“The Ghaf tree is an island of fertility and a powerful symbol of the UAE’s heritage, culture and persistence for growth and life.  We’re proud to showcase this element of the ‘living desert’ to all UAE residents and inspire people to make environmentally sustainable choices in their daily lives.”

~Tatiana Antonelli Abella

Tatiana Antonelli Abella is the founder and managing director of Goumbook, a Social Enterprise dedicated to raising awareness among the local community on Sustainability and Green Living: launched in 2009 it was the first green information resource for the MENA region. Today Goumbook manages different projects such as Sustainable Mena, a green directory dedicated to promote green products and services in the region; the Give a Ghaf Tree Planting Program, the only tree planting initiative of the GCC with over 30,000 seeds planted in the past 5 years, and the Drop It & Drop It Youth campaign to help businesses and individuals stop using single-use plastic. Tatiana is actively involved in the green arena and is considered one of UAE’s top Environmental Influencers.

Enjoy the show!

Posted on March 1, 2018

Show Notes:

  • 1:15 – How Goumbook launched the sustainability revolution in the Middle East
  • 2:30 – Creating the first Green Directory for the UAE and growing quickly
  • 3:45 – Developing a sustainability-focused supply chain ecosystem
  • 6:15 – Dealing with setbacks in your business and how to overcome them
  • 6:45 – Launching the “Give a Ghaf” program
  • 8:15 – The importance of the Ghaf tree to the desert environment
  • 11:45 – How to connect with the UAE by planting a tree
  • 13:00 – Planting 40,000 seeds and 10,000 trees across the UAE
  • 17:00 – Transforming Goumbook into a Social Enterprise vs a Charity
  • 18:00 – What is a Social Enterprise?
  • 18:45 – Why hiring competent team members is the best investment
  • 20:00 – The DropIt program … reducing single-use plastic bottle usage
  • 21:30 – The secret about bottled water in the UAE
  • 23:00 – How you can save money and make an impact through water filtration
  • 26:00 – Partnering with companies who want to support Sustainability
  • 29:30 – The business model for Goumbook
  • 31:00 – How to decide where to focus your energy and efforts
  • 36:45 – How the UAE government moves with speed
  • 40:30 – Where the Goumbook organization got its name
  • 44:15 – Quickly testing an idea with minimal resources
  • 45:15 – Hopes for a sustainable Expo 2020
  • 46:30 – What Tatiana would put on the SZR Billboard
  • 48:30 – How Richard Branson inspired immediate action
  • 50:30 – Advice for your 20-year-old self
  • 53:15 – Why working for a large company can be a good thing
  • 55:15 – Why continuous learning is the key path to growth

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