What projects can I get involved with?
Political Advocacy is focused on holding Canada's government accountable for the allocation and use of the foreign aid and development budget. This year, the goal of Advocacy within each Canadian chapter of EWB is to engage local MP candidates in critical discussion about Canada's role in aid and development assistance so that this issue is given significant attention on the agenda leading up to the federal election. In the Queen's and Kingston communities, EWB advocacy engages the students and community members in thinking critically about the how to improve the systems that govern international development through workshops, speakers and events. Pushing for more responsible, sustainable and transparent aid and involvement of governments, businesses and organizations overseas is the complex challenge that Political Advocacy seeks to address.
Fair Trade Campaign
Queen's Engineers Without Borders Fair Trade Venture is working hard to make Queen's a fair trade designated campus. Fair trade is a new way of trade; the system ensures that producers of raw goods receive a fair wage for their products. Standards also involve: fair working conditions, environmental sustainability, and cooperative empowerment. To qualify as a designated campus, each student-run retailer on campus must sell solely fair trade coffee and at least three fair trade tea options. QEWB Fair Trade aims to promote change within our own community and encourage students and faculty to make socially conscious purchasing decisions. We have held dozens of events ranging from Fair Trade Beer Night at Clark Hall, My Fair Valentine, and Fair Trade Campus Weeks. Schools all around Canada have gained fair trade designation status, including: University of McGill, University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser, and more. Queen's Fair Trade Venture is aiming to make our university the next fair trade campus location by November. For more information about fair trade, visit Fairtrade Canada's website.
The Food Systems portfolio aims to increase our impact in our local Kingston community. This has previously included work with the campus grocery store, Grocery Checkout, and the Food Centre. This semester, Community Involvement will be running several Member Learning Sessions to raise awareness on food wastage and food systems within the Queen’s community, with a special focus on the effect of climate change on food systems. With a priority on conscious consumption and disposal¨ this team seeks to raise awareness on Kingston’s current food systems and provide alternative products/measures that we all can take on. Further connections will be made with the Kingston community to understand and improve the current food system on a larger scale. We aim to act as a body which connects related people, farmers, and organizations in Kingston together by facilitating meetings and conferences for increasing inter-organizational cooperation.
Engineers Without Borders aims to develop lower income areas of the world by creating and promoting innovative solutions which deal with issues on a deeper level to achieve sustainability. The Global Engineering/Global Engineering Certificate portfolio focuses on broadening the existing engineering curriculum at Queen's through exploring topics beyond technical skills. EWB is engaging professors, faculty, industry and community to create a profession and image of engineers which understand the cultural, technical, and systemic challenges associated with working in a globalized life cycle. The Global Engineering Certificate is a program which allows students to expand their current engineering curriculum by applying their knowledge to interdisciplinary environments to solve complex problems currently being faced throughout the world. For more information, visit http://globalengineeringinitiative.com.
“Kumvana” in the Malawian Chichewa dialect means “Unite so we may discuss and understand”. This is exactly what the Queen’s chapter of EWB strives to do by building rich collaborations between Canadian and African professionals. Our “Kumvana Fellow” passes their knowledge and experiences on to the rest of the Queen’s Chapter of EWB. Our mission is to send our delegate home with new ideas, perspectives, ambition, and contacts to further benefit their own communities, professions, and organizations in Africa.
National Engineering Month & Pumpkin Smash
Pumpkin Smash takes place during Homecoming weekend, where a large pumpkin will be dropped at AB field on Queen’s Campus. The event aims to facilitate a conversation about extreme poverty in rural Africa with both students and alumni. After Pumpkin Smash comes National Engineering Month, which takes place in March 2018, and represents a celebration of global engineering and innovation applied to complex issues around the world. This celebration is culminated in several events that occur throughout the month, bringing together future and current engineers, as well as other passionate individuals from across Canada. In past years, events such as speaking presentations, an interdisciplinary design competition and a networking gala have taken place. Events will focus on a variety of topics, providing students and young professionals with new perspectives on global issues, and refining the critical thinking skills useful in generating solutions to those issues.
Run to End Poverty
Since 2009, Run To End Poverty (R2EP) runs have taken place in 18 cities, raising a total of $555,000. These events are organized entirely by our volunteer base, engaging close to a thousand runners each year from coast-to-coast. People from all walks of life join R2EP with one common goal: to eliminate extreme poverty in rural Africa.
The Social Finance portfolio focuses on the research and promotion of financial institutions and products that produce a social dividend as well as an economic return. Being new to this year, this portfolio is in the development stage of finding its footing both in the Queen’s Chapter as well as the larger EWB community. This year the Social Finance portfolio will be focused on running informational Member Learning sessions on social finance topics, auditing current and potential EWB impact investing ventures, and managing a practice investment fund specializing in social finance products. Our goal is to introduce Queen’s students to the social finance industry and explore the opportunities it provides to traditional methods of development.
The Youth Ventures portfolio is dedicated to introducing EWB’s values to youth through workshops at high schools and other organizations. This year, we are promoting post-secondary education and discussing how a degree can be used to make global changes. We hope to inspire youth to think critically and gain confidence in solving complex problems through hands- on workshops.