Prior to HBA1, I completed 2 years in the Global Studies program at Huron University College. I intend to enrol in a dual degree program and to complete an Honours Specialization in Global Development.
Having developed a passion for social entrepreneurship through extensive international experience, I aim to pursue a career in a sustainability focused firm or venture. Although I have yet to develop a specific field of interest within international development, I know that I am interested in both social and economic change and am open to pursuing opportunities in a diverse range of topics from health to technology.
Personal Definition of Sustainability
In my opinion, sustainability is a comprehensive value where an actor seeks to maximize impact over the long-term, or the amount of time impact is required. There are both internal and external perspectives on sustainability. First, in order for an actor to be sustainable they must have access to internal resources, such as funding, human resources, and ideas, which can drive its survival over time. Externally, an actor must interact in a sustainable manner with its environment, withdrawing only as much as its environment is capable of replenishing. Further, I believe sustainability is an economic, social, and an environmental process.
Sustainability's role has increased in my life since January 2009, when I embarked on a independent 7-month journey throughout South Africa, Lesotho, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya. During this time I volunteered with an international charity as well as local NGOs. Further, I had informal interactions with IOs such as the UNDP and UN peacekeepers. Prior to this trip, the concept of sustainability was fairly unknown to me. I learned about the economic and social sustainability of humanitarian projects, particularly through Edirisa, but also learned the consequences of organizations that failed to prioritize sustainability.
Although my primary passion is in socioeconomic sustainability, in the summer of 2010 I gained experience with environmental sustainability in the Arctic while working for Quark Expeditions. This opportunity taught about the interaction between profit-driven organizations and environmental activists.
Currently I'm leading two sustainability projects. The first is as Executive Director for the LEADER Project and the second is as the co-founder and co-director of the Western Social Venture Challenge, an initiative that will hopefully begin in September 2012. The latter project is intended to consist of workshops and a business plan-like competition for social entrepreneurs at UWO.