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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Julian Donovan

My name is Julian and I am an entrepreneurial-minded leader, pursuing a dual degree in Global Economics along with the HBA. I am passionate about entrepreneurship and see it as a path to sustainable economic growth: by developing community solutions and creating fulfilling jobs for many. I am a part of the Ivey LEADER Project where I work with aspiring entrepreneurs in developing regions improve local economic conditions through their business ideas. I have also been involved as a pro-bono consultant through the Community Consulting Project and as a campus ambassador for Textbooks for Change, a social enterprise with a focus on sustainability. I am also an avid sports fan, with a particular interest in hockey and basketball. I look forward to developing my skills and experiences through the Sustainability Certificate Program to help me make a positive impact in our societies.

Additional Information

What is your personal definition of sustainability?  

I view sustainability as acting with the best interests of both the present and future in mind. This involves an understanding of the impact of our actions and decisions on others around the world, as well as on future generations. This also requires a balance between the social, environmental, and financial implications of the actions of both individuals and businesses. It is our responsibility to use resources conscientiously to address the needs of today without compromising the needs of people in the future.

What role do you see sustainability playing in your professional career?  

As someone interested in contributing to economic development, especially through entrepreneurship, I see sustainability playing a large role in the business ideas that I pursue. I believe businesses must have sustainable business practices in order to sustain the positive impacts they have in helping local communities. This is especially important in many developing regions where resources may be especially limited. My beliefs on sustainability will help drive the business ideas I seek to develop further and contribute to in the future. My interest in sustainability has fueled my interest in social enterprise. I am motivated to launch my own social enterprise, combining my interests in entrepreneurship and business, while delivering a social impact.

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?  

My volunteering and community service activities throughout my time at Western and Ivey demonstrate the importance of sustainability to me.

Since second year, I have been a campus ambassador with Textbooks for Change (T4C). T4C is a social enterprise that redistributes donated university textbooks to African universities in need of educational material. T4C also recycles textbooks that are not suitable for redistribution, recycling approximately 71,000 textbooks to date. I share T4C’s mission with students across campus, and engage student groups to conduct textbook drives, thus supporting both environmental and human capital sustainability.

I am also an instructor with the Ivey LEADER Project. I will be teaching and coaching aspiring entrepreneurs in developing regions over the next two summers. As a member of the fundraising committee, I help implement fundraising initiatives to support the mission of the Project. I have been training to teach the case method and effectively coach students to unlock their potential in contributing to their communities through their business ideas. I believe local business development is a key factor in enabling citizens in developing communities to live sustainably.