Taking IMPACT! Inspiration Abroad

I never thought of business as an avenue for advancing sustainability, but participating in IMPACT! Sustainability Champions Training last year showed me what a powerful means this is to transforming our world. Since my participation in the program, I’ve seen my peers start green companies and raise awareness about environmentally friendly practices through sustainable products. (Shout out to the awesome Balance Project and Britannia Backyard Edibles--two amazing projects that found their roots in my Ottawa IMPACT! cohort.)

This was all inspiring to me, but it also left me wondering, “what can I contribute?”

As an international development student at the University of Ottawa, I’m inclined to think globally. So when the opportunity arose to travel to Peru on an international trade mission as a Junior Team Canada Ambassador with Global Vision, I had to say yes.

Global Vision is a national NGO and registered charity that specializes in experiential learning trips where young people make meaningful connections between business, government and community. I will be promoting Canadian culture and industry alongside 26 other competitively selected delegates from across the country. Prior to my departure, I am responsible for learning about mandates from businesses and other organizations, and during my trip I will help fulfill those mandates by collecting market intelligence and developing key contacts on their behalf.

I chose to represent the environment sector. In reading Global Vision’s Peruvian trade mission report from last year, I discovered that growth in the agricultural and mining sectors means an increase in the standard of living, and this will result in increased energy needs. I want to help ensure those energy needs are met sustainably.

Due to a lack of infrastructure and local expertise, there are unique roadblocks for developing countries when it comes to green energy. My goal on the mission is to play a role in increasing Peru’s capacity to work towards its sustainable development goals. Finding Canadian companies to represent is turning out to be harder than I thought – there’s a lot of early morning cold calls and late night research, but I have learned a lot about amazing sustainability initiatives in my community!

There are two weeks before our team takes off but the search for companies to represent remains strong! If you are a green company specializing in clean-tech or environmentally friendly infrastructure, this is an amazing opportunity to reach new markets and expand internationally while supporting a culture of youth leadership in sustainability. My contact information can be found below, I would love the opportunity to connect with you!

The total amount of support I must raise is $4500. Global Vision matches this amount through their national partnerships. This money is payable to Global Vision, goes towards the team's travel, expenses, accommodations, administration etc. and is eligible for charitable tax receipts. If you would like to support this youth leadership development initiative, any donations would be greatly appreciated!

This is an international initiative, but I hope to make a difference locally as well! Once our mission is complete, we’ll be sharing what we’ve learned through presentations in our communities. After all, it’s here with IMPACT! that I started developing new ideas about how sustainable development should be approached. I’m looking forward to exploring them moving forward onto the global stage!

Writen by: Kristine Puzon
Junior Team Canada Ambassador and proud IMPACT! Alumni
613 558 2355

To learn more about the IMPACT! Sustainability Champions Training and apply for an upcoming session, please visit naturalstep.ca/impact. Apply today to take your sustainability journey to the next level and connect with others that care deeply about the planet, it’s people, and future!