, so I researched the topic and existing dissertation ideas, and then I came across For Good.
Why did you decide to get involved with For Good? What did you hope to get out of it?
I decided to get involved with For Good because I am passionate about contributing to the field of sustainability. I believe I have valuable ideas and enthusiasm to come up with research that could potentially contribute to larger scale research, For Good provided me the necessary contacts to pursue this research idea.
Have your experiences matched your original expectations?
It was a challenge-especially because sustainability is such a wide and varied topic. I was interested in all the 3 pillars of sustainability (social, environmental and economic), but I managed to hone in the specific areas and kept it focused with support from my academic supervisor.
What skills have you developed through completing a project with For Good?
I have developed teamwork collaboration and organisation skills. I also developed interview techniques as my research required interviewing my participants, through this I had learned a lot about my own communication skills which I was not aware of before.
What knowledge have you gained because of completing a project through For Good?
There is a lot of grassroot movements and 3rd sector involvement when it comes to tackling the challenges of making the world a sustainable place.
Have you made any changes to your lifestyle because of completing a project through For Good?
I have been more vocal about how important sustainability is, particularly in the workplace, I deal with members of the public. Any chance that I get I try to emphasise the importance of a sustainable plant-based diet and the evidence around it. Prior to the project, I was quite conscious of what entails a sustainable lifestyle and had implemented a plan based diet for around 4 years, I thought was careful with food wastage, now I am even more conscious and pay attention to my food consumption now that I have seen some of the stats around household food waste.
What was your highlight of doing a For Good dissertation?
The highlight of my For Good partnership was being able to directly speak to directly to the leads of social enterprises and asking them questions which I had formulated, it was interesting to see how my assumption & existing research fit with the data that I obtained through those interviews.
What did you find most challenging about doing a For Good dissertation?
Keeping it realistic and succinct- the more research I was doing , the more ideas I kept on generating ,so it was difficult when I came across interesting research but had to omit it as it would make my dissertation less succinct and focused.
Do you think your experiences of working with your partnered organisation through For Good will improve your chances of getting a job when you leave university or college?
I hope so. The partnership exposed me to different organisations I would be interested in working with and what kind potential job opportunities are out there within food sustainability and health & wellbeing.
What improvements, if any, would you make to For Good?
It would be useful to have a mentor with the dissertation process ,someone who is very familiar with the research I'm doing and could have geared my research in a way where it could make tangible impact or be of practical use.
What advice would you give to other students looking to get involved in For Good?
I would highly recommend it for several reasons. Firstly, it gave me more drive and motivation to achieve to my highest potential despite setbacks, because not only are you working towards your honour's project/dissertation, but you're also being accountable as your linked with a separate organisation which may use your work for further research. Moreover, it feels like the hard work and effort is viewed by the very organisations that have the power to make change in the sustainability field. Perhaps other researchers could get ideas from your research and follow it through on a larger scale with more academic rigour.
Partnered with: Student Eats - SOS-UK