Singles Day, Multiple Problems: Green Drinks November Forum

  • 15 November 2018
  • 19:00 - 21:00
  • WeWork @ Hunan Road, Shanghai

Singles' day is round the corner, and so comes the time of the year where we buy products of all shapes and sizes without questioning whether we need them. And why? Because they are massively discounted, as retailers look to get rid of their 'old' stock before a new year begins.

A day that initially started out for single friends to spend time with each other and appreciate their friendship by giving each other little presents has become the biggest shopping frenzy in China, possibly even on our planet, thanks to widespread promotion by the Alibaba Group.

"Last year the Singles’ Day generated a record 168.2 billion yuan ($25.3 billion) in sales, as the e-commerce giant worked with more traditional retailers to market discounted lobster, iPhones and refrigerators to shoppers from at least 225 countries and regions." Bloomberg reported.

"Alibaba’s orgy of consumption is disastrous for the environment and working people, so why are we so in thrall to it?" Sixth Tone reported.

Many of us are driven to desire things we don't need, without thought for the waste this rampant consumption produces.

As Singles' Day is posed to grow in popularity and spread to more countries, have we thought about the true impact of such events? What are the consequences of this attitude to consumerism? What is the alternative? How is it that its hard to resist such temptations? What does this say about the consumer psyche?

Join us on November 15th 2018 to discuss these questions at the Green Drinks' 115th Monthly Sustainability Forum at naked Hub, Hunan Road, Shanghai.


Matthew Walsh, Editor, Sixth Tone
Background: Matthew is an editor at Shanghai-based news outlet Sixth Tone, where he works on projects related to environmental and health issues in China. He has lived in the country since 2014, and holds degrees in Chinese Studies from Oxford University and Interpreting and Translation Studies from Bath University in the UK.

[TED Talk] Guido Palazzo, Professor of Business Ethics, University of Lausanne
Background: Guido Palazzo is a professor of business ethics at the University of Lausanne. He is passionate about understanding the dark side of the force and in his research he examines unethical decision making from various angles. While mainly known for his studies on the impact of globalization on corporate responsibility, he also studies unethical behaviour within organizations and the impact of organized crime on business and society.


This is a free event which will involve videos, TED talks, speaker presentations, and discussions. This may not follow the usual Green Drinks forum style that comprise of expert talks only.

Event Details

15 Nov 2018 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
WeWork @ Hunan Road, 328 Hunan Road, Near Gaoyou Road, Shanghai
Shanghai Library Line 10 Exit 3