Skip to Main Content
Centre for Building Sustainable Value · Natasha Boyd, HBA '23 Candidate

Sustainability Certificate event inspires students to be “worldchangers”

Mar 10, 2023

Worldchangers Banner

Natasha Boyd and her fellow Sustainability Certificate candidates learned about impact-oriented careers, characteristics of purpose-driven leaders, and breakthrough innovations designed to achieve a more sustainable future at the 2023 worldchangers event. 

How does Ivey shape students into the next generation of global changemakers? With events like the annual worldchangers forum. On March 3, 2023, myself and the rest of the 82-participant HBA Sustainability Certificate cohort gathered for a virtual event run by Professor Oana Branzei which featured a keynote speaker, live case demonstrations, networking opportunities, and a panel of HBA alumni. Fellow students and I left inspired to make a change through our post-grad endeavors, which for many are only a few weeks away.  

Amongst many other impactful takeaways, students left feeling motivated to “be the change” in organizations by taking action toward causes they are passionate about. The inspiring business leaders in attendance demonstrated that impact can be created across a variety of careers and industries. They challenged students to leverage their future roles to make positive change.  

Keynote speaker inspires incremental change 

To begin the afternoon, students had the chance to hear from Andy Chisholm (MBA ’85), Chair of the Board of Directors of RBC and sustainable finance expert. Chisholm’s keynote prompted important reflection on how the next generation of business leaders must change the traditional social and political structures that have resulted in the global climate crisis. Specifically, he encouraged students to rethink how business success has traditionally been measured.  

As a result, Chisholm inspired students to shape a world where business success can be achieved without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. He planted the seeds for what would be the main takeaway of the event for many - that “floods start with raindrops”. Chisholm suggested that large movements must begin with individual action, thus inspiring students to be the change that will shape the future of business.  

Two live cases demonstrate innovation  

Following, students were introduced to two case studies.  One initiative featured was Remark, a mobile app that enables users to easily send sustainability-related feedback to business owners. With Remark, one is able to reach out to a CEO in a matter of seconds with comments about unnecessary packaging in Amazon order, or unsustainable cutlery and napkins they didn’t ask for in an Uber Eats order. Remark CEO, Jess Lybeck’s, purpose followed through with Chisholm’s sentiment of “floods start with raindrops” as the program drives home the message of taking small actions on causes you are passionate about, for big impact.  

Ivey alumni inspire change among the next generation of HBA graduates 

To close the event, students had the opportunity to hear from four Ivey alum working in sustainability. Panelists included: 

  • Philippa White (HBA ‘01), Founder and CEO of The International Exchange 
  • Cooper Robinson (HBA ‘11), Director, Innovation Lead, Global Markets at BMO Radicle 
  • Laura Schlee (HBA ‘16), Corporate Social Responsibility Leader at EY Ripples Canada 
  • Gareth Gransaull (HBA ‘21), Co-Executive Director of Re_Generation and Researcher 

After the panel, students engaged with the panelists through various workshops, which was a great opportunity to discuss a variety of topics with practitioners in the sustainability space. During the workshop I attended with Gransaull, we discussed how sustainability roles exist across a variety of domains apart from the private sector. A key takeaway was that developing “dynamic capabilities” (the ability to adapt to things quickly) is essential in an impact-oriented role, and will be crucial when navigating future industry changes as a result of climate change.  

Gransaull explained that Ivey and his organization, Re_Generation, are working together to develop research projects that both parties will utilize. In doing so, Ivey, in partnership with Re_Generation, is supporting students in developing dynamic capabilities that will help them excel in their future careers across a changing business landscape.  

Attendees left worldchangers feeling more motivated than ever to become global changemakers. The recurring theme of “being the change” will stay with this year’s Sustainability Certificate graduates as they begin their journeys into the working world.  

Introducing Ivey’s Worldchanger Award 

During the event, Ivey’s Centre for Building Sustainable Value announced that applications for the inaugural Worldchanger Award are live. The award will be presented to an Ivey alum who has driven change in the environmental, social, and governance space. Apply, or nominate someone now! 


About Natasha Boyd 

Natasha Boyd is an HBA ‘23 candidate and part of the 2023 Sustainability Certificate cohort. Prior to joining the HBA program, Natasha studied Global Development at Huron University College. She currently works for Ivey’s Network for Business Sustainability as a Digital Engagement Specialist. Upon graduating this spring, Natasha looks forward to fulfilling her interest in working for the United Nations before returning to the consulting industry full-time.