Chasing Sustainability Conference 2018

It was a pleasure to be in a room with so many bright minds at the Chasing Sustainability 2018 Conference in Vancouver, an annual sustainability-focussed business conference hosted by the undergraduate and graduate students of the University of British Columbia at CUS Sustainability and Net Impact.

This full-day conference was packed with keynote speakers, interactive workshops, networking sessions, and intelligent discussions. I had the chance to be a part of the second half of the conference, where I interacted with students and listened to two speakers.

Presenter Allen Langdon,  President and CEO of Encorp Pacific (Canada) busted myths such as BC sends recyclables overseas and that plastic bags can’t be recycled. He explained his role and vision as a new appointee, presented statistical facts of waste generated and recycled, and raised concerns on ocean plastics.

Presenter Shaun Frankson, the co-founder of Plastic Bank, a social enterprise that makes plastic waste a currency to stop ocean plastic while reducing global poverty, talked about how Plastic Bank provides a universal income for the world’s poor that is earned through Social Plastic recycling programs. He talked about how IBM is helping them realize this project and how blockchain technology further strengthens it.

Students had opportunities to connect with business leaders to engage in discussions around business and sustainability. It was an honour to be a part of the delegation and to discuss my work as a Sustainability Developer at IKEA with students (I’m now a part of the Operations team at IKEA CDC in Richmond, BC). All in all, it was clear that Sauder undergraduate and MBA students aim to have a huge impact around the world. I was so happy to see their enthusiasm and passion around environmental and social issues.

Keep it up, CUS team!


Event cutlery was by Fairware, maker of eco-friendly promotional products ethically sourced.

Lanyards were reused.

Greener Print Solutions, a one-stop shop for sustainably-driven printing and design solutions, was one of their sponsors.

Week in Review: Twitter Curation for Safecity

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Major contributors to this week’s curation. Thank you all!

I had an amazing week curating for Safecity on Twitter. Time flies when we do things that really matter to us. In the past week, I think we all agreed that Collective Social Responsibility brings us all together – Government, Corporates, NGOs, individuals, and communities. We must all take the ownership and work towards making this world a better, more compassionate place to live. Our decisions affect not only us, but also how the world around us at large takes shape and functions. In case you missed this week’s discussions, here’s a brief overview of a few key items and takeaways to note.

We discussed several things surrounding social responsibility. We shared examples, asked questions, shared views on: Socially responsible fashion; Social responsible investing (SRI); Socially responsible tourism; Leadership in the social responsibility space; and Socially responsible businesses.

We had three amazing guest contributors – Vritti Pasricha of Vritti Designs, Susmita Mukherjee of Alpaviram, and Vasu Primlani.

Vritti founded a company that focuses on keeping Indian textile art alive in the purest form possible by supporting and encouraging local artisans and weavers to find the right value for their product which will enable their basic survival especially the women of rural India.

Susmita founded Alpaviram with two of her friends to create India’s first responsible travel platform. Alpaviram aims to create responsible travellers by keeping the conversation around responsible initiatives active, through articles, workshops, talks and walks!

Vasu is many things. She is a standup comedian, professor, triathlete, and- a somatic therapist. She has received over a dozen international awards for her work, her latest being the highest award given by the president of India to a woman – the Nari Shakti award. She specializes in preventing rape, the authentic self, and does somatic therapy for survivors and rapists alike.

Takeaways:

  • Be it fashion, tourism, or financial decisions, we have the power to decide how our part in any of these things would affect the world around us. We can dare to lead and be a force for good if we wanted to.
  • It isn’t possible to trace how each person’s actions produce specific effects on others. There are too many mediating actions and events. But we all can do our bit, agree?
  • It’s a two-way street. An individual has as much effect on the society as the society has on the individual.

We dug deep into our thoughts and asked ourselves – Who is completely responsible for social injustice? Victim or perpetrator? You? Me? The society? Everyone? No one? Can we forgive a social offender? Do they deserve a second chance? What determines whether or not a social offender can be forgiven? Do offenders lack empathy for their victims? Do we lack empathy for offenders? What’s the effect of vigilantism on people’s empathy? What do we need in order to make our social system – more humane, more compassionate towards both the victims and the perpetrators? What does collective social responsibility mean to you? How can we achieve it? Here’s a recap of our discussion surrounding these questions: Safecity chat on Social Responsibility. I was delighted to be among bright minds that discussed this topic with honesty and courage. They amazed me with their clarity of thoughts and awesome communication skills – @ @ @ @. I learnt a lot and I hope you did too.

Safecity takes social responsibility to another level by providing a platform that helps make cities safer by encouraging equal access to public spaces for everyone especially women, through use of crowdsourced data & technology. Participate, share, encourage people to use it.

I’d also read: RESPONSIBILITY GLOBAL JUSTICE: A SOCIAL CONNECTION MODEL by By Iris Marion Young

Join me on Twitter with Safecity – Jan 28-Feb 3 – Social Responsibility & Women Empowerment

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If social responsibility and women empowerment interests you, I’d like to welcome you to join me in a week long Twitter curation with Safecity @pinthecreep from January 28 to February 3. If you are involved in this field or know any organizations related to this field, please share and we will spread the word! Don’t forget to follow the host @pinthecreep.

Featured topics for the week:

  • Jan 28th: Socially responsible fashion
  • Jan 29th: Social responsible investing (SRI)
  • Jan 30th: Socially responsible tourism
  • Jan 31st: Leadership in the social responsibility space
  • Feb 1st: Socially responsible businesses
  • Feb 2nd: Twitter chat
  • Feb 3rd: Closing the week

Twitter chat – 2nd Feb – Mark your calendar!

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The week will end in a Twitter chat focusing of Social Responsibility & Women Empowerment. Our guest of honor will be Vasu Primlani. Vasu Primlani is many things. She is a standup comedian, professor, triathlete, and- a somatic therapist. She has received over a dozen international awards for her work, her latest being the highest award given by the president of India to a woman – the Nari Shakti award. She specializes in preventing rape, the authentic self, and does somatic therapy for survivors and rapists alike. Follow hashtag #Safecitychat on Twitter to participate in the chat on February 2nd 9PM-10PM IST.

If you have never participated in a chat on Twitter.com before, you must know that on Twitter chats you can share ideas and also make new connections. Follow the steps below if you are newbie to not just Twitter chats:

  1. You need to have an account on Twitter.com.
  2. Follow @pinthecreep and @anujasaw.
  3. This discussion will run between January 28 to February 3, so make sure you keep a close eye on these two Twitter accounts to receive the latest updates and to participate in the discussion.
  4. Follow hashtag #Safecitychat for the Twitter chat on 2nd February, 9PM – 10PM IST.

Any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. You can also see this Twitter Guide if you are new to Twitter.

To know how we did it in the past, here are the links to previous Safecity curations:

In the past, with Safecity, I’ve engaged people on the intersection of Environment, Women’s Safety, Human Rights and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on Twitter on:

  • Women’s role in Environmental Education
  • Achieving SDG11 targets for Safe and Sustainable Cities
  • Rethinking urban transportation systems
  • Omission of women in urban planning
  • Anti street harassment
  • Safety in 100 smart cities of India
  • Safe cycling in Indian cities

I’ve also developed educational material for Safecity on sanitation and hygiene for girls of age group 12-15 years.

About Safecity:

Safecity (registered under Red Dot Foundation) is a platform, founded in 2012, that crowdsources personal stories of sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces. This data which maybe anonymous, gets aggregated as hot spots on a map indicating trends at a local level. The idea is to make this data useful for individuals, local communities and local administration to identify factors that causes behavior that leads to violence and work on strategies for solutions.

Last edited: January 23 2018. Date for SRI and Tourism swapped.

Twitter chat on Achieving #SDG11 targets for safe and sustainable cities

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Hello all,

How are you all doing?

I’m doing good, expect a lot on my plate as my family and I are moving to Canada. Did you know three of Canada’s cities top the list of most livable cities? Speaking of cities, we recently had a chat on Achieving SDG11 targets for safe and sustainable cities, thanks to Safety/Red Dot Foundation. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. To see the Storified Twitter chat, click here.

To give you a background, Safecity (registered under Red Dot Foundation) is a platform, founded in 2012, that crowdsources personal stories of sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces. This data which maybe anonymous, gets aggregated as hot spots on a map indicating trends at a local level. The idea is to make this data useful for individuals, local communities and local administration to identify factors that causes behavior that leads to violence and work on strategies for solutions.

How’s your city like? :)

Anuja

Join me with Safecity for a discussion on Women’s role in Environmental Education

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For the entire month of July, Safecity is making a case quality education – one of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Safecity (registered under Red Dot Foundation) is a platform, founded in 2012, that crowdsources personal stories of sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces. This data which maybe anonymous, gets aggregated as hot spots on a map indicating trends at a local level. The idea is to make this data useful for individuals, local communities and local administration to identify factors that causes behavior that leads to violence and work on strategies for solutions.

Come join me with Safecity for a discussion on women’s role in environmental education!

I curate Safecity’s Twitter account this week again. The discussion will be focused on ‘Women’s role in environmental education’. I’ll also be conducting a Twitter chat concerning the same on 29th July 2016 9 PM IST/11:30 AM EST. Save the date!

Twitter chat SDG4

“Achieving inclusive and quality education for all reaffirms the belief that education is one of the most powerful and proven vehicles for sustainable development.” – UNDP

Fairher, fairyou, fair everybody! A twitter chat

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Fair Trade Certified™ products were made with respect to people and planet. Our rigorous social, environmental and economic standards work to promote safe, healthy working conditions, protect the environment, enable transparency, and empower communities to build strong, thriving businesses. When you choose products with the Fair Trade label, your day-to-day purchases can improve an entire community’s day-to-day lives. Here’s a video that tells you what Fair Trade is.

Around two weeks ago, on May 3rd, a twitter chat was organized to discuss Fairtrade. It was organized together by @Patagonia, @WestElm, @DAVIDsTEA, @prAna, @Heifer, @EndTraffick, @Dillanos, @Love146 and @FairTradeUSA. Since it was more than 10 days back, Storify wouldn’t let me see beyond that limit. I had to sift through a number of haphazard tweets from liked tweets. It slowed me and I’m dizzy now. Nevertheless, I did it and here it is, if not a complete version of the twitter chat. At the end of which I ask if anyone knows where I can get formal fairtrade wear in New Jersey. Any idea?

To see the Storified Twitter chat, click here.