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Young Leaders Sought for Inaugural Sustainability Conference

Jan 19, 2009

    GUELPH, ON, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - Throughout modern history, students have been
at the forefront of progressive movements to bring about real and lasting
social change. Now, the energy and passion of youth is critical to address the
economic, social and environmental challenges the world faces.
    Announced today, Impact: The Co-operators Youth Conference for
Sustainability Leadership, will be held on the University of Guelph campus in
Guelph, Ontario from September 24 to 27, 2009. This unique partnership of
business, academia and non-governmental organizations teams 180 Canadian
students with a variety of speakers and experts to develop real sustainability
solutions for their campus, their community, and their current and future
    "In many ways, students are already leaders in sustainability," said
Kathy Bardswick, president and CEO of The Co-operators. "This conference is a
way to give young people the tools and networks to become catalysts for a more
sustainable society."
    All conference costs will be covered for selected participants but
students must contribute their time and commitment. Prior to the conference,
they will explore sustainability issues facing various industries, interview
Canadian business and sectoral leaders, and develop practical sustainability
solutions. Participants are also required to take concrete action after the
conference. Conference partner Dr. Tima Bansal, Executive Director of the
Research Network for Business Sustainability and professor at the Richard Ivey
School of Business indicates: "we're shaping leaders who not only understand
critical sustainability issues but who can apply innovative solutions to
address them."
    According to Whitney Radforth, University of Guelph student and president
of AIESEC Guelph, students are eager to take up the challenge. She says: "our
generation is concerned and committed to taking action to bring about real
change in the world. This forum will allow us to make our voices heard on the
question of how we can build a better, healthier and more sustainable world
for everyone."
    Until February 27th students who will be 19-25 and enrolled in any
discipline at a Canadian college or university in September 2009 may apply at Participants will be selected from a variety
of fields of study, perspectives and geography to ensure a diverse and
multi-disciplinary approach.
    Partnering with The Co-operators are: the Research Network for Business
Sustainability, AIESEC, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Natural Step Canada,
the University of Guelph, Wilfrid Laurier University, the Centre for the Study
of Co-operatives at the University of Saskatchewan, Coopsco and the Richard
Ivey School of Business.

For further information: Leonard Sharman, 1-877-795-7272, ext. 2707, or

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