A D’Lightful Way to Travel

Hi! It’s Ed again – this time reporting from Seoul, Korea! The focus of the Korea / Thailand study tour is sustainable business, and I had the exciting opportunity to visit Shinsung E&G, a publically traded company on the Korean stock market that embraces sustainability through their products and business processes. This international business has three divisions: solar energy panels, manufacturing equipment for clean rooms, and factory automation. Shinsung E&G showed us a prototype of a portable solar cell that has multiple uses ranging from a radio and flashlight that can be used for camping and fishing, to electricity generation in areas such as Africa and Southeast Asia where electricity can be unreliable. I also toured the rooftop to view the solar panel setup at Shinsung E&G. The building currently generates enough electricity to return excess energy to the grid. Though solar energy panels are not currently Shinsung E&G’s largest business division, the managing director mentioned the company is well positioned to capture the market as the green revolution is further embraced.

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I then then headed over to the Seocho-dong District with my MBA pals to tour Samsung D’Light, a museum-like display of the technologies and products Samsung will be offering in the near future. As Samsung is the largest revenue generating company in Korea and a leader in technology, I could write a novel on the incredible things I saw! Here are a few highlights. First up, the Samsung fridge called “The Family Hub”, and the Smart Home Solution. The size of the fridge alone made it luxurious, but on top of that, the fridge had a multi-functional display on the outside of the door that showed the contents of the fridge. There was also a message board for communicating with others in the household. It should be noted that this wasn’t any average message board as you could attach your message to a specific food item (e.g., eat this cake, it’s delicious!). The Samsung Smart Home solution, another innovative technology we saw, allowed you to automate a multitude of aspects of your home using your phone as a remote control. One neat aspect is that by simply selecting the “going out” option on your mobile interface prior to leaving your home, the heating/cooling system in your home would appropriately adjust to save energy — a great solution to promote sustainability! After the official tour, I participated in the Samsung self-discovery journey, which entailed getting a chip-embedded RFID wristband and visiting various photo stations which allowed me to uncover various aspects of my true self! The process revealed me to be “intellectual, thoughtful, and vibrant” – perfect for an education bear!

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We had a very early start to say goodbye to Seoul and catch our flight to Bangkok. I was a grumpy bear to start the day, but after sleeping for the majority of the bumpy flight, I felt refreshed and ready to start my next adventure in Bangkok. Note to other traveling bears — the overhead bins are great for naps but terrible for catching the in-flight movies with your friends.

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After meeting our wonderful hosts from the Sasin Center for Sustainability Management and checking into the hotel, we took a quick walk over to the Jim Thompson House, an important landmark in Bangkok. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Jim Thompson was an American who loved Thailand and built a very magnificent teak wood Thai style house (with some western touches such as a dining room table). Jim Thompson disappeared without a trace in 1967 while on vacation in the jungles of Malaysia. Based on his astrological chart Jim was to be very careful in his 61st year, which is how old he was when he disappeared. Following the tour of the house we were treated to an exceptionally delicious Thai dinner. The presentation of the food was extraordinary and everything tasted amazing. Throughout the dinner, we watched a display of traditional Thai dancing. What a phenomenal introduction to Thailand! Tomorrow, I am excited to tour the city on a free day with my MBA study tour friends.

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Blog post submitted on Ed the Bear’s behalf by Korea Thailand Study Tour participants Lauren, Diane, Shermie, Chelsea and Lindsay.