Posts Tagged ‘Civic Action’
SSHRC Internships: Sarah Applebaum developing the business case for climate change adaptation at Toronto Environment Office
As an MBA student specializing in Sustainability at the Schulich School of Business at York University I jumped at the chance to work with the Toronto Environment Office (TEO) for the summer. The initial draw of the position was the opportunity to develop a business case for climate change adaptation activities at the City. As my internship progressed, priorities within the office have shifted and new projects arose.
Through a partnership with The Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, we convened a multi-stakeholder meeting involving infrastructure providers, utilities, the private sector, academics, and representatives from the three orders of government. The aim of this meeting was to gauge interest in the formation of a Toronto Region Action Group to discuss resilience to extreme weather. This is an initiative that is moving forward, with the first meeting of the action group scheduled for late September.
It is an extremely interesting time to be working for the municipal government, and Toronto Environment Office. Last week, the Core Service Review, conducted by KPMG, recommended that the City undertake a number of changes and reductions in its environmental protection and improvement activities to help the city realize cost savings and close the deficit gap.
Political leanings and ideology aside, this is a great example of how our government works and the democratic process. On Thursday July 21, the public is invited to provide deputations (in person or written) expressing their opinion about these proposed reductions.
With a focus in both sustainability and organizational change, I am very interested in the outcomes of this process. How will the vision, mission, and activities of the Toronto Environment Office evolve? How will these changes be communicated not only to TEO staff, but within city hall and to the general public? How will the key decision makers obtain buy in from key stakeholders?
About the Graduate Student: Sarah is an MBA Candidate (2012) at the Schulich School of Business with a focus on Sustainability and Organizational Change. She holds a Bachelor degree in Environmental Science and International Development Studies from Dalhousie University. Sarah is an active student leader within the Schulich Community. She is President of the Schulich Chapter of Net Impact (an international organization focused on socially responsible business issues), executive member of the planning committee for the Inaugural Schulich International Case Competition, and is a consultant with the York Sustainable Enterprise Consultants. After completion of the MBA, Sarah plans to work with organizations to embed sustainability principles into their business models and strategic plans.