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Social Entrepreneurship Award - Request for ALL EWB leaders to apply
by Parker Mitchell on Mon 05 Nov 2007 05:06:23 PM EST

This thread is from 2007 - I thought I'd bring this back to the front page to remind us how much passion there is across EWB.

Dear EWB Members,

The Schwab Foundation, which is one of the world's best known supporters of social entrepreneurship, has launched an award for Canada's "Social Entrepreneur of the Year".

Given the success of Engineers Without Borders over the past seven years, George and Parker were invited to apply.

Surprisingly perhaps, we were of two minds about whether to apply for this. While we feel that EWB meets all the criteria that are set out and that the organization should be recognized, we felt highly uncomfortable with the idea of singling out the one or two people "at the top". In an organization that is full of social entrepreneurs, as EWB is, we felt if we applied in this way it wouldn't reflect the depth of talent and leadership the EWB is made up of. As such, we decided that George and Parker would not apply for the award.

Then it hit us that this could be an opportunity to influence the process to reflect our reality, by sharing with the Schwab Foundation that social entrepreneurship and leadership runs much deeper than two people in organisations like EWB - try a of a few HUNDRED people deeper! So, we've taken the stance that EWB will, as an organisation full of social entrepreneurs, apply collectively for this award, rather than have the two of us apply as individuals (talk about shaking up the process)!

So, what does this mean?

We are asking every social entrepreneur in EWB - that is YOU - to answer 4 simple questions associated with being a social entrepreneur and submit it to the awards committee directly. It is sometimes surreal to see the incredible leaders and social entrepreneurs that make up this organization, all of whom should be recognized for the work they are doing. The national office will take care of filling out the application describing the work of EWB.

We are officially asking for EWB to be recognised as a socially entrepreneurial organization, rather than having specific social entrepreneurs recognised. Should we get to the final stage, we will select 1-2 additional people to join one of the co-CEOs in representing EWB at the awards ceremony.

We also feel that this will give us a great chance to reflect on our individual leadership within EWB as we continue to further the social movement.

So, what is needed?

- The awards deadline is THIS Saturday , November 10th at midnight PST
- There is a form ( that the National office will be filling out. Questions B1, B2. C6a and C6b will be left blank.
- We are asking members of the national office, current and past chapter presidents, current and past LTOVS, current and past JFs, current and past execs and anyone else to reflect on and send in answers to the 4 questions below:

1. How long have you been involved? (1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, 5 years, 6 years, 7 years)
2. How many hours a week do you commit?
3. What does EWB mean to you? (150 words)?
4. What leadership have you exhibited to contribute to EWB?

- These answers should be sent in email form to canada@schwabfound.orgThe subject heading should be: EWB application for Social Entrepreneurship Award. It must arrive by Friday Nov. 9th at midnight PST. Please cc: Samina Hashmi ( on the application, or, if you would like to keep the contents of the submission confidential, just let her know that you have applied by email.
- We invite you to either post your responses or post that you have responded here.

We are really looking forward to reading through the submissions from the hundreds of EWB social entrepreneurs internally - and flooding a particular inbox with such inspiration externally!

George and Parker

For more information, visit:

Social entrepreneurs share come common traits including:
- an unwavering belief in the innate capacity of all people to contribute meaningfully to economic and social development
- a driving passion to make that happen.
- a practical but innovative stance to a social problem, often using market principles and forces, coupled with dogged determination, that allows them to break away from constraints imposed by ideology or field of discipline, and pushes them to take risks that others wouldn't dare.
- a zeal to measure and monitor their impact. Entrepreneurs have high standards, particularly in relation to their own organization's efforts and in response to the communities with which they engage. Data, both quantitative and qualitative, are their key tools, guiding continuous feedback and improvement.
- a healthy impatience. Social entrepreneurs don't do well in bureaucracies. They cannot sit back and wait for change to happen - they are the change drivers.

Martin Berube, Mon 05 Nov 2007 06:31:56 PM EST
first one to answer or what ???

Come on people !!! Do it !!

Martin Berube, Mon 05 Nov 2007 06:32:43 PM EST

My name is Martin Bérubé, I have been involved in EWB since october 2004 when I heard about the organization from the volunteers who started the chapter in Quebec City at Université Laval. Wow it's already been 3 full years... crazy !!

It is hard for me to say how much time I give to the organization on a weekly basis, it must keep an average of around 15 to 20 hours every week... if it's not more...

To me EWB is a powerful organization that allowed me to grow and become a leader I never thought I could be. Je ne crois pas que je pourrais être ce que je suis aujourd'hui si ce n'était de ce que ISF m'a enseigné. The better thing with this is that I wasn't really taught about EWB and/or it's message, but I was taught to think and reflect about it. Ce cheminement m'a permi d'en découvrir beaucoup plus sur moi-même et sur ce que je peux faire de mes dix doigts. And that is way more than I ever learned from any school I went to or any other program I attended. Le message qui est véhiculé par l'organisation et son impact dans la société est un moteur qui me pousse à me dépasser tous les jours. Long live EWB, tu es un modèle pour notre société !!!

Through EWB I have first been a pionneer with the program in Laval, I helped to build it with my friend Nicholas Clermont. Then I became a JF during the summer of 2005, I worked on the Multi-functionnal plateform program in Mali and I returned to share my learnings with all the members of our chapter. Then I became the president of the chapter in the second half of the 2005-2006 school year. I kept that position until march 2007. I then became an elder in our local organization by helping to coordinate the activities. I am also taking a much more important role in our community by presiding a coalition that promotes the MDGs on our campus.

Thank you EWB, I am proud to be a EWBer !!!

Martin Bérubé, Section ISF Laval.
Louis Dorval, Tue 06 Nov 2007 04:16:52 AM EST
Mesdames et Messieurs du comité de sélection,

Il me fait plaisir de contribuer à la candidature collective d'Ingénieurs Sans Frontières, parce que tout comme les fondateurs, je crois aussi qu'Ingénieurs Sans Frontières est en fait beaucoup plus un mouvement d'entrepreneurs qu'une organisation rigide et hiérarchique. Nous sommes un réseau d'individus qui avons unis nos énergies, nos talents et notre temps pour le progrès d'une cause commune, utilisant un maximum de moyens créatifs et pragmatiques. Reconnaitre Ingénieurs Sans Frontières, c'est reconnaitre tous les individus qui forment ce réseau.

1. How long have you been involved? (1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, 5 years, 6 years, 7 years)
Je suis un membre actif d'Ingénieurs Sans Frontières depuis novembre 2000.

2. How many hours a week do you commit?
Quand j'étais étudiant, 15-20 heures. Et depuis, ca n'a cesse d'augmenter. Ces jours-ci, plus ou moins 70 heures. Mais c'est un pur plaisir, il faut me croire!

3. What does EWB mean to you? (150 words)?
EWB is a bank, a chamber of commerce, and a consulting agency. And I'm an entrepreneur. It's a bank because I get to take out loans of resources and logistical help to build my team and deliver impact. It's a chamber of commerce because I get to network with other entrepreneurs, fuel off of their energy, and through our greater number and pooled resources, we are able to create synergy between our individual actions. And it's a consulting agency because leading a team and creating social change is a pretty difficult and complex thing, so I can really use all of the advice and questioning I can get, and well EWB provides the world's best training!

And on a less business tone, EWB is a family. It's the pool of security, trust and confidence that every social entrepreneur needs to take the leap and dedicate themselves to the world's most pressing and complex cause: extreme poverty.

4. What leadership have you exhibited to contribute to EWB?
J'ai été le trésorier de la section McGill pour 2 ans, et co-fondateur et co-directeur du projet Scala aux Philippines. Ensuite, j'ai été un volontaire-employé outremer au Ghana, avant de devenir directeur des programmes en Afrique de l'Ouest, puis directeur des programmes outremer.
Je pense que ma plus grande contribution à Ingénieurs Sans Frontières a été ma capacité d'analyse des situations, mais d'abord et avant tout, mon désir de continuellement apprendre. Créer un changement social, c'est d'essayer, de se tromper, d'apprendre, puis essayer de nouveau. C'est cette capacité collective d'apprendre qui a fait, et continue de faire, le succès d'ISF.

Mesdames et messieurs du comité de sélection, je vous remercie de considérer la candidature d'Ingénieurs Sans Frontières.
En toute sincérité,

PS.: Merci d'avoir ouvert le bal Martin! Très inspirant! On se voit a Montreal!
Chris Richards, Tue 06 Nov 2007 11:31:09 AM EST
My name is Chris Richards and I am an Engineer in Training in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I work for Integrated Designs Inc., a company that provides consulting services related to energy efficiency, green construction, renewable energy, reducing the ecological footprint of buildings, and strategic planning for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to working with large corporations, municipalities, and universities, we also assist a variety of local social housing and charitable organizations.

1. How long have you been involved? (1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, 5 years, 6 years, 7 years)

I have been involved with EWB for approximately 7 years.

2. How many hours a week do you commit?

I currently commit approximately 2-5 hours per week to EWB but when I was I student I contributed at least 20 hours per week (often more), every week, for over 4 years.

I would like to note that I am currently working only 2-5 hours per week for EWB because I now work full-time for a company that focuses on promoting sustainable development. As a result of EWB's influence on my life I now work approximately 60 hours per week on projects that promote sustainability and social responsibility.

3. What does EWB mean to you? (150 words)?

EWB blew open my world view and shattered my ignorance of the challenges people face throughout the world. It took me from being a beer chugging engineer that thoughtlessly sang chauvinistic drinking songs during engineering pub crawls to a being a local sustainability champion. It exposed me to countless opportunities to learn about the lives of people outside of my small social bubble in Saskatoon and to think critically about how I choose to live my own life.

EWB was the first organization that helped me begin to think critically, question the status quo, and become a leader. EWB taught me to push myself to attain my aspirations and that everyone has the right to attain their own aspirations.

EWB is the reason that I became, and continue to be, a social entrepreneur.

4. What leadership have you exhibited to contribute to EWB?

I began as being responsible for communications at the Saskatoon student chapter of EWB. I held this position for two years and helped build the chapter from an idea in 3 peoples head to a strong chapter with over 150 members. After dedicating over two years to building the Saskatoon student chapter I went overseas for 4 months with EWB and volunteered in Ghana, West Africa. In this placement I assisted a local NGO in promoting small business development in a rural village through the use of value added processing (using food processing machines).

After returning from my placement I have given over 50 presentations to high school students, university students, church groups, professional societies, companies, and other audiences. The lessons I learned during my placement have also been published in the book Notes from Canada's Young Activists. A Generation Stands Up for Change.

I continue to work with the student chapter in a mentorship role and am now a member of the Saskatoon Professional Chapter. My position on the executive deals with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and I am currently researching global trade and CSR practices in order to create presentations that encourage local businesses to become engaged in promoting CSR and sustainability.
Michael Nunan, Tue 06 Nov 2007 04:53:00 PM EST
1. How long have you been involved? (1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, 5 years, 6 years, 7 years)

I have been involved with EWB for 3 years, one just as a recipient of the newsletters from the Ottawa University Chapter, and now 2 years in the Communications role with the Ottawa Professional Chapter.

2. How many hours a week do you commit?

I commit 5-6 hours per week, between writing and editing our newsletter and participating in events such as our Development Drinks and Educational sessions.

3. What does EWB mean to you? (150 words)?

For me EWB provides a way of making a difference to the peoples of Africa, a region of the world that has been important to me since I was very young. In 2005 I had the opportunity to spend 3 weeks in Africa, Rwanda specifically to attend my brother traditional wedding ceremony. I was very inspired by the people that I met and EWB's careful, respectful and cooperative approach to International Development appears to me as a fantastic model.

I am impressed by how well EWB trains its overseas volunteers and the effort that is put into choosing projects where we can really make a difference.

4. What leadership have you exhibited to contribute to EWB?

I have been involved with the Ottawa Professional Chapter for 2 years involved in the communications portfolio, primarily editing the newsletter to our chapter.
Alejandro Gomez-Juliao, Tue 06 Nov 2007 07:44:07 PM EST

I am Alejandro Gomez-Juliao, from the Engineers Without Borders Chapter of the University Of New Brunswick Fredericton Campus (EWB/UNB for short). I am a Mechatronics Engineering student in my fourth year. Here are my answers to the posted questions:

Question 1 How long have you been involved (1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, 5 years, 6 years, 7 years)?

I have been involved with Engineers Without Borders (EWB) since September of 2004, which makes a total of three years and two months. It is worth saying that even if I am not one of the founding members, I have been part of the EWB/UNB Chapter since its beginnings.

Question 2 How many hours a week do you commit?

That is very difficult to answer because my commitment fluctuates during the year. However I can accurately describe such fluctuations.

September to November
Time: Average of 25 hours per week
Breakdown: Weekdays (about 3 hours/day) weekends (about 10 hours)
Specifics: Includes events, activities, workshops, presentations, planning, Executive meetings and committee management. Activities such as the Chapter Visit and Chapter Retreat take extra time to plan and manage. Traditionally, this is the time when the year plan gets hammered out.

Time: Average of 10 hours per week
Breakdown: Difficult to quantify because of final exams. But usually once the exams are done I begin working more hours.
Specifics: After exams I begin working on new ideas that need to be expanded or I take time and review what was done by the Chapter. If there are any last-minute presentations before the Christmas holiday (e.g. / high schools, businesses, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of New Brunswick (APEGNB or government officials) I try to make them happen.

January to March
Time: Average of 30 hours per week
Breakdown: Weekdays (about 3 hours/day) weekends (about 10 hours). Also, this is the time when the EWB National Conference takes place. After this national event the level of presentations within the school increase, this makes my involvement jump an extra five hours. Moreover, we have a full week off during the month of March, where I try to squeeze in as much time as possible.
Specifics: This is our crunch time where we must fundraise the thirteen thousand dollars that are needed to send two UNB short-term overseas volunteers (STOVs). Elections also take place and there is a great deal of training for new execs and other leadership positions.

Time: Average of 10 hours per week
Note: Similar to the month of December. The only difference is that by the end of April we must ensure that all our financial statements are well in order and that all the last minute projects are taken care of.

Note: Difficult to quantify because this is the time with the greatest fluctuations of commitment. In the summer of 2005 I was an STOV in the Technology Development Advisory Unit (TDAU), based in Lusaka, Zambia and that took about 70 hours per week. My boss Dr. Tambatamba expected me at work for 40 hours per week. Furthermore, I taught Computer Aided Design (CAD) to TDAU employees (after-hours) and this usually took about 2 hours per day. Therefore, my Monday to Friday Schedule (at work) was of 50 hours per week. The weekends fluctuated dramatically from just staying at home and talking to my neighbors to going on to assignment trips that included visits to. In most of these trips my involvement with EWB was at its maximum and it is from these experiences that I base the core of my presentations in Canada.

In the summer of 2006 I was EWB/UNB Acting President and I averaged about 30 hours per week. Most of this time was spent in what it became known as "Project Summer-slam" and its goal was to train the new Exec member that resided in Fredericton as well as plan for the coming year. Please note that for his summer I did not have any type of paid employment.

In the summer of 2007 I averaged the same rate of 30 hours per week and when Brent Langille (EWB/UNB President of 2007-2008) assumed his internship position (with CIDA) in South Africa I became the Acting President, which increased my average of hours per week a little more. For the last two months of the summer I worked full time with the ADI Group (based in Fredericton), which saw my commitment to my EWB duties drop down to perhaps 10 hours per week.

I did a rough estimate in an Excel sheet of the possible hours that I have committed with EWB since September of 2004 and I came with a total of of 3090 hours that I have volunteered with EWB and round this number to 3000 and then we divide it by 3 we get 1000 hours per year. So then:
(1000 hours/year) / (52 weeks/year) = 19.23 hours/week ? 20 hours per week.

In conclusion, to answer this question with greater accuracy (based on my estimates) I commit about 20 hours per week to EWB.

Question 3 What does EWB mean to you? (150 words)?

I will keep this answer simple: To me EWB is an organization that allows me to focus my energies skills and abilities as an engineer, a social entrepreneur and most importantly a human being who is deeply committed to the social ideal of bringing forth positive and sustainable impact, not only in my in the areas of the world where the opportunity for a decent living is lacking but also in my community where I can raise the awareness level of what goes on beyond our borders.

Question 4 What leadership have you exhibited to contribute to EWB?

In October of 2004 I was selected as the EWB/UNB Chapter's first short-term overseas volunteer (STOV) by the UNB Chapter co-Founders and co-Presidents Mike Gallant and Jenn Dysart. Their enthusiasm and passion to social issues gave me the drive to fuel our Chapter to greater heights in the years to come. Months after, I was appointed as VP-Fundraising. During that time I helped to develop one of the best relations an EWB Chapter could have - that with APEGNB.

In the summer of 2005 I was sent to Lusaka, Zambia as an STOV where I worked with a team of engineers in the Technology Development and Advisory Unit (TDAU) with the goal of developing a hybrid solar dryer (food processing) and a cost effective quail-egg incubator. Moreover, I would also offer my time to teach advanced software packages such as AutoCAD and Mechanical Desktop to various members of TDAU and I had the chance to travel on assignments to many regions of Zambia.

Upon returning to Canada I assumed the position as Co-President External where I helped our UNB Chapter to maximize its potential. We increased our commitment of STOVS, expanded our public school outreach (PSO) program to become one of the best in Canada and I engaged the public through presentations to my university, schools and the public in general. Our drive and commitment to international development and social justice earned us the respect of our Member of Parliament, Hon. Andy Scott and we became part of two of his advisory groups: International Affairs and Environmental Policies. The combined effort of our Chapter began to realize one of EWB's main pillars: Encouraging the Canadian government to become a model global citizen by taking on a leadership role in poverty alleviation. As a Chapter President my role was not to head the organization according to my wishes, but to help discover the potential in each of our members.

Our commitment to Raising awareness among Canadians about how they can make decisions that positively impact communities overseas helped us develop what may well be one of the most unique activities in our Chapter- "The Lightbulb Lecture Series", an event where we bring speakers that have worked in different areas that affect international development. This will be a free event that will accommodate thousands of spectators because we realized that to reach our community we must make such an event as inclusive as possible.

Because of the continual hard work in improving our Chapter as a vehicle for positive impact in our university and in our community we earned the Most Improved Chapter Of The Year award from EWB Canada. While this merit brought much recognition to our group, it showed that we were on the right path. By February of 2007 all the core activities (events, public school outreach and member education) of the Chapter were running at maximum capacity. By then I was no longer a member of the Executive and my role was that of a general member and adviser. As our Chapter matured new individuals stepped up to the challenge of management and leadership.

In the summer of 2007 I volunteered to help out a new Chapter President (Brent Langille) to assume his leadership position and with the new Executive members we came to the conclusion that our Chapter needed a unified document that contained all necessary information about running the Chapter. While the National Office launched the "Orange Book Of Change", we in our Chapter developed what came to be known as "The Korble"- an document that included everything that our chapter does, from how to run a movie night to the selection of STOVs. Moreover, we developed another document named "The Memoirs" that include the anecdotes of past Executive members (in every activity that we have undertaken). The idea is to capture and retain the gained experience of our members so that a new generation is able to learn from the experiences of those who have moved on.

My role since then has been to help and train new EWB. Though I am no longer an official leader of the UNB Chapter I still give many presentations and I am part of many committees that facilitate various activities. Lately, the most prominent of these areas are to build better and stronger relations with our local engineering businesses and our politicians, to develop a city-wide battery recycling program (because sustainable development starts at home and not abroad) and to work out the logistics of the Lightbulb Lecture Series. Thanks to our efforts we were able to secure Hon. Paul Martin as our first speaker and we are in the process of having our launch date sometime in the month of March.

Ultimately, the question asks about the leadership that I have exhibited to contribute to EWB. Thanks to the nourishment that this Chapter and the entire organization, I am able to bring new ideas in the table that allow us to what we do best: to promote human development through access to technology.
Laura McGrath, Tue 06 Nov 2007 08:49:31 PM EST
1. How long have you been involved? (1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, 5 years, 6 years, 7 years)

4 years.

2.How many hours a week do you commit?

2003-2004: ~20 hours a week.
2005-2007: 50-60 hours a week.

3. What does EWB mean to you? (150 words)?

To me, EWB means:
an organization not afraid to try things that are new and different; an organization where new ideas are met with a sense of possibility, rather than the limits of bureaucracy or negativity; an organization full of individuals who aren't content with a vague sense of "doing good", but always challenge themselves to make sure there are results; a community of individuals committed to learning about the world around them and how they can contribute to it the most; a community of individuals supporting each others' learning and leadership growth, and doing so in the context of global citizenship; an organization that changes, grows, and develops based on the contributions of its members and an honest assessment of our impact; a group of individuals who, collectively and individually, will work life-long to positively shape the development of their communities, from the local to the global.

4. What leadership have you exhibited to contribute to EWB?

My various positions at EWB over the years included Sustainability Leader on National Conference Team, Office Assistant, Program Coordinator, Director of Education, and on-call national office volunteer. To contribute to EWB, I had to learn and refine a huge range of leadership skills. The leadership experiences I have valued most are:

-learning to be a listener: to understand individuals' strengths, concerns, worries, and dreams, and to understand how their unique perspectives will strengthen our collective ability as a social change organization.

-learning to be a facilitator: to develop a repertoire of activities, questions, group processes, and avenues of encouragement, so that I could support groups of EWB members working together to contribute to human development.

-learning to perspective-take: understanding that everyone, from the co-CEO to the new member to the person who hasn't heard of EWB to an employee at a partner organization in Ghana - everyone has their own perspective that influences what they value, what they question, what they enjoy most, and what challenges them most. Learning to appreciate this diversity, learn from it, and to share the perspectives I heard between different groups of people in order to promote a deeper understanding for all of us.
Charles Cauchon, Tue 06 Nov 2007 10:42:44 PM EST

I'm Charles Cauchon and i'm currently president of the Laval University Chapter of EWB. Je suis fier de participer à cette candidature collective car elle représente la beauté de notre organisation. C'est la preuve que l'ensemble est beaucoup plus grand que la somme de ses parties.

1. How long have you been involved?

I've been involved in EWB since my first week at Laval University in 2005, so it's been two and a half years of pure pleasure!

2. How many hours a week do you commit?

Cela a changé dépendament des mes rôles et resposabilités. En tant que président, je travaille en moyenne 20 à 30 heures par semaine. Lorsque j'était Vice-président Éducation, je travaillais en moyenne 20 heures par semaine.

3. What does EWB mean to you? (150 words)?

Pour moi, EWB représente un questionnement. C'est l'interogation qui pousse les gens à changer leur mode de vie et à s'engager à faire leur humble part vers un monde plus juste. EWB m'a non seulement permit de me questionner sur mes capacités personnelles à être un agent de changement mais aussi sur mes capacités au travers d'une équipe et d'une communauté. EWB is a tool that promote effective questionning and that push people in places they never tought they could go. At every step of this process, it's asking : "How can i better myself so that my life has a better impact on the poorest ones?"

4. What leadership have you exhibited to contribute to EWB?

In 2005, when I join the Laval chapter they were five people. I first took the role of fundraising activity director. During the following year, I became VP-Education and President.
During those 2 years we grew from 5 to 50 peoples. This growth has challenged me a lot because we had to built an organisation where people could learn, make powerfull actions and still have a lot of fun.
Je crois que ma plus grande contribution sera d'avoir aider à mettre sur pied une section ou l'apprentisage et le développement personel sont centrale car le vrai changement commence toujours par soit même. Pour ce faire j'ai du apprendre à écouter activement et à avoir une approche humaine afin de mobiliser ma communauté.

Thanks you for reading all of EWB applications.
Marika Marty, Wed 07 Nov 2007 12:34:56 AM EST
My name is Marika Marty, from the EWB chapter at The University of Western Ontario. I'm currently a 4th year mechanical engineering; my answers are as follows:

1. How long have you been involved? (1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, 5 years, 6 years, 7 years)
This is my fourth year with EWB

2. How many hours a week do you commit?
Consistently over 20hours a week

3. What does EWB mean to you? (150 words)?

To me, EWB is:
A Challenge of Choice - to understand the intra-dependent nature of our choices, and to be proactive in the development of my own abilities to influence the choices of others
A Network of Efficient Thoughtfulness -that channels the energy, creativity, and passion of individuals into a focused, dynamic vehicle of some serious social change
A Family of Hope - that the humanity that binds us is stronger than the (self-imposed) barriers that divide us

4. What leadership have you exhibited to contribute to EWB?

I have acted as both VP Fundraising and VP Finance and Administration on our Chapter Executive team. This past summer I participated in the EWB Junior Fellowship Program, and spent 4 months in Northern Malawi working with a local grassroots NGO to promote and facilitate the management and conservation of Natural Resources. I am currently acting as the Vice-President of the Chapter.

I would say that throughout these experiences I have been able to develop through EWB a leadership of continuous dialogue. An iterative process of discussion (involving both contributing and listening): to understand what does and does not work, to discover untapped potential, to reach out in support, and to continue gaining perspective.

Thanks for this opportunity
Bud Sambasivam, Wed 07 Nov 2007 12:39:26 AM EST
1. How long have you been involved? (1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, 5 years, 6 years, 7 years)

I'm addicted to EWB. I love it. I first became involved in 2001 when I was an undergraduate student at the university of Saskatchewan. A couple friends and I decided to start-up a chapter on campus and it consumed us. We dropped classes to be involved and soon found ourselves surrounded by some of the most passionate social change agents I have ever met. Like any start-up we were entrepreneurial and spent many hours pushing ahead in uncharted territory. I've committed a good part of my adult life to this cause.

2. How many hours a week do you commit?
It's varied:

2001-2002 - 25 hrs/week
2003 - 4 hrs/week
2004 - 20 hrs/week
2005 - 1 hr/week
2006-2007 - 50 hrs/week

95% of the hours that people put into the organization are voluntary. I'm lucky enough to have this as a job. If I didn't get paid for it, I'd still do it. Who could want a better job?

3. What does EWB mean to you? (150 words)?

EWB is all about people. It's about change and hope, and it's making a difference.

I've found a group of people in EWB that are passionate about the same things that I am. They care about the world we live in and we're chugging hard to make it a better place. This whole organization is filled with entrepreneurs; people who take something that they are thrilled about and make it a success. One of the most sobering qualities in these people is their humility. They don't do it for personal recognition...they're involved because it's the right thing to do.

I'm reminded of Tiffany at the Concordia University Chapter who found out about EWB this June. By August she had given 9 presentations about "Water for the World" at summer camps for youth. Gregoire in Montreal also comes to mind. He's leading a team that will fundraise $140,000 for our national conference in January He's doing it in his spare time. During the day he's an engineer for General Electric. There are hundreds, even thousands of other just like Tiffany and Gregoire. They are the life of this organization.

4. What leadership have you exhibited to contribute to EWB?
I've worn various hats within EWB including co-founder and leader of the university of Saskatchewan Chapter and several years later at the Calgary Professional Chapter. I'm currently the Director of Corporate Engagement.

Nicolas Kruchten, Wed 07 Nov 2007 01:10:57 AM EST
1) How long have you been involved?

I've just started my seventh year of involvement in EWB.

2) How many hours a week do you commit?

Between 40 and 60.

3) What does EWB mean to you?

To me, EWB is the outlet that I have to satisfy my compulsion to do what is good and right and to stop what isn't, alongside thousands of other Canadians and denizens of this planet. Contributing to EWB lets me believe that I'm having an impact, making a positive difference in the world.

4) What leadership have you exhibited to contribute to EWB?

Over the past 5 years, I have led and supported a team of talented and dedicated volunteers to create one of the most technically sophisticated development non-profits in the country, on a shoestring budget. Along the way, I have also worked on an overseas project, I was one of the first executives of the University of Toronto chapter, I co-chaired EWB's third National Conference and I now serve on EWB's Management Team, where in addition to being the Director of Technology I am also helping coach a new generation of leaders as a Chapter Buddy.
Florin Gheorghe, Wed 07 Nov 2007 02:14:53 AM EST
All of your brilliant replies has inspired me to write one of my own! :)
Done and done...
Michelle Murphy, Wed 07 Nov 2007 03:36:38 AM EST
Ok, I have added my voice to the fray.
Martin Berube, Wed 07 Nov 2007 09:33:50 AM EST
How inspiring !!

I love to read this thread !!!

Keep it up people we can take more !!!


Kyle Baptista, Wed 07 Nov 2007 10:59:52 AM EST
1. How long have you been involved? (1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, 5 years, 6 years, 7 years)
I have been involved in Engineers Without Borders for the last three years.

2. How many hours a week do you commit?
At present, I am working at EWB on an internship. This usually means a commitment of about 50 hours a week. My previous year of involvement was as chapter president at the University of Windsor. The time commitment then was approximately 30 hours a week. Previous to this, I was the vice president of that same chapter. The commitment was about 15 hours a week. Averaged over three years, my commitment to EWB is 20 hours/week.

3. What does EWB mean to you? (150 words)?
EWB found me as an uninterested and ignorant engineering student, and transformed me into an aware global citizen (in training).

EWB, to me, was the realization that yes, I do have a role to play in some of the most pertinent global issues ever to face humanity, and yes, my small role can have tremendous impact.

EWB, to me, is the defining factor in the transformation of thousands of young Canadians into humble entrepreneurial leaders who are forever changing the landscape of Canada and it's role in international development.

EWB, to me, is the means by which regular and uninterested Canadians become humbled, engaged, and motivated citizens of our country and planet.

EWB, to me, is the definition of transformative growth both within myself and within Canada.

I am proud to be playing my small part in this change.

4. What leadership have you exhibited to contribute to EWB?

Question should read: What leadership have you exhibited as a result of EWB?

I was a founding executive member of the University of Windsor Chapter. My leadership knowledge was limited, and while I had some experience with other organisations, my leadership experience was not challenged or developed.

The leadership I have exhibited as a result of EWB is defined by my constant need to grow, learn and develop myself. My leadership is inspired by my colleagues who are a constant source of energy and ambition. My leadership is the struggle to become a better listener and facilitator, and to become more aware of the emotions and feelings of the people I work with most often.

As a result of EWB, I am a better public speaker, a better facilitator, a better listener, a better motivator, a better instigator, a better inspirer, and a faster typer.

Erin Antcliffe, Wed 07 Nov 2007 12:34:02 PM EST
1. How long have you been involved? (1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, 5 years, 6 years, 7 years)
I have been involved in EWB for 3 years.

2. How many hours a week do you commit?
On a co-op work term (like right now) I commit about 10 hours a week.
During a school term I commit between 15 and 25 hours a week.
While working as an intern at the National Office last winter, I committed 50-60 hours a week.
But I speak, think and breathe EWB every minute of every day.

3. What does EWB mean to you? (150 words)?
EWB is about ending extreme poverty.
EWB is about harnessing our power as Canadian citizens.
EWB is about inspiring people to take action.
EWB is about realizing sustainable development on the ground.
EWB is about self-criticism and constant growth.
EWB is about innovation.
EWB is about leadership.
EWB is about passion.

4. What leadership have you exhibited to contribute to EWB?
I got involved with EWB at the University of Waterloo when I attended the 2006 National Conference. I started out by organizing small events for the chapter, attending education workshops and doing high school presentations. Then I got hired to work as a Communications intern at the National Office. This boosted my knowledge of development and social change in general, and specifically how those things applied to EWB. I became a VP when I returned to Waterloo and helped to run a focus campaign over the summer. Now I am working on a new initiative, a Monitoring and Evaluation program to measure our impact on the local community.
Most of the leadership I now exhibit I can attribute to my experience with EWB. I have never encountered an organization that invests more in personal development and leadership than EWB.
Chad Hamre, Wed 07 Nov 2007 01:43:22 PM EST
Damn, I wish I had read this post before submitting my application. It has been some of the highest IPS (inspiration per scroll) I've had in a while and sure would have ramped up my creative juices before sending mine. Bravo to all of you!

1. How long have you been involved?

I have been a social entrepreneur with with EWB for 6 years.

2. How many hours a week do you commit?

During these six years, I estimate I have committed 9,300 hours of my time building EWB. 80% of that contribution was as an un-paid volunteer!

13 Months Volunteer in Zambia (10hrs/day*6days/wk*58weeks)
12 Months as Director Chapters (9hrs/day*6days/wk*48weeks)
8 Months Volunteer in Philippines (10hrs/day*6days/wk*32weeks)
16 Months as Chapter President (3hrs/day*6days/wk*64weeks)
8 Months Executive Member (1hrs/day*5days/wk*32weeks)
Total: 9,300 hours or 387 person-days.

3. What does EWB mean to you?

EWB is a dynamic leader in an arguably stagnant battle against extreme poverty. I have committed myself to building this organization because I believe our approach is effective, dynamic and different. In-Canada we creatively engage the un-engaged in international development. Over six years our effort has generated multiple small victories in making Canada a better reducer of global poverty. Overseas we work hard to improve the design and implementation of on-the-ground projects and interventions. We have produced a new generation of innovative development workers committed to improving the system in the long run. These two missions are critical to international development and I have yet to meet an organization as committed to excellence in these areas as EWB.

4. What leadership have you exhibited to contribute to EWB?

Four leadership accomplishments stick out, none of which would be possible had I not been constantly encouraged and surrounded by the incredible team of social entrepreneurs that is EWB. Specifically I have: (1) built a provincial chapter from nothing more than a notion to a public engagement and fundraising powerhouse of 300 members raising $20,000 dollars annually, (2) participated in and lead a government/NGO partnership in the Philippines now operating 28 centres and educating 2500 underprivileged youth per year, (3) lead a group of 25 chapters to raise over $400,000 dollars and do 10,000 person hours of education workshops in one year, and (4) I have lived a year in Zambia implemented a private sector animal health delivery system in a remote corner and effect the 50 person organization through a management assessment and consultancy. I am now completing an MSc in International Development at the London School of Economics with plans to bring new thoughts, energy and skills back to EWB upon return.

Candice Motran, Wed 07 Nov 2007 01:51:57 PM EST
Hey everyone, keep up the good work!!! Awesome job :)


1. How long have you been involved? (1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, 5 years, 6 years, 7 years)

I have been involved with Engineers Without Borders since my 3rd year of studies at Carleton university in 2003 (4 years).

2. How many hours a week do you commit?

Presently, as one of the Montreal Professional chapter co-presidents, I would estimate my weekly commitment to EWB at around 40-50 hours.

3. What does EWB mean to you? (150 words)?

Engineers without borders represents the epitome of everything I should have learnt in my university lectures, but didn't. It represents a commitment to the world, and to each and every global citizen; and that is something every engineer, every student, should embrace.

The Aerospace Engineering curriculum at Carleton frustrated me - only allowing two non-engineering half-credits in four years. I felt as though my typical university experience of ethical, political and theoretical discussions was being wasted on purely technical subjects. How can one expect to promote a healthy community of future engineers without giving them basic social knowledge on debating, social issues and impact? EWB provided a community of people who were interested in addressing these issues.

As a part of the first generation of EWB graduates, the impact it has left on my personal and professional life far exceeds anything I ever learnt in a university classroom.

4. What leadership have you exhibited to contribute to EWB?

During my time at Carleton University, I acted as a leader without a formal position. I was asked by the executive committee to prepare, deliver and facilitate education modules to the other members. I was drawn into leadership just by being a member and encouraged to take charge and explore my own topics of interest within the human development scope. This is the essence of EWB: creating change and translating actions into impact.

Presently, I am a co-president at the Montreal Professional Chapter. This is our second year of operation and as such, leadership is key in ensuring sustainability through appropriate and exemplary goal-setting, as well as providing unrelenting motivation and energy. Our challenge is unique in that our road has never yet been trod, however our team of excellent high-energy, motivated and enthusiastic members makes our task immeasurably easier.

Thank you,

Courtney Edwards, Wed 07 Nov 2007 02:06:19 PM EST
Hey everyone!

Wonderful to see similar streams of thoughts from all of you..and also such a refresher to see the wonderful diversity! Great to see what brings you all here, and what keeps you going.

1. How long have you been involved? (1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, 5 years, 6 years, 7 years)

I have been involved with EWB for 2 and a half years.

2. How many hours a week do you commit?

2005-April 2006 - 10 hours/week
Summer 2006 - All wakeful hours
Sept 06-July 07 - 15 hours/week
Aug 07-Current - 20-30 hours/week

3. What does EWB mean to you? (150 words)?

Dedication - never stopping - always working (with joy) for the cause.
Creativity - new, exciting ways to reach the public.
Education - sharing all that we've learned as individuals and an organization, with others and each other.
Inspiration - empowering Canadians to make wise choices, empowering developing communities to continue their hard work.
Leadership - taking people as they are, and helping them to become leaders wherever they are in life - social change agents who won't settle for "status quo"
Commitment - striving, always striving for the best. The best knowledge, the best skills, the best attitudes, the best people, the best drive change and improve the lives of people globally.

EWB means that there are people in Canada, who care..who truly care and feel driven to do what they can from where they are, to ensure that opportunity is not a luxury reserved for some.

EWB doesn't just change the world; it creates & inspires individuals who do.

4. What leadership have you exhibited to contribute to EWB?

My involvement in EWB began in 2005 as a school outreach volunteer. That year, I was chosen as a Junior Fellow, and was placed with a Women's Development Association in Zambia for the summer of 2006. That fall, I was the VP Member Education for the Carleton chapter, and this year have taken on the role as Co-President of the chapter.

Some of my biggest contributions to EWB are my passion for people, and my stubborn refusal to let my dedication to the cause wane. I am committed to ensuring that the lives of those around me, whether it be my classmate or a rural farmer in Kabimba, Zambia, are better off for having included me. The people that make up EWB help to channel my passion and dedication to create positive results, and keep me striving to develop as an individual and a citizen of this world.

Stay well my friends
Kathleen Yung, Wed 07 Nov 2007 02:10:08 PM EST
1. How long have you been involved?

I have been involved with EWB since 2001.

2. How many hours a week do you commit?

As I got more involved with the university chapter the number hours contributed on average was in the range of 2 to 15 hours a week. After graduation I was accepted as a long-term overseas volunteer with EWB and contributed on average 50 hours a week. Now that I am working in Ottawa as a consultant, I contribute about 2 to 8 hours a week to general ewb activities, meetings, communication, and coordination.

3. What does EWB mean to you?

EWB to me is an organization that is built up on a foundation of multi-faceted people and diverse mindsets that have dedicated much of their efforts towards the fundamental belief in improving the existing global inequalities and heightening the awareness of our impacts as citizens of the world. It is also an organization that continually looks critically at social development issues and our actions in Canada and overseas, which in turn instills a sense of humility in our members and knowledge base. EWB has also recognized that sustained knowledge building relies on our partners and advisors in Canada and Overseas, and requires a holistic approach due to the complexities of the social dimension.

4. What leadership have you exhibited to contribute to EWB?

During my final year of university, I was part of the conference planning team at the University of Waterloo for the 2003 EWB National Conference as the Presenter Affairs Coordinator. In 2004, I went to Zambia as a long-term overseas volunteer and subsequently worked on three different placements in Zambia whilst building capacity within our volunteers in Southern Africa. Currently, I am working with the Ottawa Professional Chapter as the Workplace Outreach Coordinator where I am looking at areas we can engage the private, public, and non-profit sector to see the best ways to engage Canadians on how their actions and choices impact others in and outside of Canada. As an individual who strives to be a global citizen, I hope to also share knowledge with my community about some of the social challenges that we face today and to bring about our entrepreneurial spirit to instigate and increase our involvement to bring on positive change.

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