Jason Mader and Jamila Satani, undergraduate students from the Richard Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario, have been selected to participate in a national conference on leadership in business sustainability.
They are among 180 college and university students chosen from more than 900 applicants across Canada to attend Impact! The Co-operators Youth Conference for Sustainability Leadership in Guelph from September 24 to 27. David Suzuki is the keynote speaker.
“I’m very excited,” says Mader. “This event is a great opportunity to combine what I’m learning at university with what I’m really passionate about – sustainability.”
“Bringing students together who are interested in the environment and then allowing them to make an impact is incredible,” says Satani. “I’m looking forward to meeting up with other students to share ideas.”
Mader and Satani will join other students, aged 19 to 25, from across the country to generate innovative sustainability ideas at the conference and then take them back to their campuses, communities and workplaces.
Preparation for the conference has already begun. Since they were selected, the Ivey students have taken an online sustainability course and been assigned groups to explore existing sustainability practices within a specific sector.
Satani’s group is looking at retail. The team hopes to identify supplier relationships and see how businesses are integrating sustainability and where they can improve. Mader and his team are examining municipal public services for the City of Ottawa. They hope to indentify best practices for water, hydro and garbage collection services and develop more sustainable systems.
Partners with The Co-operators at this inaugural event include the Research Network for Business Sustainability and the Richard Ivey School of Business. Tima Bansal is a Professor at Ivey and the Executive Director for the Network.
“This conference will bring together an extremely diverse group of highly energetic and talented students chosen from disciplines ranging from agriculture, to political science, to engineering,” she says. “The impact that they can have on Canada and Canadian business is enormous.”