Making Telfer More Sustainable

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Every year a dedicated group of workaholic students get together and do their part to make the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa a little greener and a little more equitable. I say workaholic because the hours that they put in this event could only be accomplished by fanatics. And yet every year, (and don't ask me how) these young students, these pillars of the campus, somehow find the time in their busy schedules to make the Annual Sustainable Business Conference happen.

Three years ago, a couple of students took it upon themselves to create a conference at Telfer that would challenge the reckless impact that business can have on the environment. The organizers toyed with the idea of focusing on things like mining and big oil, you know... as a way of garnering some controversy and generating some deep reflection about where funding for the University comes from. The first conference was well attended and surprisingly insightful. I mean, it was put together by students in their space time after all.

The first conference didn't have too much structure but is was packed with great speakers. When the second conference rolled around, the organizing committee was much more on top of things. The theme of "Green Business in the Economic Downturn" was very appropriate and once again drew a good crowd. It challenged the idea that "Green" had to be put on the back-burner while the economy recovered. And I might add that it did a very good job at doing that.

This year the conference focuses on "New Business Models" and is once again the team is looking to grow the event. More speakers, more ideas, more everything really. And as always, the organizing committee has done their best to make sure that the conference itself is a green event. All the posters have been printed on FSC and recycled paper, the promotion is (for the most part) electronic, the tickets can be purchased online, the food is local and organic, the coffee is fair-trade, and the event is aiming to be zero waste. If this event were any greener it would be sprout roots and begin to photosynthesize.

Anyways, I know that this post is a little heavy on the bragging about the conference but I just got out of a marathon planning session with the organizing committee. Yeah, a two and a half hour meeting on a Sunday night. I have never seen such a dedicated group of students working on a project that doesn't give anything back to them except the knowledge that the world might be a better place if their faculty was a little greener.

So, my hats off to you Danielle one, Danielle two, Joel, Russell, Chelsea, and Khadijah.
You can learn more about the conference or purchase a ticket at the following link:


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