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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Dimitri Kakalestris

My name is Dimitri Kakaletris, and I am a business student at the Richard Ivey School of Business. I am a student who is interested in entering a career in finance after graduation, and I aspire to make a genuine contribution to society through specializing in sustainability. I am a high achieving student, obtaining the Dean's list in each year of university thus far, and entering Western University with the Continuing Admission Scholarship for academic excellence. Outside of school, I have an entrepreneurial venture where I develop websites for small business owners. 

What is your personal definition of sustainability?

 To me, sustainability means creating a mindful world where communities and businesses across the globe can work to build global togetherness and preserve resources for future generations to come. This involves balancing current needs for environmental, social, and economic factors with the needs of future generations. As a result, current generations need to be conscious of harm that is being done to the environment and societies around us, and work to negate all negative impacts. 

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

I can see sustainability playing a guiding role in my professional career. In my career, I have goals and aspirations of becoming a business leader. Regardless of what position in business leadership I have in the future, I aspire to make business decisions with positive sustainability impacts. I intend on being a leading business professional on the topic of sustainability and aim to lead the future business world on the continuous journey of creating a sustainable world. I will look for innovative ways to change energy consumption, transportation, and other emissions to increasingly sustainable initiatives. I will further look to carry out significant social initiatives, helping under-privileged communities and benefiting all communities in need. Understanding that it will take time to meet these large goals of becoming a business leader in sustainability, I have sustainability goals to meet on my journey to business leadership. Building on my career in finance, my goal is to enter the finance world specializing in renewable energy. I also intend on exploring sustainable financing options such as Green Bonds in financing decisions to help raise capital for climate and environmental projects. 

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?

I have been involved in a few sustainability projects, both on the social and environmental front. On the social front, I have been a volunteer at an organization called “Big Brothers Big Sisters,” an organization that connects volunteers with a youth student who lacks a parental figure in their lives. The connection then translates into a mentor-mentee relationship where the mentor helps the mentee with schoolwork and offers a friendship. I was a mentor for several months and had the wonderful opportunity to make an impact on a young child’s life. On the environmental front, I have been involved in several projects. Firstly, I have volunteered for Earth Day clean up services and additionally volunteering at the Habitat for Humanity. Moreover, I had a marketing internship at a wine company called Arterra Wines. My favourite project during this internship was a sustainable packaging project. I was leading the search for sustainable packaging alternatives while finding ways to manage the costs that sustainable alternatives may entail. This was my favourite project as I had the opportunity to reduce Arterra’s carbon footprint and make a meaningful impact on the environment.

Dimitri Kakalestris

Dimitri Kakalestris