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Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre
Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre

February 14, 2017  | Press

Queen's students on a field trip to Save A Mother

Queen's students listen during a field trip to Save a Mother. Photo credit: Melanie Robb

Students find inspiration to create social change at Deshpande Foundation Development Dialogue Conference

At the end of January, the Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre (DDQIC) led a delegation of students from Queen's University to attend the Development Dialogue 2017 Conference. The delegation consisted of student alumni of the Queen's Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI) program, representatives from student-led conferences and members of the DDQIC executive. The conference, hosted by the Deshpande Foundation, not only allowed the group to have the opportunity to engage in panels regarding global entrepreneurship but the delegation also had the chance to visit the sites of a variety of NGO's and start-ups that are leading social innovation in the region.

Included amongst the delegates was Kerry Readwin, a Queen's student and Co-Founder of Northsprout, a QICSI initiative that is developing a soil additive to improve water efficiency and increasing crop yields.

"The entrepreneurial drive I saw to create an impact in people's day to day lives reminded me of the importance of staying true to the mission of your business endeavours," says Ms. Readwin. "The network of people all over the world trying to make our world a better place is truly inspiring. I can't wait to take what I have learned and use it to drive my own startup forward."

This sentiment was also shared by another Queen's delegate, Louisa Walch, Co-Chair of Enactus Queen's, a community of student, academic and business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform and build a more sustainable future at both Queen's and the broader community.

"The challenges we face in Canada are different than in India, but there are still many that exist. The Deshpande Foundation inspired me to think positively about the ability to make change happen, and to commit time on eradicating identified issues," says Ms. Walch.

It is clear that the conference has motivated both young women to look beyond their immediate scope and advocate for ethical change to build sustainable initiatives and create social change within their communities.