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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Parker Thomlinson

 

I’m currently in Ivey Business School at Western University, after having previously studied astrophysics for two years. I’ve been involved at Western University in a variety of extra-curriculars and initiatives including Western University Senate, Western Board of Governors, Charity Orientation Program, the Community Consulting Project. Outside of academics, I enjoy playing tennis, travelling, and seeing musicals with my family.

 

What is your personal definition of sustainability?

To me, sustainability means making decisions now that will create a more promising future for the generations that follow. Throughout life, and even a regular day, so many decisions are made that may have small or large effects on the future. This could be related to the environment, economics, or social aspects of our world. This could be creating a 100% sustainable venture in the future, or sorting the garbage you have into the proper bins. In order to provide a brighter future, big and small decisions made by everyone should be sustainable.

 

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

I honestly do not expect to be in a position directly related to sustainability, unless an interesting opportunity in that space is presented to me. However, I would see sustainability playing a role in my professional career in the decisions I need to make as a working professional. Learning of sustainable practices throughout the courses and sessions involved in this certificate will provide knowledge I’d use in my career. Armed with this information, I could make professional and personal choices that are more sustainable to improve the outlook of the future.

Not only do I want the information to make more sustainable choices, I also hope to be involved in sustainability practices at the firms I work in. For example, some consulting firms do pro-bono consulting for smaller non-profit organization in order to improve their processes, making them more financially and operationally stable. This is something I would be interested in being involved in or starting within future firms that I work at.

 

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?

Last summer I worked at Charity Intelligence Canada as a Charity Analyst. My role was to analyze charities based on financial and reporting metrics to holistically inform donors on how effective the charity was at creating meaningful impact in Canada. Throughout the course of the summer I analyzed 78 charities. This work was important because publishing these results holds Canadian charities to a higher standard of donation usage and output reporting, challenging them to do better in the future. This creates stronger charities thereby creating a more sustainable future.

In addition, I have been involved in an initiative to look into transitioning Western University to more sustainable investment practices with their endowment fund. As a member on the Board of Governors at Western, the students who began this initiative approached me to be involved and provide insight as to the procedural steps that need to be taken to make this change. I am currently in meetings with this group to determine the next steps for this project. This sustainability initiative will position Western as a more sustainable institution moving forward.

Parker Thomlinson

Parker Thomlinson