Hosting a Sustainable Impact Summit

Darren Baine host Sustainable Impact Summit

In today’s rapidly changing world, sustainability has shifted from being a trendy concept to a vital strategy for our planet’s survival. As awareness about climate change and environmental degradation grows, initiatives aimed at promoting sustainability are becoming more critical now than ever. It’s in this context that we hosted the Sustainable Impact Summit, by Young & Restless, to bring our peers together around how we can actively contribute to our world, sustainably. This event not only wrapped up the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Week in Canada, but ignited a spark among the youth to take actionable steps towards a sustainable future.

Inspiring Talks and Enlightening Discussions

 

The summit brought together some of the most inspiring and dedicated voices in the field of sustainability in relation to the SDGs. Speakers, Julie Wright – National Director of Our Living Waters and Michele Martin – Training Program Specialist at the Waterloo Climate Institute shared their experiences and insights on achieving SDGs 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) and 13 (Climate Action), respectively. Their talks explored the importance of collective effort and individual action in addressing the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges. More on the Sustainable Development Goals: What are the SDGs?

In as much as we brought together experts, we wanted to tie in our peers that have been actively involved in climate action and sustainability. We held a panel discussion featuring Michelle Angkasa, Shreya Rao, and Lavanya Thirupathy. These remarkable women, engaged in a thought-provoking conversation about Climate Action and Sustainability. Their commitment and enthusiasm served as a powerful motivation for attendees, reinforcing the idea that youth engagement is crucial in the fight against climate change.

Leadership: Keynotes that Inspire

 

We recognized that in as much we can have these discussions it is important to have individuals put in power representing the government be part of the summit. This allowed great dialogue between the students as the changemakers on sustainability and how they can be supported by the government of Canada. The Mayor of Kitchener, Berry Vrbanovic,  shared insights into the city’s efforts to integrate the SDGs into local governance. His keynote speech was informative, urging everyone to utilize their platforms and ideas as catalysts for positive change. Member of Parliament for Kitchener – Bardish Chagger was also present, sharing her thoughts on how we can work together. The emphasis on local action and community involvement highlighted the pivotal role that cities and towns play in achieving broader sustainability goals.

Mayor of Kitchener

The Young Eye Innovators Award

 

For the first time ever – we launched the Young Eye Innovators Award! For those of you asking, this was in partnership with and funded by the office of research at UW on of the partners of the Young Eye Initiative. The award is aimed at providing young change makers with necessary start-up funding, and the extra financial push to get their idea from simply being an idea to initiation. Something I remember trying hard to get and failing to do so on multiple occasions!

The competition saw eight teams pitch their innovative projects, with one team – Vélodel taking home the $1,000 award. Huge thanks to the judges Tania Del Matto from GreenHouse and Ridham Chadha from the SDG Impact Alliance.

Young Eye Innovators Award

Collaboration for a Sustainable Future

 

The success of the Sustainability Impact Summit was made possible through the collaboration of several partners, including GreenHouse, the University of Waterloo, SDSN Canada, SDG Impact Alliance, SDG Idea Factory, and the Climate Justice Ecosystem. Their support played an indispensable role in bringing the event to fruition, underscoring the power of partnership in advancing sustainability initiatives.

The Driving Force Behind the Event

 

I can’t thank the team enough, but the Young and Restless team—Ayra Ali, Bilal Khawaja, Savraj Sahota, and in spirit, Justin Tsai and Samantha Kremer are a phenomenal group of people to work with. Their dedication and efforts ensured the summit’s success, proving that passionate individuals could indeed make a significant impact. Can you imagine we have only been in existence for 4 months and this is our 3rd event! Grateful for everyone that continues to support us through this journey!

Young and Restless

Looking Ahead

 

As we reflect on the achievements of the Sustainability Impact Summit, it’s clear that the journey towards sustainability is a collective one. The event not only provided a platform for learning and networking but also reaffirmed the vital role of young people in shaping a sustainable future.

Stay connected and engaged with our Young & Restless by following us on LinkedIn and Instagram, where we’ll share more highlights and updates. Instagram and LinkedIn.

The Summit served as a powerful reminder that, every action counts. Through education, innovation, and collaboration, we can all contribute to a more sustainable world. Let’s carry forward the momentum from this summit and continue to work together for the health of our world.

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Darren Harry Baine

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