Fifth-Annual Powering Prosperity Awards

By Adriana Reyes

“Every time I attend a conference in which I can relate with real community leaders, it empowers and inspires me with positive energy, thoughts, and hopes for a sustainable future” – Adriana Reyes.

  1. Expectations prior to the event
  2. Powering Prosperity Champions
  3. Learning Outcomes

On January 29, 2015, Durham College (DC) and the Sustainability office gave me a great opportunity to attend the Fifth-Annual Powering Prosperity Awards. My knowledge regarding this conference was very limited, but as soon as I received my invitation I started researching it. I learned that the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) was encouraging organizations to champion sustainable energy to power, heat, cool and improve Ontario’s prosperity.

Expectations prior to the event

My personal expectations prior to this event were to improve my knowledge, get more involved regarding sustainability practices from a business perspective and to get networking with other leaders and guests. The Fifth-Annual Powering Prosperity Awards dinner doubled my expectations on all levels. As college students, with my colleagues Tanya McDonald and Ashley Audit, it was an honour taking part in this prestigious affair. Among the invited guests were more than 500 sector decision-makers including developers, builders, manufacturers, suppliers, government representatives and community leaders. We also were accompanied by Tanya Roberts, sustainability co-ordinator.

Powering Prosperity Champions

The Fifth-Annual Powering Prosperity Awards began and we had Cisco’s Dr. Rick Huijbregts as a keynote speaker. Dr. Huijbregts is a recognized leader in his field with great experience as vice-president, Industry and Business Transformation and general manager, Smart+Connected Communities. During his presentation, he said: “The convergence of Information Technology (IT) and grid modernization, intelligent communities and business process optimization is providing for a 21st-Century platform of innovation that will have a profound impact on how we live, learn, work and play. Sustainability is positively impacted if we embrace the role of IT for industry transformation.”

Afterwards, they started to announce the Fifth-Annual Powering Prosperity Awards. There were 20 Leadership Award nominees and seven champions in the following categories:

  • 20/20 Leadership Award: Jonathan J. Dogterom, MaRS Discovery District
  • Aboriginal Project of the Year Award: Matt Jamieson, Six Nations
  • Community Project of the Year Award: SolarShare Co-operative
  • Developer of the Year Award: Brant Renewable Energy
  • Manufacturer of the Year Award: Celestica
  • Smartpreneur of the Year Award: Phillip Playfair, Lowfoot
  • Sustainable Project of the Year Award: Park Property Management Inc.

Now, I would like to share what I learned from this incredible experience.

Learning Outcomes

  1. I would like to start by saying that I learned so much regarding sustainability business practices. I also learned that a responsible leader not only cares about her/his company’s profit but also of how responsible the company is in utilizing natural resources. After listening to Cisco’s Dr. Rick Huijbregts, I realized the importance of technology to help with the development of different projects within a company. For instance, he mentioned that his company developed six times faster than before due to the efficient use of technology. Also, Dr. Huijbregts revealed for those companies that reproduce and destroy our natural resources there is a better way to do business, taking in consideration the higher standards of quality safety. I personally agree with most of his speech.
  2. My colleagues and I had the honour to share a table with Mike Brigham, president, Community Power Capital Co-operative. He shared with us his five years’ experience in SolarShare, a not-for-profit co-operative, and how each improvement turned into an achievement. The most surprising was that his organization was one of the champions under Community Project of the Year Award category and we had the opportunity to congratulate him. Mr. Brigham has a great and particular personality that I will always admire.

 Prior to the event, my colleagues and I were not too familiar with the guests and nominees, but overall it was an incredible experience to share. I learned a lot and I hope I could spread my knowledge. Thank you one more time to DC and the Sustainability office, especially Tanya Roberts, for making it possible for us to attend. This is one of the benefits of Living Green.