What you missed: Mount Royal University’s 2023 Sustainability Forum
By Bella Coco, Contributor
When people think of sustainability, ideas of climate activism, environmental change, or alternative energy sources come to mind.
However, Mount Royal University’s (MRU) 2023 Sustainability Forum looked at tourism, finance, student life, education, marketing, podcasting, media, aviation, Indigenous practices, and relationships with nature, just to name a few. Known as the largest event on campus, the Sustainability Forum served as a platform of knowledge and education for students and faculty.
On Oct. 18, MRU became a haven of sustainability.
Speakers from MRU, the University of Calgary, and Tec de Monterrey, a post-secondary school in Mexico, came together to share and explore their ideas on modern-day sustainability.
Regarding environmental sustainability, Dion Simon of the Cree First Nations Maskwacis Treaty 6, spoke about relationship to land, and brought forth an Indigenous perspective on environmental sustainability.
One of Simon’s themes was the seven sacred teachings: love–to be in harmony with the world around us, respect, honor, truth, wisdom, courage and humility.
Simon’s biggest lesson to the audience was to “Leave something for the next day,” to move on course with nature’s speed, and to have the courage to maintain, control and discipline ourselves with the land and creation.
In addition to environmental sustainability, an online presentation by Guillermo Hernández – all the way from Mexico – brought light to sustainable financing, specifically in middle-income countries.
Sustainability in media
Meg Wilcox, a communications professor at MRU and co-director of the Community Podcast Initiative, spoke about creating a strong and equitable media landscape and promoting and protecting the environment through education.
Wilcox touched on the three main challenges in sustainable media: trust, diversity and fragmentation. Her work with the Canadian Mountain Podcast has also put a spotlight on Indigenous information and voices.
Wilcox was invited to speak at the forum, which inspired her to speak about sustainability and the media.
“When I first heard about the forum, I thought it would be an important and much-needed event on campus— and the podcasting work that Canadian Mountain Podcast team has been working on fits in well with the topic of sustainability,” Wilcox says.
Student Changemaker Network
One of the largest themes spanning throughout the majority of the speaker’s talks was the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which was created by the United Nations.
For those interested in student sustainability, the Student Changemaker Network (SCN) club at MRU is a representative body for students to create “social and environmental change” and advocate for sustainability. The SCN used the 17 Sustainable Development Goals in their presentation, as well as their three missions: educate, enable and enact.
Different worldviews such as culture, gender, age and experience are presented when creating a sustainable environment at MRU.
Students can join the SCN to create positive change and promote communication to raise awareness about environmental sustainability. Students are encouraged to go online and present a sustainable proposal to the SCN. In addition, the SCN also hosts events and movie nights.
For those interested in student involvement with sustainability at MRU, the SCN member signup form can be found at their Linktree bio on their Instagram page, @scn.mru.