Fostering Entrepreneurial Mindset and Sustainability at Nexus International School (Singapore)
Nexus International School (Singapore) has long championed entrepreneurship education, instilling an innovative and proactive business mindset within its learners. Through dynamic entrepreneurship programs and workshops, Nexus empowers its learners to embrace the challenges and opportunities in business ventures.
During his visit to Singapore for International Agri-Food Week 2023, Tobias Peggs, CEO and Co-founder of Square Roots, visited our campus and provided a captivating discussion to our learners on business sustainability, entrepreneurship, life in a startup, and the importance of developing future-proof solutions. The talk captivated our Business and Economics learners and deeply resonated with our Green Guardians and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) Ambassadors, who take proactive measures to drive sustainability initiatives within the Nexus community.
Square Roots: Revolutionising Sustainable Agriculture
Tobias, the self-proclaimed techno-optimist, embodies the spirit of innovation and forward-thinking. His company, Square Roots, is revolutionising the agricultural landscape by creating controlled climate farming platforms which aim to future-proof agriculture in the face of the ongoing climate crisis. Their solution involves converting shipping containers into versatile, climate-regulated farms that can yield high-quality produce year-round, regardless of location.
During his visit to Nexus International School, Tobias shared Square Roots’ journey, emphasising their need to quickly adapt during the pandemic. When restaurants closed, the company had to pivot from selling only to restaurants to expanding to include grocery stores. He also shared the challenges they faced regarding credibility, as many publications questioned the sustainability of indoor farming. To underscore the company’s commitment to sustainability, Tobias referred to the phrase, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t prove it.” By taking the steps to accurately measure their carbon footprint across all aspects of the business, they were able to identify their current carbon emission benchmarks and find ways to enhance their responsible business practices
To conclude the talk, Tobias shared his vision for the future, which goes beyond traditional agriculture. He aspires to set up Square Roots farms in outer space someday, emphasising his strong dedication to exploring new horizons in agriculture and sustainability.
Empowering Minds: Insights from Tobias' Nexus Visit
The interactive Q&A session gave learners valuable perspectives from Tobias’s wealth of experience.
To start, he shared insights on his diverse career path, emphasising the value of acquiring adaptable skills that are transferable across multiple industries. Tobias also advised them that the best way to stay relevant involved staying versatile while also nurturing their spirit of innovation and resilience.
During the session, Mia, Year 12, raised a question about concerns regarding unemployment caused by AI. Tobias expressed his belief in the collaborative role between humans and AI, nurturing a culture of creativity and critical thinking. He emphasised the supportive nature of AI, rather than it being a substitute for human capabilities.
Another learner asked about Square Roots’ contingency plan in the event of a power outage. Tobias reiterated his earlier statement, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t prove it,” and shared the story of a practical demonstration with a simulated power outage in the Antarctic by leaving a container of produce there and opening the doors to observe the effects. Tobias used this example to highlight the importance of proactive risk management and data-driven decision-making in entrepreneurship, inspiring our learners to identify ways to proactively tackle challenges.
In response to a question on land utilisation in densely populated areas, Tobias mentioned that more cities are exploring creative approaches to space utilisation, highlighting the world’s first underground farm beneath London’s Clapham High Street. Tobias mentioned that this was a factor in designing the shipping containers as they wanted to make them as adaptable as possible.
As the event came to an end, our learners left feeling inspired by Tobias’s dedication to making a positive impact. The talk served as a reminder of Nexus’ commitment to nurturing creativity, resilience, and social responsibility, providing our learners with the mindset and tools to lead initiatives for a more sustainable future.