Small Steps, Big Win
Thursday, November 14, 20130 Comments
Lauren McDonald, Campus Director for the SSBW Challenge
Net Impact members Steph Vesely and Ailsa Rollinson, participating in the SSBW Challenge
Lauren McDonald is this year’s Campus Director for a global challenge on campus called “Small Steps, Big Win”. She has currently led the University of Guelph on the top of the leaderboard, ranking 13 out of 90 other Universities around the world such as Berkeley, Boston, and Stanford.
McDonald is a 4th year student studying Psychology. She is this year’s Campus Director for a group on campus called Net Impact Guelph. It is local undergraduate chapter at the University of Guelph representing Net Impact Central, an international non-profit organization with a mission to inspire, educate and bridging ideas of business and sustainability together.
Last year, the University of Guelph finished in 4th place overall in the competition, and was awarded number 1 international school by Net Impact Central. This year, McDonald’s effort as a Campus Director has already successfully led U of G to the top of the leaderboard. U of G is currently ranked number 13 out of 90 other Universities around the world such as Berkeley, Boston, and Stanford.
“The Small Steps, Big Win competition is intended to spark undergraduates into doing a positive social and environmental actions” says McDonald, “the underlying idea is that if many individuals take ‘small steps’ together, communities and campuses can come together to have a big positive impact”.
The group’s aim is to look for opportunities to bring together individuals and organizations across campus with shared sustainability goals to motivate students from all programs to use their skills for lasting social and environmental good.
“This challenge is for everyone,” said McDonald, “it allows you to track and actually see the amount of positive change you have contributed to your community and in the world”. McDonald also shared that a lot of the actions on the list that had not been something that she did in the past, have become a habit, subsequently changing her own personal actions towards living a more conscious and sustainable lifestyle.
To gain points, for Universities, students can sign on by reporting initiatives such as taking the public transit, volunteering, or even something as simple as reading about the work of non-profit organizations online. They can submit pictures for extra points and win a number of cool prizes. The competition promotes teamwork on a campus and develops entrepreneurial thinking to find innovative ways to get more students to participate.
“We are one of the most environmentally conscious Universities in the world,” says McDonald, “a lot of the actions like biking to school, using a mug…these are things that 80 per cent of Guelph students already do, so it is very easy for us to outperform a lot of our competitors”.
To record your actions and participate in this challenge, sign up here at: http://smallsteps.netimpact.org/ under the University of Guelph.