About Us



SIFE stands for Students in Free Enterprise. It’s a global movement that encourages students from the world’s universities to undertake community projects which demonstrate and educate about how sustainable enterprise can create wealth and wellbeing for people organisations and society. More than forty countries and 1600 universities participate in SIFE, touching about 4 million people. SIFE can change the world, one project at a time. Each year there are national competitions to find the leading national SIFE team and these then go on to participate in world championships held annually in a major city around the world. The team represented here are from SIFE Waikato, Mike’s university, the 2006 New Zealand National Champions.

Tragically, advanced education is a privilege available to only a small proportion of the world’s population. 20% of people over 15 are illiterate. UNICEF reports that 250 million children between 5 and 14 or 25% are required to work rather than acquire an education through formal study and play. This phenomenon is worst in Africa [about 40%] and Central America, but its worth noting that the situation is improving in Asia and India with economic progress. Illiteracy is significantly associated with poverty, and poverty with poor health; illiteracy of mothers is significantly associated with that of children - the so-called poverty trap. www.storycenter.org, YouTube www.youtube.com, and computer games which simulate ecosystems such as SimLife or Second Life www.secondlife.com.

What Sustainable Enterprise demonstrates through storytelling and design is that sustainability is not just an environmental issue but a cultural challenge. Even if a product is designed to be sustainable it only achieves total sustainability if the person using the product is accountable for it at the end of its life, such as by returning it to its manufacturer or recycling. Therefore we advocate integrating beautifully designed products and services into cultural stories to develop diverse strategies that educate people on sustainable inhabiting.

1 Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General Jan 2004 in Bruce Mau, Jennifer Leonard and the Institute without Boundaries, Massive Change. (Phaidon Press Limited: London, 2004)227