FDU hospitality students compete in Aim2Flourish

By Emily Potrzuski 

Several Florham Campus students in Fairleigh Dickinson University’s graduate hospitality program are competing against students from all around the world for a prestigious Aim2Flourish prize. The students competing are all taking a course called Developing a Sustainability Mindset, which introduced the three pillars of a sustainability mindset: the whole systems perspective, the innovative thinking, and the being orientation.

Students were asked to identify an area of personal passion that was relevant and significant to them and develop a plan to take corrective action. Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) as their goals, students researched and identified new business innovations and interviewed the business leader responsible for developing the project.

Student submissions are reviewed by a panel of industry experts, and the best-of-the-best stories, students, professors, and business leaders, will be awarded with the first Flourish Prizes at the June 2017 Forth Global Forum at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

aim2flourishStudent Moteab Alsaloum researched the innovations of Lapa Rios Eco Lodge (above) located in Costa Rica. The lodge was created in 1992, with the purpose of improving the environment and the well-being of the community. Lapa Rios has the highest rate of reforestation in the community and has made substantial improvements on the livelihood of the community since its opening.

Management at Lapa Rios focuses on its impact to nature while running the hotel. Eighty percent of the lodge is made from renewable resources. Roofs, equipment and furniture are made from bamboo, while the wood used for exterior floors comes from certified sustainable forests, and interior wood is locally plantation-grown. Food scraps and peels, from both guests and workers, are given to pigs, whose manure is used as fuel to run laundry dryers. Guests also eat out of coconut shells and produced bamboo instead of metal bowls.


Through his research, student Matteo Gabbiadini was able to see the impact that the Soria Moria Boutique Hotel (above) has made on a Cambodian community. The hotel, located in the Siem Reap province of Cambodia, opened in 2007 with the purpose of helping and employing local people. Soria Moria’s staff consists entirely of locals, who are sent to school and trained prior to joining the work force.

Soria Moria collaborates with organizations and institutions to provide better services for disadvantaged people, including the Norwegian Educational Development Organization, which directs educational aid and sustainable development to developing countries. The nonprofit promotes a number of projects at Soria Moria, such as “the white bicycle project,” which offers guests a bicycle rental for just $2 a day. The fee goes toward providing water filters and clean drinking water to selected schools in the rural areas of Siem Reap province.

The other FDU student submissions being considered for Aim2Flourish prizes are listed below: