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Young Canadians Inspired to Be Part of Creating a More Sustainable World


In August, over 450 people gathered at the Toronto Reference Library in downtown Toronto to be part of an event that would inspire them to take action to create a more sustainable and just world. Students, young professionals, teachers, academics, business leaders and Unilever employees listened as Paul Polman, Craig Kielburger and others spoke about the power of the younger generation to use their ingenuity and creativity to address some of the world’s greatest challenges.

The event, co-hosted by Ashoka Canada and Enactus Canada, was kicked off by inspirational remarks from Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, who spoke about the new generation of leaders that are driven by a deeper sense of purpose and by a sense of duty to make a meaningful contribution to the world.

According to research, 84% of millennials say it is their duty to help make the world a better place and 83% believe they can change the world.* That drive and passion amongst millennials needs to be recognized and supported as Unilever does with the Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Award.

Mr. Polman’s remarks were followed by a discussion amongst a panel of young entrepreneurs including Corey Ellis, President of The Growcer, Craig Kielburger, co-founder of WE, Ilona Dougherty, Ashoka Fellow and Managing Director of the Youth and Innovation Research Project at the University of Waterloo, and Gavin Armstrong, Founder and CEO, Lucky Iron Fish.

Each of these individuals has used their innovative and entrepreneurial skills to create meaningful change in the world and they shared their experiences through a panel discussion moderated by Roger Martin, Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and the Michael Lee-Chin Institute at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. The event was supported by social media with over 100 people tuning in to watch the event on Twitter, accompanied by an active twitter conversation at #brightfutureCA and at #leadyoung.

*Deloitte Millennial Survey, 2017

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