“Every small thing we do adds up. It’s our way of building a better world, starting right where we are.”

Parul Kanwar

2024 Top 30 Under 30


AGE: 24


HOMETOWN: Chandigarh, Chandigarh, India



  • Edmonton Youth Justice
  • Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton
  • The Gist
  • The Bold Word
  • Legislative Assembly of Alberta


What specific issue(s) are you taking on, and what inspires you to do so?

I am particularly passionate about mental health, harm reduction, equity for the most vulnerable in our community and housing – and the intersections of these issues.

My inspiration comes from multiple sources – with community members at the forefront. The tireless advocacy of individuals within our community, who continue to champion causes they believe in, serves as a constant reminder of the impact that individuals can have on effecting positive change. Their resilience and commitment, even in the face of despair and hardship inspire me to persist in my efforts to contribute to a more equitable and just society.

What does climate change or climate justice mean to you? To your work?

Climate justice, to me, embodies the ethical responsibility of ensuring fairness and equity in addressing the impacts of climate change. As a society, we must acknowledge that the most vulnerable and marginalized communities often bear the brunt of environmental degradation despite contributing less to the problem – like the extreme cold weather in Edmonton, those most vulnerable are left out without shelter or safety.

In my work, I try to learn a lot from local leaders and residents. I want to understand the challenges they face and make sure their ideas are a big part of our talks about policies – and do my best to highlight as many diverse perspectives as I can. This is important to fix historical inequalities and push for solutions that really help those who are most affected.

When I look into research, I attempt to adopt a comprehensive approach to explore how environmental issues intersect with our socio-economic landscape. This involves collaborating closely with communities to ensure their experiences are integral to the research process.

What advice do you have for other young people looking to get involved in sustainable development?

Discovering the many ways sustainable development can be a part of our everyday work was eye-opening for me. It involves learning about environmental and social challenges and finding what you’re passionate about within sustainability, like renewable energy, fair access, conservation, or social justice. Starting things, like networking or getting involved with organizations, can feel overwhelming, but it’s okay to take your time and build a supportive community. The world can be tough, and not everything shows immediate results, so holding onto hope is crucial. As you learn new skills, stay informed, and speak up for change in your community, remember that even small collective efforts play a significant role in creating a more sustainable and fair future.

Parul participating in Volunteer Alberta’s Youth at the Table training session.

Parul meeting with Edmonton City Council, ParityYEG, and Women’s Advocacy Voice of Edmonton to discuss women in governance.

Parul attending the University of Alberta’s Students’ Union Week of Welcome Team Facilitator retreat.

Parul organizing a Halloween-themed fundraiser.

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