BALI STRATEGY RETREAT 2022
imageMILL organised a four-day retreat trip to Bali, Indonesia.
Our team organizes this employee event once a year, changing the location each year.
Why do we have this opportunity?
We have three main objectives as to why we do this.
To leave the Tokyo office in the middle of the city and visit a place rich in nature, so that we can once again experience first-hand our team philosophy of “regeneration”.
To take a break from our current projects and discuss the mission we want to achieve as imageMILL team and the path we need to take to achieve it.
To rediscover issues and deepen our understanding of the activities we should support as a team through exchanges with practitioners who are contributing to the earth and society, and by participating in some of the activities.
During our stay in Bali, we enjoyed learning through the following activities. This blog will provide a detailed introduction to this learning along these lines.
・Staying at Mana Earthly Paradise
・Visit to su-re.co
・Visit to Yayasan Bumi Sehat (midwifery centre)
・Joint meeting with Earth company
・Mangrove clean-up with Sungai watch
・Team strategy meeting at Swasti
・Fun activities like Yoga session and kayaking
Where we stayed at this time
Mana Earthly Paradise is a ‘next-generation eco hotel where you can contribute to society just by staying’, nestled in the rice fields of Ubud, Bali. It is managed by Earth Company with the vision of ‘creating a future for future generations’.
During our team’s stay, we also took part in a hotel tour for guests and saw the hotel’s initiatives in action. The following are some of Mana Earthly Paradise’s special features.
・All lighting is solar-powered, rainwater is circulated and wastewater is reused throughout the property, including in the gardens.
・The building was constructed using timber from the waste wood of the houses, without cutting down a single new tree.
・The restaurant uses ingredients from native seeds grown by natural farming methods in the on-site fields. The menu is full of organic vegetables and fruit, with vegan options available, and the team were all wowed by the delicious breakfasts every morning!
・The ethical store in the hotel sells sustainable and ethical products that make great souvenirs for friends and yourself. There is also a section for measuring and selling food and other products.
The profits from Mana Earthly paradise are also used to support the Asia-Pacific Changemakers, IMPACT HEROs.The hotel’s design is full of eco-friendly tips, but also ensures that guests are not forced to endure anything, and that their stay is comfortable and relaxing. While inbound tourism is increasing in Bali and hotels are being built all over the island, this is also causing problems for local residents and farmers, such as water shortages due to pumping large amounts of water. We hope that more and more hotels like this will be built to protect Bali’s nature and local livelihoods.
Circular system using biogas technology
Su-re.co was founded in 2015 by Professor Takama, founder and CEO, who started the su-re.coffee project to fulfil his promise to ‘do something, not just study’. su-re.co is a company with the watchword ‘think-do-be-tank’.The mission of su-re.co is to make a difference to society through a number of projects with scientifically proven sustainable and resilient solutions under the guidance of a research team.
This time, we focused on learning about biogas system, after a lecture on how biogas works, focusing on the biogas project, we visited the Jiwa garden, a communal farm where this system is actually installed. Here, cattle manure is used to produce fertiliser through a bio-digester, which is then used as fertiliser on the farm. In the communal garden, each small plot grows a variety of local vegetables of different species, creating a space where it is easy to practise ‘grow and eat by yourself’. Su-re.co has been working on this biogas project since 2016 and has installed a total of 17 biogas units for farmers and partners in Bali so far, while improving on their performance. One of the key differences from other biodigesters is the focus on ease of installation. Ease of maintenance is particularly important for local farmers to keep them in good condition. One source of funding is the introduction of carbon offsets using blockchain technology, which sends real-time data to the instrumentation as the gas is produced, providing transparent carbon offset values rather than estimated values.
Team strategy meeting in nature
A strategy meeting was held with the whole team to consider what imageMILL should be as a company. Opinions were expressed from a variety of perspectives, but the main direction that emerged was that imageMILL itself will make further efforts towards zero carbon in order to achieve a regenerative society. We have set ourselves the target of becoming carbon neutral by 2024 and of becoming a B corp registered company. Specific measures to achieve these targets will be communicated through the Impact Report.
The meeting and spiritual yoga sessions were held at Swasti, a retreat centre in Ubud, Bali. It was a precious time to get away from the noise of the city and listen more than usual to our own body and spirit, as well as to the conversations with our colleagues.
Life in Bali and plastic wastes
Sungai Watch is an Indonesian-based environmental organisation whose mission is to prevent plastic waste from flowing into the ocean. founded in 2020 by Gary, Kelly and Sam Bencheghib, it now has 55 warriors as members. Activities. They are working on a widely applicable approach to plastic pollution by installing barriers to prevent litter run-off, conducting regular litter clean-ups in rivers and mangroves, and creating systems for litter disposal and upcycling.
We took part in regular Sungai Watch clean-up activities in the mangroves of Denpasar, Bali. There, we witnessed mountains of rubbish, an unimaginable amount of what one would expect from Bali’s glamorous resort image. We were almost lost for words at the sheer volume, but we spent time collecting the rubbish that covered the ground into bags and listening to the staff talk about various topics.
Indonesia ranks second in the world after China in terms of marine plastic pollution. It is estimated that only 4% of the total amount of waste in Bali is recycled. This is due to the lack of sufficient infrastructure for pollution management and recycling. Although the Indonesian Government has declared that it will reduce 70% of the plastic waste that flows into the ocean by 2025, even today the mountains of waste illegally discarded in rivers and mangroves are not decreasing and continue to rely on the efforts of NGOs and volunteers such as Sungai Watch.
There are several ways to support Sungai Watch’s work, and we encourage you to get involved as a volunteer when you visit Bali. Not only will you be helping to protect the global environment, but you will also be able to see with your own eyes and talk to staff members about the situation behind the scenes in Bali, which you would not be able to see if you were just a tourist. Even if you are unable to volunteer, you can still support their work through fundraising. For more information, please visit the fundraising section on their website.
Great mother for the Balinese women
Impact Hero is a leadership support programme by the Bali-based general incorporated association Earth Company. One changemaker per year from the Asia-Pacific region is selected as an IMPACT HERO who can make a significant difference to the future by working on the SDGs, and the programme supports them for three years by drawing out their leadership qualities and abilities to maximise the impact of their activities.
Robin Lim was selected as an IMPACT HERO in 2016. She is a midwife from the Philippines who founded the NGO Bumisehat International Midwifery Centre in Bali, Indonesia. She has delivered 9,000 babies and is fondly known as ‘Eve Robin’ (Mother Robin). Bumisehat (meaning ‘healthy mother earth’) operates clinics in Bali, Indonesia; Aceh and Papua, Sumatra; and the Philippines, and has set up temporary clinics in disaster-affected areas around the world, including Haiti and Nepal. She trains more than 6,000 midwives and nurses annually, and more than 300,000 people have received Bumisehat’s services.
We took a tour and visited the Bumisehat clinic she established this time. She told us about the many births she had experienced and the current situation of women in Bali, which made us realise how precious the presence of midwives is, who rejoice and protect life together. We, who specialise in different fields, are in different industries, but we would like to place importance on seeking ways of communication to protect people and society.