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Bali Internships Alumni Report: A Profound Discovery, Perceiving Bali Through The Mind of Elena

As an international holiday destination, Bali's socio-economic aspect is fascinating to learn and observe. It became the particular reason for Elena to do her research in the island through Bali Internships. We have an exclusive interview with the lively lady to extract all of her interesting experiences and insightful thoughts.

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Elena currently conducts her academic journey at University of Nicosia (UNIC), Cyprus, and her Ph.D doctoral research in ecological economics and outstanding linear Degrowth concept brought her to the island of Bali. "As an ecological economist, I am searching for a new business model. Different types of growth are still needed, but what kind, and how we connect business with more communities and nature, this is the question of my research. Bali is one of the most interesting places in the world to do this because it has a unique combination of science, business, communities and nature indeed. I was so thankful that I found Bali internships to help me organize the trip. With the help of Bali Internships, I helped develop Eco Smart Village Real Estate, and this project connected with communities where I did most of my research."

After spending 3 months doing her research, Elena found it fascinating how the people in Bali are doing business models, and that gave her inspiration to shift her perspective and gain more data from her internship. "I found that here, some villages are developed by international corporations that work with the locals, and this results in different types of business models. But Bali is like a playground where people experiment with different models and approaches for their business" Elena said. "At first, I find it quite hard to get the materials for my topic (because the business people that I met are mostly experimenting with their business model), but I am thinking ‘hey, this could be the data as well’, so I switched my positional view, analysis, questions and in the end, I was able to collect all the data from that new perspective."

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Not only conducting her extensive research, Elena also ensured she got enough spare time during her internship period to enjoy the best of the island's has to offer, and decided to take weekend off. "I've visited many places during my weekend; temples, villages, and cities in Bali. I didn't stick with one particular schedule during my research time, but more or less 8 hours per day, and then I usually have time to watch the sunset and have dinner together." She also admits that she really enjoyed the task where she had to directly interact with the locals, converting and developing business strategy to various villages rather than doing paperwork. "I brought many scientific articles and loads of books. I want to sit and write down some of the materials altogether, but for me, it's much easier to speak to people, explore new opportunities and places than work with papers, but I'll do it eventually!" she laughed.

After three months of engaging research, Elena discovered a fascinating perspective in Bali's business model and even a precise analogy of how it looks and implemented. "My statement about Bali would be perfectly analogous to a pyramidal structure. We have to be able to grow vertically and horizontally. Growing horizontally is a networking growth; it means we have sustainable units which are interconnected. What does it mean? It means that you, me, other people are all a hundred percent sustainable, knowledgeable, strong and healthy units, and we interconnected to one another because we all excel in different things, but together we can do more and better. And the culture of openness and acceptance will make this model thriving for generations to come." she explains thoroughly.

Overall, Elena feels so satisfied by her experience with Bali Internships, which, according to her, gives a very different vibe than internship company / program in general. “You can feel a different energy, you really feel the team, the family, and other participants. Then I spoke to Laura, the founder of Bali Internships. We couldn't stop ourselves from talking during the first hours because we found so much alignment during that conversation! Of course I would recommend the company where I got so many profound experience to anyone who want to come to Bali to find their specific research projects, and who would like to be met by the locals who are really open to what we are doing”. Lastly, Elena described Bali in her own insightful three words “Nature, technology, community; a profound combination.” she concluded.

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By Billy Bagus

Did you get inspired by Elena's story?