Stepping Into Sustainability

I’m Nabeel, Sustainability CoLab’s new Network Manager. I work on knowledge sharing, impact measurement, and service delivery for our Network of members. I’ve joined the team after four years of working in non-profits and international development, principally in social finance and community engagement. I studied business and public policy and have lived in four different countries (and may or may not lead multiple lives). Here’s why I’m delighted to join CoLab:

We’re lucky to live in a world where so many people care about making it better. There are lots of initiatives for social change out there; too many, some might offer (which is like asking if there can ever be too much ice cream – come now, really?).

The sheer amount of activity means that there are lots of opportunities for working together in the non-profit sector, but that duplication and fragmentation are all too common.

It’s not just non-profits that are engaged in doing good, though. Increasingly, the private sector is also working with communities and government to effect change. There is a broad realization that it can’t be a solo mission and everyone has to work together for shared, equitable and sustainable prosperity.

Sustainability CoLab embodies this approach, and it’s why I’m tremendously excited to be part of this organization. There are many wonderful things happening in many different places, and CoLab can bring them together and support collaboration amongst a host of unlikely partners. We have the opportunity to build a network that excels at cross-sector collaboration, knowledge sharing and impact measurement. It’s a worthy goal that I look forward to sinking my teeth into.

CoLab’s support of social entrepreneurship is a great example of applying modern thinking as well. I believe that organizations working to foster a healthy environment shouldn’t have to rely on charity alone, and businesses shouldn’t feel like there is a trade-off between profits and the public interest.

I’m also enthusiastic about exploring new funding models for sustainability and finding my feet in Kitchener-Waterloo as I explore how cities can benefit from socially innovative approaches.

Most of all, however, I’m looking forward to working with Mike, Priyanka, Dana, our great volunteers, the network of members and other community stakeholders that are passionate about a better world: starting with you.

Feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to learning from you (even, or maybe especially, if it’s a good recipe for French toast.)

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