HBA Sustainability Certificate
Empowering the next generation of sustainable leaders
Chris is a HBA2 student pursuing a dual degree in software engineering. He is very passionate about engineering student politics, taking on roles in local, provincial, and federal engineering student societies. He is currently the President of the Western Undergraduate Engineering Society, and the Ontario board member for the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students. This past summer, Chris interned at Level5 Strategy, a Toronto-based boutique consulting firm. Through this experience, Chris was able to work alongside leaders of a multinational energy company, professional and private sector regulators, a federal workers union, and an Ontario crown corporation.
What is your personal definition of sustainability?
My personal definition of sustainability is based on the definition of Sustainable Development put forth by Our Common Future. Sustainability is a global state of affairs defined by a scientific, political, and social consensus that humanity is, and will continue to, meet the material needs of all people.
What role do you see sustainability playing in your professional career?
I see sustainability as being core to my professional career. My definition of sustainability goes beyond the sustainability of the environment, including the social and economic needs of all people. With a definition so broad, it becomes difficult to pinpoint what area of sustainability I want to focus my efforts on. While I will for sure be working with organizations that push for social change, the question that I still must answer is what area of work best complements both my passion and unique skills.
Currently, I am very interested in changing how engineering, and another technical fields are taught when it comes to sustainable practices. As someone who is currently going through an engineering education, I can see how some ideas around sustainability are prioritized while others are deemed out of scope.
What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?
I am currently taking an online course called Technological Stewardship created by the Engineering Change Lab. It engages the tensions that exist between technological development and stewardship: just because we can build something, does it mean that we should? This has been a very interesting learning experience especially as a software engineer as it has given me a framework to assess the underlying values of different projects, be they technology or business oriented. I hope that through the Ivey Sustainability Certificate Program, I’ll be exposed to more opportunities to engage in sustainability projects in the community and learn how I can contribute.