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Hi! I’m Francesca and prior to attending Ivey, I specialized in Economics. I focused my degree on global economics and economic development, sparking an interest in tackling economic problems from an intersectional lens. Outside of the classroom, I explore this interest as a project analyst on Ubuntu Impact, a pro bono consulting group focused on social impact and economic development. Furthermore, I am passionate about mental health and grow this passion as VP Advocacy on ActiveMinds Western. I hope to continue being involved with projects that align with my goal to create a positive impact and advocate for change!

What is your personal definition of sustainability?

Sustainability encompasses behaving today in a way that benefits tomorrow. My definition is shaped by the idea of resource scarcity and recognizes that resources are finite, making it imperative to act in a way that ensures resource accessibility for future generations .At the core, sustainability embodies longevity and creating systems, processes, and habits that perpetuate the protection and preservation of resources. This definition extends beyond focusing solely on environmental resources as it is critical to acknowledge that social, environmental, cultural, and economic factors intersect, as well as how the interplay between these factors influences resource preservation.

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

After graduation, I will be pursuing management consulting. I am eager to have a career that enables me to focus on clients who require sustainability transformations or that drive global sustainability initiatives. In my associate years, I hope to do a rotation in the firm’s social impact immersion program, where I can work exclusively with clients who are focused on social impact and sustainability. Upon completing my first few years as a generalist, I intend to stream into the firm’s social impact practice. In the social impact practice, I will be exposed to cases involving climate initiatives, economic development, food systems and security, and many other sustainability-related fields. I am privileged to begin my career at a firm that has a seat at the table with corporations, NGOs, and non-profits that have global influence, and I hope to be able to work on engagements where I can be directly involved in helping these organizations develop strategies to shift their operations towards a more sustainable future. Moreover, I intend to be involved in extracurriculars at the firm which will enable me to volunteer for non-profits or pro-bono cases that are centred around climate and sustainability.

What sustainability projects have you been engaged in?

I have been involved in sustainability projects across extracurriculars, work, and my personal life. At Ivey, I am a project analyst on Ubuntu Impact for an agricultural technology startup in Kenya. There, I advised the client on how to expand agricultural development in the region without increasing the number of machines. This experience taught me that it is feasible for businesses to scale sustainably without having to make efficiency tradeoffs. In high school, I worked at a juice bar, where I was tasked with educating customers on why we discontinued straws, used white plastic, and switched to glass bottles. Here, I saw how people can be resistant to unfamiliar but environmentally beneficial practices, and the importance of education and advocacy for initiatives to create user-buy in. Last summer, I completed the EY badges program, where I received a certification in climate change and sustainability. I focused my module on the circular economy and combating fast-fashion’s environmental impact. This course taught me how to create corporate buy-in and influence decision making as it relates to sustainability initiatives. Personally, I try to shop locally, thrift, and only purchase from companies that have ethical, sustainable, and transparent supply chains.

Francesca De Tommaso

Francesca De Tommaso

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