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Canadore student selected as top youth leader in Sustainable Development, heads to New York for Camp 2030.

Aug 24, 2023 | Vanessa Tignanelli, Storyteller & Content Creator

Canadore College has made a commitment to take action towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals – now we have a chance to share the work we are doing on the international stage alongside one of our students.

Shane Ralli (24) is a recent graduate of the Environmental Management program who has been learning about clean water and food sustainability through a work-study position that supports our ImpAct-Climate Campus Living Labs project with Colleges and Institutes Canada. In his role as the Sustainable Development Student Assistant, Shane works closely with Sustainable Canadore and Angela Proudfoot (Project Administrator, Sustainable Food & Clean Water) to help grow quality hydroponics in our on-campus Grow Pod, remove invasive species in the 650 acres of forested land behind campus, and support our latest Clean Water Initiative.

The 24-year-old from Punjab, India says he had never worked closely with environmental scientists before, yet his time at the college has instilled a passion for food and water sovereignty. "Since childhood I've wanted to do something for my community. At Canadore I’ve had a chance to learn how to contribute to making a change in the world by achieving SDGs, and that's one of the reasons why I applied for Camp 2030.”

Camp 2030 is UNITE 2030’s highly competitive innovation lab hosted in New York, bringing together top youth leaders who are passionate about taking action for the SDGs. Over six days, campers work in teams to develop entrepreneurial solutions to the SDGs and build business models around a specific social challenge. Shane will be part of the team focusing on Goal #2: Zero Hunger, a topic that he requested following his work in the hydroponics lab at Canadore.

At the end of the week, the teams will pitch their ideas at the SDG Solutions Hub in NYC to a panel of leading experts as part of Global Goals Week. Their ideas have the potential to be selected by organizations for further mentorship or financial support, where they can go on to implement tangible change worldwide.

"I am excited to share my ideas and meet with individuals from all over the world that are passionate about the environment,” says Shane. “I know I will learn a lot from their different experiences, their cultures, their country's problems and how they plan to handle those problems."

Participants bring a wide range of professional experience to the table: students, entrepreneurs, NGO employees, CEOs, and scientists. All must be 35 years of age or younger.

This year, over 3000 applications were received from over 61 countries, with only 200 young leaders selected to participate.

Shane is the first representative from Canadore College to attend Camp 2030.

“When applying, you are asked to provide information about your current projects, what you are doing at your own level to change the world,” he explains. “I included the work I am doing with Sustainable Canadore working with hydroponics and numerous environmental scientists. I personally believe that Canadore has given me this opportunity to broaden my knowledge. I get to meet people like Angela and Jesse, and learn directly from them."

Jesse Russell, Project Leader of Sustainable Initiatives, says the team is very proud of Shane for being selected for Camp 2030. Canadore is one of the few schools sponsoring a student to attend this experience.

“He's the first Canadore student that has been selected,” says Jesse. “It will be a great opportunity for him to gather some additional knowledge and skills to bring back to Canadore, as well as an opportunity for Shane to showcase the work being done at Canadore to other institutions around the world, and hopefully provide some inspiration for them to undertake some of these projects on their own. We hope that this will open collaborations domestically and abroad."

Canadore College has taken great strides toward meeting the SDGs and partaking in global sustainable initiatives. For the second consecutive year, Canadore College was selected by Colleges and Institutes Canada as one of ten Campus Living Labs. The next project will focus on the 650 acres of forested land at College Drive, including increasing the tree count at campus locations and measuring carbon sequestration rates. Most importantly, the college continues to provide opportunities for students to contribute to the SDGs firsthand through experiential learning.

"I feel very fortunate that Canadore is taking these types of initiatives to send students to different parts of the world,” says Shane. “I personally believe that it is not just an opportunity, but a responsibility. I hope I can inspire and encourage students from different programs to apply to this event in coming years.”

Shane departs for Camp 2030 on September 10th and will be returning to Canadore this Fall to pursue further studies in the Personal Support Worker program. He will continue his work with the Campus Living Labs project throughout the school year.


To learn more about the SDGs and what Canadore College is doing to contribute, please visit

#Experiential Learning #sustainability