Together, society’s youth can weave a tapestry of change to paint a positive future for the world.

Seniru Ruwanpura

2024 Top 30 Under 30


AGE: 21




  • University of Calgary Students’ Union
  • Scholars Academy, University of Calgary
  • Unconventional Engineers, University of Calgary
  • University of Calgary Conservatives (UCC)
  • Canadian Organization for Undergraduate Health Research (COUHR)
  • Engaging Engineers
  • Youreka Canada
  • United Nations Department of Global Communications
  • International Model United Nations Association (IMUNA)
  • Global Educational Online Model United Nations (GEOMUN)


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

Being the child of a professor has provided me a pedestal of high privilege when it comes to the academic world. Unfortunately, too many people are robbed around the world of even the most basic education whether that be due to governmental tyranny like young women banned from attending school or economic crises such as energy shortages preventing students from attending class. Thus, while people like me flourish through the privileges of the highest echelons of academia, most of the world often lack even the building blocks of freeing themselves from the shackles of their socioeconomic conditions through education. Such injustices find themselves even in formal academic settings as well where opportunities like research are often constrained to those from stronger economic backgrounds or with family backgrounds in academia.

My work is focused on reducing the disparity in the educational world through creating greater opportunities in countries around the world  and creating outreach programs to perpetuate how to succeed in regards to education. For me, what is most important is creating true equality of opportunity when it comes to education and giving back to others what I have been fortunate to receive myself. In doing so, we can build a flourishing network that will eliminate other injustices like gender inequality and perpetuate global peace.

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

Sustainability is vital to all work efforts in the 21st century. No longer is it acceptable to simply achieve success in our specific goals- we must ensure that our efforts and objectives are compatible for generations to come as well. But to me, the impacts of climate change are detrimental to hundreds of millions of people around the world–not in the future, but today through rising emissions or water levels globally. Acknowledging the disproportionate impacts of climate change today are vital to ensure that this is not a fight we ignore until only the most privileged are affected by it.

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

The biggest piece of advice I have for young people today is to try and be selfless in their work. Don’t examine the world in a lens of what doing community work can do for you, but rather what you can genuinely do to make the world a better place. Recognize that societal fights are far bigger than any one of us, and only together can we achieve that change, giving back. But most importantly, start somewhere even if you think your impact is minute. Great campaigns for change only work through collective efforts of many people- the only reason I’ve been successful is because people who have done far more than me continuously acknowledge whatever I have been able to achieve in my capacity.

Seniru giving a conference presentation on the importance of building cooperative partnerships to ensure inclusive educational opportunities for international students that are low-risk

Seniru as President and National Chief Marketing Officer of the Canadian Organization for Undergraduate Health Research (COUHR) accepting an award on behalf of the organization for being the best club on campus for promoting quality of education.

Seniru leading an educational workshop for the International Model United Nations Association partnered with the UN Department for Global Communications on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Seniru attending a meeting with Member of Parliament for Calgary Confederation Len Webber on improving youth engagement in politics.

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