University of waterloo goosechase

  • 00Days
  • 00Hours
  • 00Minutes
  • 00Seconds

Special Guests

The Honourable
Elizabeth Dowdeswell


The Honourable
Bardish Chagger

Leader of House of Commons

Jean Andrey

dean of environment
university of waterloo

Pearl Sullivan

dean of engineering
university of waterloo

About the Conference

Waterloo Region is at the forefront of sustainable development as a leading national hub for both sustainability awareness and action. With this in mind, the goal of the conference is to showcase the existing network, further expand on this diverse community, and promote collaboration within and between the University of Waterloo campus and local region.

The event also aims to provide participants with a deeper understanding of how sustainability extends across various sectors and how it can be tied into the different projects that exist on a local and national level. By gathering those involved in these projects and connecting individuals ready to act, the conference seeks to promote interdisciplinary collaboration.

What are Sustainable Development Goals?

On September 25th 2015, 193 countries unanimously adopted the 17 SDGs at the United Nations Headquarters by framing their agendas and political policies over the next 15 years to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. With the objective of stimulating action to tackle the world’s most pressing and challenging issues, the SDGs are of critical importance for humanity and the planet. Youth lie at the focal point of the agenda and require the know-how to implement these goals as well as systems to guide and support them. It cannot be stressed enough that partnerships will determine the overall effectiveness of action in the effort to achieve key targets and to ensure no one is left behind.

Dominique Souris

Keynote speaker | Founder & Executive Director, Youth Climate Lab

A tireless climate activist and youth advocate, Dominique is a recent graduate of the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) whose research and work is driven by her passion for innovative climate action.

As Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Youth Climate Lab, Dominique works with a global team of youth and partners to design, pilot and scale initiatives that engage youth in developing new approaches to climate policy and entrepreneurship. While a student at BSIA as well as in her role as a Graduate Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Dominique’s research explored innovation in global climate finance governance as well as innovative financial mechanisms for refugee responsibility sharing.

Dominique is also a World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Shaper and a Board Member for the Foundation for Environmental Stewardship. She also sits on the Leadership Council for the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)-Canada. This year, Dominique was named among the Top 25 under 25 Environmentalists in Canada and Top 100 Visionary Leaders, and received the Young Alumni Award by the University of Waterloo. Dominique is also an avid traveller, having visited and worked in more than 36 countries.


Shirin Karoubi

founder | Toolbox initative

Shirin is a passionate sustainability advocate. Her work spans across Toronto and Vancouver where she has contributed to a variety of projects and worked with numerous communities as well as the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. Shirin is the founder of Toolbox, a Trillium Foundation-supported non-profit aimed at developing healthy relationships among youth as well as breaking down gender tensions in the trades by teaching woodworking and electronic skills to youth with a focus on women.

Shirin is also a part of the Emerging Green Professionals – Toronto Chapter for Canada’s Green Building Council. She assists every year with its annual Design Charette that focuses on a specific case study within the Greater Toronto Area to improve sustainability.

David A. Klar


David is a sustainability leader with deep industry ties, active values and an advanced knowledge of the best practices in corporate responsibility. With more than eight years of experience in sustainability, David has worked for large Canadian retailers and recently was the Manager of Programs & Membership at the Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR). David founded The Global SDG Awards in 2018 to increase private sector engagement with the United Nations SDGs framework through competition. The Global SDG Awards’ mission is to create a race to the top and inspire others with examples of next generation sustainability leadership. David holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from York University and a Master of Science in Industrial Ecology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Sophia Sanniti

vp programs | cANSEE

Sophia is currently pursuing a PhD in Social and Ecological Sustainability at the University of Waterloo and is the Vice President of Programs for the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics (CANSEE). She will be serving as Co-Chair for CANSEE’s upcoming 12th biennial conference. Sophia holds a Bachelor in Environment and Business studies from the University of Waterloo where she acquired one year of co-op work experience with Environment Canada monitoring the Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI) program. She also spent eight months working in the private sector with an environmental consulting firm. Sophia later completed a Masters in Environmental Studies at York University in partnership with the international research and training program, Economics for the Anthropocene (E4A). Her current research investigates the radical and disruptive potential of household sustainability in cultivating post-growth and post-carbon political economies.

Truzaar Dordi

PhD Candidate | Climate Finance

Truzaar is a doctoral candidate in Sustainability Management at the University of Waterloo, working in the fields of sustainable finance, climate policy, and risk management. His research examines financial system stability in the face of rapid decarbonization, to enhance the role of the private sector in mobilizing green financing. Truzaar holds a Masters in Sustainability Management from the University of Waterloo where his research examined the burgeoning fossil-fuel divestment movement. Since then, Truzaar has worked on projects related to small and medium-sized enterprises, energy infrastructure, climate policy, and flood risk management. He has sat on the steering committees of Sustainable Youth Canada, Sierra Youth, Fossil Free UW, and the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics. Truzaar is the recipient of the 2018 Energy Council of Canada Energy Policy Research Fellowship, awarded for his work on financial stability.


Policy Jam

Workshop 1 - Misha Celentano & Dominique Souris

Recently, Canada submitted its Voluntary National Review to the United Nations on the country’s progress implementing the SDGs. A new body within the government has also been created to report on these goals and further provide support. However, is Canada making progress across the 17 SDGs? What discrepancies exist within our societies and how can support from the federal to provincial government be lent to the public to support grassroots efforts?

This session will focus on gathering ideas, feedback and recommendations on how the government can meaningfully work with organizations and individuals. The information and comments will be documented and forwarded to the Canadian government to assist in their development of a national strategy on the SDGs.

Bridging Gaps in our Local Networks and Beyond

Workshop 2 - Kayla Hardie & Dale Ross

The Canadian branch of the worldwide Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) recently became home to the University of Waterloo in May 2018 to highlight and connect the various sustainability projects across the country. SDSN Youth representatives will facilitate a discussion on how you can be a part of the leading projects and initiatives stemming from the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University.

Taking it to the United Nations

Workshop 3 - Dr. Alexandra R. Harrington

Have you ever wanted to visit the United Nations Headquarters, or participate in the General Assembly? Are you curious about what goes on behind the scenes of global climate accords like the Paris Agreement? Through this workshop, you will learn about the platforms and resources available to engage with the UN. Insight will also be shared on how global strategies and high-level policies are developed and implemented. With a better understanding of these processes, you will then learn about the various opportunities and steps you can take to meaningfully contribute to these efforts.

Civic Engagement in Waterloo Region

Workshop 4 - Kate Daley

How can we engage with municipalities in sustainable development? In what ways can we ensure that students and community members are able to voice out their opinions to policy-makers in Waterloo Region? This session will expose you to the structures and systems that govern the Waterloo-Kitchener community. A city official will share their knowledge on the objectives, values and strategies that outline how city projects are approached, developed, and measured. Through dialogue on city programs and policies, you will gain an understanding of the most impactful ways to engage with the local community to achieve positive change.

What is Sustainability?

Workshop 5 - James Nugent

The word sustainability is often associated with the field of environment, but in practice, sustainability encompasses all facets of both local and global development. This workshop introduces the key concepts, debates, and approaches to sustainability. Why is eliminating global poverty an essential aspect of sustainability? What would a carbon neutral city look like? You will explore the key dimensions of the world’s socio-ecological crisis as well as solutions driven by technology, economic markets, and civil society. The broad scope of sustainability is showcased through an interactive challenge you will take-up during the session. The workshop will conclude by exploring key political strategies and tactics for bringing about social change and discuss next steps for integrating sustainability into your program of study and extra-curricular engagement.

Solving Problems using Systems and Design Thinking

Workshop 6 - Engineers without Borders (EWB), University of Waterloo

Are you driven by the desire to tackle complex problems? If you answered yes, join Engineers Without Borders in their workshop on design and systems thinking. Learn how to approach and develop solutions to real life issues through concepts shared in this workshop. The session hosts will introduce a guest speaker with experience from the United Nations who will provide an overview of the methods used by experts to address the root causes of issues. You will gain the know-how to efficiently approach and analyze the issues that surround everyday life.

Inspiring Change through Art and Communication

Workshop 7 - Kai Reimer-Watts

Art and media are important tools in bringing attention to emerging issues and current events around the world, helping us to connect diverse topics and people through the power of human expression. Similarly, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations show a range of diversity but are clearly connected. As Canadians move forwards in considering how Canada can best act on each of these 17 areas, it’s critical for us to consider the multiple overlaps and connections between them and what it would mean to pursue all of these goals simultaneously. Rather than working in silos, is there a way for Canada’s pursuit of the SDGs to somehow be “mutually reinforcing”, where the pursuit of one goal amplifies and supports the ongoing pursuit and development of others? In this workshop, each participant will help in imagining and brainstorming these connections through a participatory mural-making workshop. Together, participants will contribute to designing each of the 17 distinct pieces of the “SDG puzzle”, bringing to light their critical interconnections and opportunities for action. Bring your curiosity, your insights and an openness to redefining the SDGs – let’s push Canada to LEAD in sustainable development!



8:30 AM

9:30 AM

10:00 AM

10:45 AM

11:00 AM

12:00 PM

1:00 PM








2:00 PM

2:45 PM

3:45 PM

4:30 PM


Breakfast | Registration

Opening Ceremony

Keynote and Q&A

Audience Engagment Activity

Panel Discussion and Q&A


Breakout Sessions

Policy Jam

Bridging Gaps in our Local Networks and Beyond

Taking it to the United Nations

Civic Engagement in Waterloo Region

What is Sustainability?

Solving Problems using Systems and Design Thinking

Inspiring Change through Art and Communication

Booth Fair | Refreshments

Session Wrap-Up | Develop Report

Breakout Presentations

Closing Ceremony and Remarks


STC Atrium

STC 1012

STC 1012

STC 1012

STC 1012

STC Atrium


STC 1012

STC 0010

STC 0020

STC 0040

STC 0050

STC 0060

QNC 1502

STC Atrium


STC 1012

STC 1012

Meet the Impact Alliance Team

Jordan Lin

co-Founder | Outreach

Jordan is in his second year of Mechanical Engineering. He believes that local action is an important aspect of global sustainable development. In 2017, he hosted an SDGs Youth Training to teach high school students about SDG advocacy and implementation. Subsequently, Jordan formed an SDGs Club at his high school to mobilize students to take initiative in their community. He was then invited to share his experience at two forums at the United Nations Headquarters. He wrote an article for UNICEF’s international newsletter and contributed a report to Canada’s 2018 Voluntary National Review. He believes collaboration ignites the partnerships required to solve the pressing issues that the world faces.

Beth Eden

co-Founder | communications

Beth is in her third year of Environment and Business. Since presenting about Poverty through the Millennium Development Goals at the United Nations in 2007, she has been a keen advocate for youth and sustainability issues and has worked on both local and global projects to advance the SDGs. She won various awards for the Solutions for the Planet competition, presenting at the Houses of Parliament in the United Kingdom. For two years, Beth has led as the President of World Merit Canada. She enjoys creating social and environmentally sustainable projects such as her documentary about homelessness in Canada. She believes collaboration is key to progressing sustainability within society.

Devansh Babla

co-Founder | Internal Ops

Devansh is in his second year of Environmental Engineering. His sustainability focused interests sprung in high school where he joined the Enver Creek Green Team. His involvement with the club, and environmental and social projects were instrumental in his growth as an activist. Some examples of these projects include the elimination of plastic water bottles in Vancouver high schools, and cross-district energy and waste monitoring in the City of Surrey These initiatives made Devansh’s vision to improve his community a reality. Now, he aims to look at the bigger picture of sustainable development and work towards full scale implementation by exploring different pathways to local change.

Kayla Hardie

co-Founder | P. Relations

Kayla is in her final year of Computer Science. She is passionate about utilizing her technical background to develop new technology, inform policy and engage the public. During her studies, she developed a piece of technology to address electricity issues in developing countries. She has also spent a year advising the Canadian government on the digitalization of the electricity system as well as the potential role that blockchain could play in the energy sector. Kayla is also interested in learning how to foster stronger communities. As the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth campus coordinator, she is working on increasing awareness towards the SDGs throughout.

Susan Ly

co-Founder | Operations

Susan is completing her Masters in Public Service. She believes in actively creating a difference within her community since the age of 12 and have been involved in many initiatives that strive to educate and produce positive contributions for the greater good. One of her greatest accomplishments was initiating the SDGs Youth Training at Wilfrid Laurier University. Her team mobilized 135 students and inspired them to pursue initiatives that lead to achieving the 17 Goals. To continue advocacy for the SDGs, Susan created a legacy club on the Laurier campus. As a student, she hopes to pursue a career involved in policy development for sustainable communities.


Monida Eang | Social Media

Monida brings a passion for sustainability and community-led action as a Social Media Manager for Impact Alliance’s Global Solutions Conference. Monida is currently a Master’s candidate studying Sustainability Management at the University of Waterloo. Her research interests revolve around mobilizing actors, particularly the private sector, for implementing the SDGs at the local level to enable progress on a global scale. 

Minan Song | Graphic Design

Minan is a Urban Planning student. She is a designer passionate about creating impactful visuals. During her studies, she has developed a keen interest in urban design, social planning, and land development. She believes achieving the Sustainable Development Goals are highly dependent on how urban planners transform the way spaces are built and hopes to pursue a career that will allow her to take part in reaching the initiatives of the SDGs one day.

Chelsea DeMello | Marketing

Chelsea is currently in 3B studying Global Business and Digital Arts. She has experience working in marketing and enjoys partaking in sustainability initiatives. As such she is the marketing coordinator for the Global Solutions Conference. Chelsea is interested in the SDGs as they are on a mission to improve the world now and in the future through their 17 Goals. Chelsea also enjoys video editing and taking on new endeavours.

Samantha Linton | Marketing

Samantha Linton is a Master’s candidate, studying Sustainability Management at the University of Waterloo. She is passionate about nature and environmental protection having planted over 500,000 trees across Canada. She is currently using her background in Strategic Management to study the creation and implementation of deep decarbonization plans and a transition to a green economy in Canadian communities.

Get in touch!


Science Teaching Complex, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1

Contact Us

Phone : + 1 647-901-7140

Email :

Our Hours

MON-FRI 09:00 – 19:00

SAT-SUN 10:00 – 14:00

Our Partners

Making our vision a reality

All details are subject to change based on author’s discretion.