Net Zero World Café at McGill University

The Net Zero World Café at McGill University in Montréal was hosted on March 27th, 2024, bringing together a combination of local students and community members to engage in meaningful dialogue on the concept of net zero within a local context and across critical sectors. In total, the event welcomed 19 participants and one special guest speaker, including support from campus and local organizations ESG McGill, the McGill Social Business Network (MSBN), Engineers Without Borders, and re•generation.

To start, participants were introduced to the topic of net zero through a brief presentation that highlighted Canada’s and Montréal’s respective progress toward emissions reduction targets over the past few decades. All of our partner organizations had the opportunity to introduce themselves and share some of the ways in which their work intersects with net zero initiatives. We were also delighted to welcome McGill University community member, Rebecca Kresta, a mechanical engineer who is currently pursuing her master’s in public policy, to speak about the role sustainability has played in her professional journey to date and her aspirations around how both fields can meaningfully contribute to net zero progress at local and national levels — ultimately highlighting the important role all professions and sectors play in achieving climate goals.

Participants then had the opportunity to chat with each other in more detail about their perspectives on net zero initiatives across the transportation, waste, and buildings sectors. Through these roundtables, we garnered incredibly valuable insights on how youth feel about progress towards net zero in these three critical sectors at local and national levels, challenges, and opportunities to contribute to net zero through individual actions within our own communities — spanning everything from advocacy and educational initiatives to conducting clothing swaps, opting for public transportation, or swapping to more energy efficient light bulbs. To wrap things up, participants then continued these conversations over drinks and doughnuts in an informal networking session.

We were so thrilled to collaborate with such a diverse group of individuals who offered a range of knowledge and perspectives on the topic of net zero. Many participants noted how much they enjoyed the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals from within their own communities, highlighting the importance of these place-based actions and the power of collaboration at a local level! 

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