Unused tyres in landfill

Commerce students drive innovation in the circular tyre economy

18 July 2023
A new generation of thought leaders are tackling UN Sustainable Development Goals through industry experience
Business School industry partner, Tyre Stewardship Australia, equips final-year students with the skills, knowledge, and readiness they need to thrive in their future careers.

As sustainability and career-readiness becomes a greater priority for many students graduating into a rapidly changing workforce, the Bachelor of Commerce and Advanced Studies helps strengthen career-ready skills. 

This year, final-year students showcased elite skills in design innovation and entrepreneurship partnering with Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) to solve real-world challenges of the circular tyre economy. 

The unit is part of the Bachelor of Commerce and Advanced Studies program, Design-led Strategy, where students collaborate with industry partners to solve wicked problems that address United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). 

“The collaboration with TSA transformed our classroom into an innovation lab, connecting students with industry realities and nurturing their ability to devise effective, innovative solutions,” says Dr Jarryd Daymond, lecturer and unit convenor of Design-led Strategy. He emphasised the significance of the unit as an immersive and interactive industry experience for final-year students. 

“It is gratifying to see students not just learn, but apply the principles of design-led strategy in meaningful ways”. 

One of the most valuable learnings was knowing when to pivot and my out-of-the-box thinking was sharpened as our industry partner gave us a rather unconventional target audience. It equipped me with skills for my personal career path in Business.
Yola Nahda

Where industry problems meet student innovation

The problem TSA presented to the students revolved around engaging farmers in rural communities to help extend the life of tyres. It addresses the SDG goal of responsible consumption and production – the challenge lies in seeking efficient resource use and devising an innovative strategy that is both sustainable and economically competitive for tyre waste management. 

The graduating class of 2023 eagerly embraced the challenge. With their imminent transition into the professional workforce, the students employed theoretical knowledge with hands-on experience to design innovative solutions. They engaged in comprehensive research, prototyping, iterative solution development, and feedback collection. 

Their implementation plans were very well received by the TSA team. “We were deeply humbled by the experience,” says Lina Goodman, CEO of Tyre Stewardship Australia. 

Kusum Khatiwada

Kusum Khatiwada, Bachelor of Commerce and Advanced Studies

“Working with TSA has been eye-opening on many fronts. Not only did we learn about current environmental impacts of waste tyres due to a lack of proper management, but we were given the opportunity to derive an impactful strategy to help address this issue using the design thinking framework,” says Kusum Khatiwada, a Bachelor of Commerce and Advanced Studies student. 

Stella Seonwoo Um shares a similar sentiment. “I feel a deep sense of fulfilment and gratitude to be engaging with great people and like-minded individuals who were enthusiastic to produce deliverables that could make real potential impacts.” 

How industry-related projects help with choosing a career

Patrick Wilkins

Patrick Wilkins, Bachelor of Commerce and Advanced Studies

For Patrick Wilkins, engaging in this practical unit has furnished him with skills and new perspectives to solve seemingly unsolvable issues, which will be invaluable as he wants to pursue a career path in international relations and business. 

When asked about how the project helped with their career readiness, students were thrilled. 

“I only really got to immerse myself in the process through this unit,” says Yola Nahda, who majors in Marketing and Digital Cultures.

Evan Putrasung, who studies Finance and Business Information Systems, highlighted the practicality of the unit. “I know that design-led strategy is based on an MBA capstone unit, so I think there’s no doubt that it’s the perfect unit that helps to develop the key problem-solving, innovative-thinking, and decision-making skills valued by today’s employers and needed to become a future leader, entrepreneur, manager or consultant. So as someone interested in these career paths, I really think the unit can help support me and my career."

“It is so important for industry to engage and be a part of the university learning experience – to bring both real-world issues to the table, and to help foster an innovation-first culture for our next generation of thought leaders.” says Lina Goodman, CEO of Tyre Stewardship Australia.   

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