Agenda 2030 Graduate School blog

Lund University Agenda 2030 Graduate School is a global, cutting-edge research school and collaboration platform for issues related to societal challenges, sustainability and the 2030 Agenda. The 17 PhD students from all faculties at Lund University enrolled with the Agenda 2030 Graduate School relate their specific research topics to the Sustainable Development Goals. In this blog the PhD students of the Graduate School discuss topical research and societal issues related to the 2030 Agenda.

Grateful – Reflections from a research visit to Sauder Business School in Canada

Neon light sign with the word Canada. Photo.

Posted on 19 January 2023 by Phil Flores (PhD student, Department of Business Administration and the Agenda 2030 Graduate School)
The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Agenda 2030 Graduate School or Lund University. The present document is being issued without formal editing.

Grateful is the word to describe my research visit to Sauder Business School at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada. Or extremely grateful, to put it in two words.

At the beginning of 2022, I had the opportunity to go on a research visit to Sauder. The idea of going entered my mind when I read a paper by a researcher who went on an exchange during the PhD studies. So I decided to ask my supervisors if they would allow me to go, and I sent an email to some of the most prominent scholars in consumer research, Darren Dahl and Yann Cornil. Despite not meeting them beforehand and having no mutual connections, I was extremely fortunate to get a reply from both. Perhaps the Phil from the Philippines introduction got them (I have yet to confirm!). Thankfully, I got generous Agenda 2030 Graduate School and K2’s research grants allowing me to stay in Vancouver for six months.

A modern building with many windows. Photo.
Sauder Business School, Vancouver, Canada. Photo: Phil Flores

The initial purpose of the visit was to meet top scholars in the field of consumer research and to learn how to conduct experiments. There were no plans to collaborate on a project together as I did not have concrete ideas. However, Darren and Yann were generous with their time and funding so that we could start a project together. They were willing to teach me everything they could, but they never hesitated to challenge my ideas, which pushed me to work hard. So through their guidance, we came up with a project we are currently working on about better ways to promote green products. Specifically, we look at whether consumers would be more enticed to try novel green products or products that are new and good for the environment if their promotion does not mention the traditional non-environmental products they intend to replace. For instance, would consumers be more inclined to try e-bike sharing if their ads do not mention anything about cars? Or would individuals be more open to eating meat alternatives if they are not sold as meat substitutes?

Apart from doing research, I got to audit the Consumer Judgment and Decision Making class held by David Hardisty. Dave was kind to have me sit in and participate with other PhD students. This class allowed me to meet other PhDs and get to know their projects. Toward the end, I could also participate in a joint conference of UBC and the University of Washington in Seattle. The event was an excellent opportunity to listen to and get to know other researchers in my field.

Before I left Vancouver, I got the chance to go around British Columbia and discover the beauty of Canada (only a tiny portion), where wild bears could freely roam, and trees could generously grow. Canada is truly a wonder to behold. Six months was not enough to discover everything, but it was enough to understand why Canada is one of the most livable countries in the world, despite its freezing climate!

Darren and Yann are two brilliant mentors, and I could not ask for better collaborators! I would definitely recommend to everyone, if you have the opportunity, to get out of your institution, reach out to people, collaborate, and learn! My research visit to UBC made me realize what distinguishes good research from excellent ones. One day, fingers crossed, I get to produce exceptional work that could impact not only my community, but also the people negatively affected by climate change.

January 19, 2023

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