GINSaigon 2018: An Event to Remember

December 15, 2018

Student Organization: GIN saigon


Start/End date: March 16th ~ 18th


Description: GINSaigon 2018's theme was “Envisioning Arcadia,” a call to all participants to imagine an ideal world in which our current global issues have ceased to exist.


Purpose/Mission: Our mission was to explore solutions to specific topics like Sustainable Lifestyles, Food Waste, Robot Revolution, and much more within three days.


Process & Reflection:

Day 1 - Opening ceremony and brief meeting with other students interested in the same topic

by Ana Samudio


A much anticipated portion of the conference is dedicated to the spreading of ideas and projects through keynote speakers. Whilst members of NGO’s and adults who take action after experiencing or observing some kind of injustices in their local communities are to listen to and learn from, it is awe inspiring to watch fellow students share their own thoughts and ideas on the observations we make in our daily lives. These talks show us a new perspective to the student life we share and give weight to our actions.


To start off the opening ceremony of the conference, Grass Roots’ own Celine Pham spoke eloquently of the power of connections and her journey as a founding member of the Grass Roots Network. As an embodiment of the fundamental nature of the GIN Network and GIN Conferences, Grass Roots was created to facilitate and maximize the use of knowledge and experience provided by our various student led local community projects. A truly inspiring talk by someone who made an observation, formed a plan, and took action; genius logic.



Day 2 - Researching about the topic and finding out possible solutions


Day 3 - The service fair

by Celine Pham


The service fair on Day 3 was the highlight of our “Grass Roots Networking” efforts at the conference. Here, we were able to interact directly with students and teachers whose interests had been piqued by my GINTalk on Day 1. We were so amazed at the feedback both students and teachers offered at our table, and in total, we gained at least 50 new members in the network!


It was so great to see that many of our fellow GINers held the exact same sentiments that we had about creating projects in isolation. We even had students from VIS, UNIS, who were eager to join the network, as well as schools like AIS and EIS who we’ve been wanting to reach out to for a while now. Our hope is that we can open up more opportunities for students who are passionate about making a positive change for the environment and provide a welcoming space in which to display their work.


We’re planning big things ahead… so stay up to date by subscribing to the website! And if you have any ideas or would like to join our executive team, email us at




GINTalk Speaker


Debby Nguyen

A special shoutout to SSIS student Debbie Nguyen, who spoke up about a critical issue we all spell but can't bring ourselves to openly discuss: sex. Her words wrung loud and clear about the social and health issues that arise from our fear of a single word or concept and called for the empowerment of young people with sex education. She shone light on an issue society tries to keep in the dark.


Keynote Speakers


Fashion 4 Freedom

We also were able to connect with Ms. Lan Vy Nguyen, founder of Fashion 4 Freedom, a fashion social enterprise based in Hue. Ms. Lan Vy spoke powerfully about her story from escaping as Vietnam War refugee, to working on Wall Street, and then finally returning back to her home country. Discovering the exploitation and inequity infamous of the Vietnamese clothing production industry, Ms. Lan Vy has worked hard to build Vietnam’s first ethically responsible, luxury supply chain that empowers local craftspeople to become entrepreneurs of their own businesses, while also spreading the artistry and beauty of Vietnamese culture to the world.




It was clear that the whole room was both moved and inspired by Ms. Lan Vy’s creative and empowering work.


Learn more about Ms. Lan Vy’s work at



Mr. Kai Kuramoto, founder of Cleanbodia, spoke about his journey in solving Cambodia’s critical plastic pollution problem through cassava-based bioplastic bags.



What made his talk so effective was that Mr. Kai emphasized that he started out with no formal expertise nor experience in launching anything like Cleanbodia, and yet through drive, creative problem solving, and persistence, was able to create such a practical solution to the plastic problem. He saw a problem and no one else committed to a solution, so it just seemed logical to create one himself.


Learn more about Mr. Kai and Cleanbodia at


Watch the Conference Recap Video here:




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