Students from Memorial invited to attend sustainability conference
On May 23-26, students from Memorial will be joining their peers to participate in IMPACT! The Co-operator’s Youth Program for Sustainability Leadership.IMPACT was launched in 2009 by The Co-operators to draw attention to sustainability and includes a conference, workshops, mentoring and funding for student projects.
The students from Memorial were selected from more than 370 applicants. The conference, which will take place at the University of Guelph, will bring together students between the ages of 19-25 from 68 Canadian colleges and universities who share a passion for bringing about positive change.
Mechanical engineering student Colin Rose is one of 16 students from Memorial who will be attending the conference. He is excited about the opportunity to come together with like-minded students from all across Canada to make a difference.
“Whether it’s in an environmental, social, or economic context, sustainability is a very important consideration for me as an engineering student,” he said. “Engineers are morally obliged to ensure sustainable design; however, sustainability is not just limited to engineering. The great thing about IMPACT! is that it involves students from a range of educational backgrounds all coming together with their own experiences in sustainability. The multi-disciplinary approach is intended to spark creativity and create broad-based networks. I’m looking forward to collaborating and sharing ideas with all of the attendees at the conference in May.”
Participants are divided into focus groups prior to the conference and assigned specific sustainability challenges. During the conference, the pre-formed groups team up with experts from academia, industry, government and civil society to develop real sustainability solutions to take back to their campuses, communities, and current or future workplaces.
“As part of the Sustainable Business Model challenge group, I will be participating in a gap analysis of the production systems of large Canadian manufacturers. The goal for this challenge is to consider these existing systems and suggest modifications that will minimize environmental degradation or, better yet, be ecologically restorative,” explained Mr. Rose.
Following the conference, participants are encouraged to lead local community initiatives, some of which will be funded through IMPACT!
Dr. Greg Naterer, dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, is proud that Memorial engineering students were chosen for this impactful conference.
“Our students are among the best in the country and we’re proud of our students who were selected for this conference,” said Dr. Naterer. “Opportunities like this are very important to our youth as they help instill in our young engineers the importance of sustainable products, systems and processes. We are delighted that our students will be a part of this initiative.”
IMPACT! is a partnership with The Natural Step Canada; the University of Guelph; the University of Saskatchewan’s Centre for the Study of Co-operatives; Wilfrid Laurier University; Lambton College; the Canadian Co-operative Association; the international student organization AIESEC; and the David Suzuki Foundation.