Queen’s student earns UNDP fellowship for social enterprise
February 7, 2022
Stephanie Forster Limage, a third-year Global Development Studies student, and the CEO and founder of the not-for-profit Give + Share, was recently awarded a fellowship with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
Selected along with 49 other tech companies, Give + Share was chosen for its continued role in driving technological innovations which have a social impact and advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In collaboration with China’s International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges, the fellowship aims to improve the implementation, deployment, and adoption of humanitarian architecture, governance, and technology.
Give + Share is a humanitarian software and mobile application which tracks, maps, and manages the flow of data and updates of free to low-cost meals, shelters, and other community resources. Originally implemented in Vancouver in response to the emergence of COVID-19, the tech platform was developed to mitigate risks during and after an urban humanitarian crisis and provide best practices and governance tools.
Limage’s dedication to important social causes comes from firsthand experience. As a youth, Limage received support from the Canadian child welfare system, and continued to use women’s shelters for six months after turning 18. In addition to experiencing poverty and homelessness, Limage’s exposure to NGOs and international institutions came after spending five years in Port au Prince, Haiti, following the earthquake in 2010, where she implemented her first pilot project providing humanitarian aid.
“The level of human suffering that could be mitigated through a proper coordinated humanitarian response was overwhelming at times,” says Limage. “I felt, and still feel, responsible to do whatever I can to help those on the margins by using my life, talents, and time to hopefully ease some of the burdens and change lives.”
Completing a Certificate in Law in 2020, Limage expanded her lived experience by growing her understanding of corporate and international legal frameworks to further navigate global social entrepreneurship. Working to connect and mobilize governments, law enforcement, NGO-NPO frontline workers and other resources, Limage has developed a deep understanding of the complexities associated with creating lasting and sustained social change.
Returning to Queen’s, Limage is strongly motivated by the university’s pursuit of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and Indigeneity specifically as it relates to her interest in international development and the role of colonialism. As a member of the Senate Committee on Academic Development and Procedures, Limage hopes to leverage her academic, personal, and professional experience to enrich the learning environment for current and future students.
“I feel through the fellowship only more good and social impact can transpire through innovation, collaboration, and working with those who also believe in using technology for good,” she says. “It takes all of us doing our part to adapt and create a better future. I am doing my part as best as I can each day”
Social Development Goals
With Queen’s recent recognition by Times Higher Education as ranking first in Canada and fifth in the world in the Global Impact Rankings among universities advancing SDGs, Limage’s commitment to social responsibility aligns well with the institutional direction and exemplifies the positive impact Queen’s students have domestically and internationally.
Following the completion of the one-year fellowship, Limage expressed a desire to scale the pilot project outside of North America and continue her education