MAEEC student chosen to attend IMPACT!


Royal Roads MAEEC student Christie Nairn has been selected to attend IMPACT! Youth Conference for Sustainability Leadership in May. See below for a news release from the conference organizers on her participation.

Local sustainability leader chosen to attend national conference

Winnipeg, MB MARCH 6, 2014 – Young people across Canada are at the forefront of the sustainability movement, acting as catalysts for lasting change. Christie Nairn, of Royal Roads University, has been selected to join other young leaders at a national all-expenses-paid conference this spring. Nairn is among 175 college and university students chosen from more than 730 applicants across Canada to participate in IMPACT! The Co-operators Youth Program for Sustainability Leadership. The Program involves a conference, workshops, mentoring and funding for student projects. 

“This is a great opportunity to collaborate with other Canadian students about sustainability issues in our country. Everyone is coming from different backgrounds, so I look forward to hearing and learning from others perspectives,” Nairn expressed.

Renowned Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield will be the keynote speaker at the program’s key event, the IMPACT! Youth Conference for Sustainability Leadership. He will share his unique perspective on our planet and the special role young people can play.

Christie’s has been placed in the Citizen Engagement grouping for the conference. Her area of focus is on educating communities about their environmental footprint and the effect that has on human health.

Nairn will join her colleagues at the University of Guelph campus from May 23 to 26, 2014 where they will team up with experts to develop real sustainability solutions to take back to their campuses, communities, and current or future workplaces. The participants are students, aged 19 to 25, from 68 Canadian colleges and universities. They come from a variety of fields of study but share a passion for bringing about positive change. The multi-disciplinary approach is intended to spark creativity and create broad-based networks.

“When The Co-operators launched the IMPACT! Program in 2009, sustainability was an issue that we felt deserved attention, but was not necessarily at the forefront of the minds of most Canadians,” said Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO of The Co-operators. “Since then, awareness of the need for sustainable practices, products and systems has grown, and it is young people who are often the leaders, taking action to create a more sustainable society.”

In advance of the event, participants will complete an online sustainability course created by The Natural Step Canada, connect online with their fellow conference participants, and learn about certain sustainability challenges. During the conference, participants will apply this knowledge and work with various experts from academia, industry, government and civil society. Following the conference, they will go on to lead community initiatives, some with the help of grants from The Co-operators Foundation - IMPACT! Fund.

IMPACT! The Co-operators Youth Program for Sustainability Leadership is a partnership with The Natural Step Canada, the University of Guelph, the University of Saskatchewan Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, Wilfrid Laurier University, Lambton College, the Canadian Co-operative Association, the international student organization AIESEC, and the David Suzuki Foundation.

About The Co-operators:
The Co-operators Group Limited is a Canadian-owned co-operative with more than $34 billion in assets under administration. Through its group of companies it offers home, auto, life, group, travel, commercial and farm insurance, as well as investment products. The Co-operators is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. The Co-operators is listed among the 50 Best Employers in Canada by Aon Hewitt; Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada; and the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Sustainalytics and Maclean’s magazine. For more information visit