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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Ahsan Syed

I started University in the bio-medical sciences program with the intensions of pursuing medical school. After really enjoying ecology in first year, and being involved with Enviro-Western, I decided to take all my electives in Environmental Sciences in second year, while taking business 2257. Studying and discussing issues from an economical and scientific perspective, it became clear to me how different these two worlds were, and I had to find a way to connect them. That passion was reinforced when I attended a field school in B.C this past summer centred on environmental action and creating sustainable change.

Additional Information

Personal Definition of Sustainability

I believe sustainability is to live within our own means while minimizing the negative impact on the world around us. This can take many different forms. On a biological level, it involves giving back to the earth what we take from it, using resources in a way they are replenished, and allowing other life to also flourish on the planet. On an economic level, it involves equality where everyone has the same opportunities to live a fulfilling life. On a political level, it involves safeguarding the environment and maintaining balance and stability to help future generations prosper.

Sustainability-In-Action

In my second year, I strived to educate myself on sustainability issues by attending the London Library Nature in the City talks, STEP workshops, the Imaginus World Sustainability Forum, and the Ivey Sustainability Conference. I was also involved with hands-on conservation with the Thames Talbot Land Trust, and helped in the organization of the Earth Day Colloquium.

This past summer, I had an opportunity to attend the Redfish School of Change, an experiential learning program designed to build environmental leaders and activists through the exploration of ecological sustainability. As the program curriculum involved a community action project, my initiative has been to promote the importance of outdoor education and wilderness experiences, especially for young people by sharing my personal adventures and referencing research. I had an opportunity to speak at the Sustainable Campuses Conference at the University of Mississauga in October, and will be giving a talk to the London Community Foundation in February.