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Joe Tucker ’21 had a quintessential Marietta College experience 8,000 miles away from campus.

For 10 days in November, the International Business major paired with a team of students, business owners and developers from five different countries to identify and work toward a solution to one global sustainability issue during the UNLEASH Innovation Lab 2019, which was held in Shenzhen, China. The global initiative unites young people from around the world to help develop solutions toward the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Tucker competed with 8,000 other students and professionals from around the world for the opportunity to attend the symposium. His team focused on increasing awareness within supply chains, particularly beef supply chains.

“The central problem we found is that someone could eat a hamburger in New York and unknowingly be contributing to the historic drought in the Colorado River basin,” Tucker says. “This blindness occurs in part because we did not find any current holistic way to trace water consumption, first in the cattle feed grown and all the way up to beef retailers. We found that beef processors are often where the supply chains of many retailers and restaurants begin.”

Tucker, who was the youngest member in his group, says the work is ongoing, and his team is currently working on a project to leverage an awareness campaign through social media.

“My most memorable part of the trip was the opportunity to meet and work with professionals from the World Bank Group, the United Nations and Deloitte and with social impact entrepreneurs everywhere from Chicago to Ghana.”