“Creativity can bloom in constraint—do not let our current method of doing things stop you from imagining a better way.”
2022 Top 30 Under 30
Which SGDs are you most passionate about and why?
The SDGs represent a radical rethinking of the future – a vision for the world we want to see, not the world we have today. The Goals are not accomplished by how we do things today; they are meant to spur a shift in our behaviour, systems, and institutions to place the world on track for sustainability. The catch is that changing our behaviours is difficult. Building new habits and dismantling old ones is tough enough as individuals – with institutions, it becomes much more complex. Some governments have started instituting Departments of ‘Innovation,’ tasked to reduce red tape and create more efficient processes through innovation. As ironic as that is, it still represents an understanding that we cannot keep doing things the same way to accomplish new results. We need investment into infrastructure, our industries, and innovation in order to accomplish almost every SDG—that is why I am most passionate about SDG 9.
What issues are you most passionate and what inspires you to take action?
I believe that all individuals should have access to opportunities that bring out their potential. I grew up in India, and every step to where I am today was a wrestle with gender roles, societal expectations, and financial stability. It was not often that things were easily handed to me. It became clear to me how challenging it can be to fulfill your aspirations when your circumstances do not make it easy. My experience has made me passionate about supporting others to find the opportunities that I did not have and, hopefully, make the journey easier for them. On a macro level, this manifests as innovation in areas that uplift all or most people. Watching breakthrough advancements in technology that impact our day-to-day (like in transportation, sanitation, food & nutrition, etc.) inspires me daily to be a part of making that difference in the world.
How have you communities and those around you helped you to take action and make a difference?
I am continually inspired by the people around me – from people I see day-to-day to members of my international network. My community in Edmonton is grounded, caring, and always ready to spring into action whenever somebody needs uplifting, something I’ve witnessed multiple times. For example, my workplace at Samdesk pivoted our catering plans for our work Christmas party to support a local restaurant when we heard they were struggling. The tech startup community has always been supportive of our local businesses, and witnessing it firsthand was an inspiring moment. On the flip side, my grandmother spends every Christmas purchasing items like blankets and warm food that people might need and distributes them herself around the community. She reminds me that no matter how global our goals might be, it is still important to remember the people we share our land with.
What do partnership and collaboration mean to you in your life and your work?
What we can accomplish through partnerships and collaboration is greater than what we could achieve as individuals. To bring out each individual’s potential, I strive to create opportunities for collaboration in all aspects of my life and work.