GUELPH, ON, Sept. 19, 2011 /CNW/ - The second edition of a conference
that brought 165 Canadian students together with sustainability experts
from business, non-governmental organizations and academia, wrapped up
today with a commitment from participants to use their knowledge,
skills and passion to build a more sustainable world. IMPACT! Youth
Conference for Sustainability Leadership was a unique four-day event
held in Guelph, Ontario, where students formulated ideas for more
sustainable practices geared to ten systems including energy, water,
food and transportation.
To help students make an impact in their communities and on their
campuses, Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators
announced a further $75,000 for The Co-operators Foundation - IMPACT!
Fund. This fund has already given $88,685 to support sustainability
projects undertaken by alumni of the inaugural conference, held in
2009. The new funding will be available to support both 2009 and 2011
At the beginning of the conference, it was also announced that IMPACT!
alumni will fill 4 of twelve internship positions at the David Suzuki
Foundation that are being sponsored by The Co-operators over the next
"The 2009 conference showed us just how driven, committed and innovative
these young people are when it comes to sustainability," Bardswick
said. "And the new crop of participants this year was equally
impressive. We're excited to be able to bring them together, to further
their skills and knowledge, and to provide financial support to help
them achieve their goals."
More than 850 students applied to the program. Participants were chosen
from a variety of fields of study, perspectives and geography to ensure
a diverse and multi-disciplinary approach. Prior to coming together at
the host University of Guelph, each student completed approximately
twenty-five hours of study.
The conference included two inspirational keynote addresses. David
Suzuki, award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster, and
co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation, set the tone by outlining
the challenges the younger generation faces in addressing ecological
challenges. Jonathan Glencross, an alumnus of the 2009 conference,
showed students they can make a difference at their schools and in
their communities. His initiative, the Sustainable McGill Project, had
the mission of integrating sustainability into the culture, curriculum
and operations of the university. The project, which received funding
from the IMPACT! Fund, was very successful and led to the creation of
McGill's Office for Sustainability, and a Rethink Your Curriculum
student engagement initiative.
Other speakers included experts in community engagement, networking and
activism, poverty, ethics, business, government and the media
relations, innovation and leadership, and people management. More
information can be found at www.impactyouthsustainability.ca.
IMPACT! The Co-operators Youth Program for Sustainability Leadership is
a partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation, The Natural Step
Canada, the University of Guelph, the University of Saskatchewan Centre
for the Study of Co-operatives, Wilfrid Laurier University, Lambton
College, Conseil de la coopération de l'Ontario, AIESEC, and the
Network for Business Sustainability.
SOURCE The Co-operators
For further information: