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Esther Speck founded the consultancy E Speck Sustainability. She used to be the Director of Sustainability and Community at Mountain Equipment Co-op and has been involved with The Natural Step Canada (TNS) for many years. She led the first implementation of The Natural Step framework for visioning, decision making and capacity building in Whistler, called Whistler2020. Esther also sits on the Board of Directors for the Whistler Centre for Sustainability and One Earth and holds a Masters of…

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Ken Melamed will be the Challenge Mentor for the Citizen Engagement working group.

A self-declared ski-bum, Ken knows the mountains. He watched Whistler grow from a tiny mountain community of 500 people to a bustling vacation resort town. The swift pace of development in Whistler led Ken to his passion for sustainability. Ken was a city councillor for three terms and acted as Mayor of Whistler from 2005 to 2011, and he was instrumental in putting sustainability on the agenda. As Host Mountain…

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At the IMPACT! Conference, Katherine Balpataky will mentor the student group working on the challenge of managing water wisely.

Katherine is a Program Analyst for the Canadian Water Network (CWN) where she provides research, analysis, and advice in strategic focus areas for new CWN research projects. Examples of these types of projects include working with the Hydraulic Fracturing Consortium and previously working with the Watershed Research Consortium, a project that develops regional…

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OfflineIMPACT! Youth Program

The students who will be attending the May IMPACT! Conference are currently in the process of undertaking pre-conference activities to prepare. Each participant has been assigned a topic (referred to as "challenge") and asked to learn about it. At the Conference, participants will gather in groups and conduct a Sustainability Gap Analysis for their assigned challenge.

Anita Khanna, Coordinator of Ontario Campaign 2000 at Family Service Toronto and challenge mentor for the IMPACT! 2014…

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Social Media Gurus Talk Social Change

By IMPACT! Youth Program

IMPACT! Steering Committee member and social media guru Chris De Paul recently chatted with fellow social media guru Eli van der Giessen, who will host the workshop 'Social Media for Social Change' at the 2014 IMPACT! Conference.

Chris: Tell us a bit about yourself?

Eli: I am a Community Manager for NetSquared, a global volunteer-led network that holds technology training events for the nonprofit community. Each event is like a meet-up group where a different case study, presentation or…

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Get ready to meet our keynote speaker!

By IMPACT! Youth Program

The 2014 IMPACT! Conference is an opportunity for students to meet other students who share their passion for sustainability. It is also an opportunity for them to gain new perspectives of sustainability from experts in different fields.

Perhaps the most unique view of sustainability and the world will come from our keynote speaker. He conducted live experiments to teach us about life in space. He shared stunning images of our beautiful Earth as seen from his spacecraft's window. He answered…

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Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson is under 50. Calgary major Naheed Nenshi was under 40 when he assumed office. Edmonton mayor Don Iveson is just 34. As Chad Park (IMPACT! 2014's closing keynote speaker) recently wrote, Canada is witnessing a new wave of municipal leadership. Sarah Gagnon-Turcotte is part of that wave.

Sarah, who is 31, is Chief of Staff to the Mayor of Verdun, a borough in the City of Montreal. She will be the Challenge Mentor to the French students working on building…

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Looking for work experience relevant to sustainability?

In 2011, The Co-operators Foundation partnered with the David Suzuki Foundation (DSF) where IMPACT! alumni can apply to internships with the DSF.

The current internship opportunities are posted here. The deadline to apply is April 6th.

What's kind of experience will you get? Check out this recent blog by a participant in the program.

Good luck!


OfflineIMPACT! Youth Program

Participants in IMPACT! often return to their campuses and communities and undertake sustainability projects. Some projects become full-time jobs for the students upon graduation. Whether or not you start a campus project or a community organization, it's likely that many people will be involved and therefore some form of organizational structure will be required.

When considering organizational structures, sustainability leaders and entrepreneurs can feel limited by the options available to…

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Tamara Connell on listening and leadership

By IMPACT! Youth Program

At the 2014 IMPACT! Conference, Tamara Connell (Director of Sustainability Literacy and Communications at The Natural Step Canada) will run a workshop on 'Facilitating group dialogues for sustainability.' We recently asked her a few questions about sustainability leadership.

IMPACT!: What makes you most excited about the IMPACT! Conference?

Tamara: I have worked with hundreds of young change-makers at The Natural Step and prior to that at a university in Sweden. Working with young, inspired,…

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