Growing up in a small rural community in western Jamaica motivated Orlando Scarlett, HBA/Economics’23, to question from a young age why poverty exists and to consider how stronger social foundations might help.
“From as early as high school, I became very interested in the intersection of the public and private sectors – how the government, businesses, and citizens can collaborate to solve the world’s most important problems,” he said.
He took Ivey’s HBA Sustainability Certificate program hoping to gain the skills that would help him to contribute to building a more regenerative and distributive economy both in Canada and Jamaica. He said the learnings from the program exceeded his expectations.
“Those courses, along with all the events and the guest speakers that we had in the certificate program exposed me to what’s required to really make a difference from a sustainability perspective and it helped to shape an individual impact model that will stay with me and continue to evolve throughout my career,” he said. “The Sustainability Certificate was a big part of my learning experience and will be very valuable going forward.”
Making his mark through student leadership
While at Ivey, Scarlett got involved with various student clubs and associations. In particular, he was Co-President of the Black Students at Ivey Collective (BSIC), a group formed in 2019 to provide a space for Black students to connect, share their experiences, and receive mentorship.Earlier this year, BSIC organized Ivey’s first-ever Black Culture Celebration, which drew more than 100 Ivey and Western students and alumni.
Scarlett also helped the School by giving feedback on the student side during the creation of the Ivey Next strategy. The strategy identifies sustainability, along with the evolution of work and Canada’s place in the world, as the critical issues that are shaping the future of business.
Reflecting on the future
Noting that the lessons he learned while at Ivey will help him well into the future, Scarlett said he expects the critical issues identified in Ivey’s strategy will become an important part of the curriculum and shape students’ perspectives going forward.
“I think more and more students coming to Ivey will engage with the challenges that the world is facing and own the mantra that the world’s fight is their fight,” he said. “The students will want to own challenges such as climate change. They’ll want to own opportunities, such as AI [artificial intelligence] and technology, and that will become a way for them to shape a unique career and not just follow a traditional career path.”