Lessons from the Waterloo Sustainability Round Table

The team had the pleasure to make great connections, including Sustainable Waterloo Region, Net Impact, St. Paul's Greenhouse at UW, and Scaled Purpose.

The team had the pleasure to make great connections, including Sustainable Waterloo Region, Net Impact, St. Paul’s Greenhouse at UW, and Scaled Purpose.

BY: Mathuri Mayakrishnan


Recently UWAFT team members had the opportunity to sit at a Round Table and connect with local advocates about sustainability.

We had the pleasure of hosting members from various backgrounds. Sean Campbell currently works at St. Paul’s Greenhouse at the University of Waterloo, an incubator where students can go to create social ventures and connect with others passionate about the world. We welcomed Allan Taylor, the Program Development Manager at Sustainable Waterloo Region. We also welcomed Ben Syme, President of Net Impact, an international organization with school chapters that encourage students to pursue careers and education in social and environmental fields. We were also joined by Miles DePaul, who is currently working with Sean on Scaled Purpose, a sustainability agency focused on scaling social purpose impact & a playground for advancing system-changing ideas.

Representing Ideas

During the Round Table, the UWAFT team attention was directed to many great initiatives each of the representatives are working on. Plug’n Drive is a great cause within Ontario to encourage the use of electric cars, and to expand car charger locations (thus encouraging more to drive electric cars). Sustainable Waterloo Region can take credit for the Electric Vehicle Initiative, which holds events, and raises awareness about electric vehicles to the city. Scaled Purpose is conducting research on Electric Vehicle Fleets, aka another great opportunity to help within the community. Finally, UWAFT brought up the Waterloo High School Electric Vehicle Competition of which other experts were not aware. All these ideas are amazing opportunities for collaboration between the representatives, and really helped unite the different communities.

Learning From the Locals

During the Round Table, goals of each organization were shared with many similar to each other. The speakers and UWAFT alike spoke of volunteer opportunities, contacting more representatives, and discovering what others are doing in the community. It was an incredibly inspiring feeling shared by those seated at the Round Table to discover more about each other’s projects, to bounce ideas off each other, and enjoy the company of those with similar passions.

Staying Connected

Even as various parties were leaving, different UWAFT members connected with different representatives, learning more about each other’s backgrounds and exchanging business cards. The UWAFT team came out of that meeting now inspired to make a difference.