I’d like to start by thanking everyone who joined us on September 14 for the third annual Profound Impact Day! We have been building a strong community of supporters over the years and I can’t thank you enough for being such an important part of our impact story.This year, on Profound Impact Day 2022, our team launched Research Impact, a unique and targeted service to automatically match grants to researchers. The Profound Impact team launched Research Impact to solve the challenge of clumsy, manual systems that aren’t digitally enabled to deliver fast, accurate matching capabilities.
Profound Impact’s unveiling of Research Impact in 2022 follows the launch of Career Impact in 2021, and 2020’s Connection Impact, all of which utilized data driven solutions to support organizations looking to make an impact. Each step in Profound Impact’s evolution remains deeply founded in the academic community while honing in on the most persistent challenge to solve. Our team looks forward to growing our Research Impact pilot project to bring our proprietary algorithms to universities around the world!
As Profound Impact continues to accelerate forward, I had the opportunity to sit down with the Startup Canada Podcast to discuss the company’s journey, the importance of women and their contributions to STEM, and my experience as a leader and entrepreneur in the tech industry. I can’t wait to share this episode with you.
This month, the Profound Impact team is attending two conferences. The annual THINK Conference (October 19-20) and the CAN-CWiC Canadian computing conference for Women in Technology (October 21-22). We look forward to meeting you there!
This month’s Impact Story highlights the amazing story of Kehkashan Basu, M.S.M. who was the winner of this year’s Impactful Actions Award. At just 22 years old, Basu has already made a tremendous impact on our world. We were so inspired by her work through her organization, Green Hope Foundation, and know that you will be too!
September 14 was and always will be a day to remember and reflect. Your support made recognizing global leaders and changemakers both powerful and memorable!
As always, we are thankful for your ongoing support and engagement.
A humanitarian with a passion for empowering vulnerable communities, Kehkashan Basu, M.S.M., founded her own charitable organization at the age of 12 in Toronto, Ontario. Now, 10 years later, Green Hope Foundation works across 26 countries, helping more than 300,000 vulnerable women and girls live in a world where all voices are valued. Basu believes that every child has the right to education regardless of their gender, to a clean environment, and the freedom to decide their own destiny.
“I started at a time when advocacy for sustainable development didn’t involve the people who should be included in the process,” Basu said. “I really wanted to change that. Green Hope Foundation came about to address this lack of inclusivity. Over the last decade, working with my team on the ground, as well as engaging with those at the highest levels of policymaking, we’ve really seen our impact grow.”
Basu said Green Hope Foundation is focused on three pillars: sustainability, society and environment. They follow an intersectional approach, recognizing all three pillars in their work.
“The first actions we really took were with education for sustainable development, reaching out to schools and trying to get children involved,” Basu said. “We also got involved in ground level actions, like tree planting and conducting clean ups.”
Basu started her advocacy journey by planting a tree on her eighth birthday, which falls on June 5: World Environment Day. The United Nations noticed her work and invited Basu to speak at one of the largest sustainable development conferences at the time, Rio+20, in 2012.
“I grew up seeing my parents giving back to people and the planet their whole lives,” Basu said. “I thought everyone was doing something good for the environment and for their community. But, slowly and steadily, I realized there were a lot of other inequities in our world. There was a tremendous lack of inclusivity of children and women in achieving a sustainable world.”
Green Hope Foundation has seen a tremendous amount of growth since it began a decade ago. The group has planted 950,000 trees so far and hopes to hit 1 million by the end of the year.
“We are learning and growing every single day,” Basu said. “We understand that our work can really never stop. Even if we do achieve a sustainable world, we have to do something to maintain that.”
In 2015, Green Hope Foundation installed solar panels to an area in western India with no access to electricity. The panels are still in use today, and have helped the area thrive.
“We have an energy system that enables farming, we have a full solar grid for their schools,” Basu said. “The children, and the girls specifically, are getting lessons in STEM in a solar-powered computer lab.”
The organization plans to continue expanding into the future, upscaling current projects and thinking of new ways to engage. “We want to continue to educate the younger generation about why it’s important to care for the community and the planet,” Basu said.
Basu received her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, majoring in environmental studies and minoring in women and gender studies and physical and environmental geography. “Those subjects were a no-brainer for me,” she said. “I wanted to get a degree in something that I was passionate about.” Now, Basu is in her first year of her MBA at Cornell University. By specializing in business, she hopes to engage the private sector in the work of Green Hope Foundation in the future.
Last month, Basu was named the winner of the 2022 Impactful Actions Award, an annual award presented by Profound Impact™ Corporation to recognize individuals who are inspiring collaborative solutions to difficult global problems.
“It’s a huge honour,” Basu said. “I really like that it’s focused on impact, because it’s a motivation for me to continue to do more, create more impact and inspire others.”
You can see highlights of Basu’s education and accomplishments in the visualizations below:
You can see highlights of the work of Green Hope Foundation in the visualizations below:
Do you have an impact story to share? Let us know at email@example.com for a chance to be featured in an upcoming newsletter!
GREEN HOPE FOUNDATION PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER KEHKASHAN BASU, M.S.M., WINS 2022 IMPACTFUL ACTIONS AWARD
The Impactful Actions Award recognizes world leaders making a profound impacton the global community.
WATERLOO, ON | SEPT. 14, 2022 — Profound Impact™ is proud to announce Kehkashan Basu, M.S.M., as the winner of the 2022 Impactful Actions Award.
The annual award is presented by Profound Impact Corporation, a Toronto-Waterloo Corridor tech company providing tools for organizations to maximize their global impact. Profound Impact’s Impactful Actions Award recognizes individuals who are inspiring collaborative solutions to difficult global problems.
Basu, who is just 22 years old, started working towards improving the world around her at the age of seven. Basu planted her first tree at eight and founded her own humanitarian organization, Green Hope Foundation, when she was 12.
“My work focuses specifically on empowering our most vulnerable populations,” Basu said. “We do this through a myriad of ways, including providing education for sustainable development and turning that education into ground level actions.”
Green Hope Foundation recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. The global social enterprise has worked with more than 300,000 people across 26 countries, focusing on water, sanitation, clean energy and food security.
“We want Green Hope Foundation to be in every country of the world so we can change the mindsets of people all across society,” Basu said. “We want to create cross-sectional dialogue and partnerships to benefit every single person within our communities.”
Basu was presented the Impactful Actions Award for Profound Impact Day. The day, which honours the late Professor Scott A. Vanstone, celebrates the impact and legacy of collaboration and innovation developed through the Profound Impact community.
“Kehkashan has done incredible work from such a young age. We’re so impressed by her commitment to making the world a better place,” said Sherry Shannon-Vanstone, Founder and CEO of Profound Impact. “Every single one of our nominees this year represents the incredible talent we have here in Ontario and across the globe.”
Basu said winning the award is a huge honour. “It’s a vindication of my belief that young people and young women are doing a lot for people and the planet. To be recognized for those efforts, it’s just a really amazing feeling.”
Profound Impact will make a donation to a charity of Basu’s choice in her honour.
Profound Impact received nominees from the community for the 2022 Impactful Actions Award. In 2021, the inaugural Impactful Actions Award was presented to Dr. Feridun Hamdullahpur, former President & Vice Chancellor (2010-2021) and Professor of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Waterloo.
ABOUT PROFOUND IMPACT CORPORATION
Profound Impact helps education, research and social impact community organizations leverage data to measure program impact, tell their story and inform strategy. Profound Impact products include Connection Impact, Career Impact and their newest offering, Research Impact. Research Impact helps researchers match with the perfect grant to fund their research. Everything Profound Impact does works towards the important goal of connecting great people to do great things and maximizing their worldwide impact.
PROFOUND IMPACT™ TO ANNOUNCE WINNER OF IMPACTFUL ACTIONS AWARD AT THIRD ANNUAL PROFOUND IMPACT DAY
The Impactful Actions Award recognizes world leaders making a profound impacton communities globally.
WATERLOO, ON | SEPT. 13, 2022— Celebrated annually on September 14, the third annual Profound Impact Day will feature the winner of this year’s Impactful Actions Award.
The annual award is presented by Profound Impact Corporation, a Toronto-Waterloo Corridor tech company providing data analytic tools for organizations to maximize their global impact. Profound Impact’s Impactful Actions Award recognizes individuals who are inspiring collaborative solutions to difficult global problems.
Members of the media are invited to attend this year’s Profound Impact Day celebrations. Please RSVP via email with contact information and interview requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tune in virtually here.
What: Profound Impact Day 2022 will feature a fireside chat with 2021 Impactful Actions Award winner Dr. Feridun Hamdullahpur, former president of the University of Waterloo. Dr. Hamdullahpur will have an in-depth conversation and exclusive Q&A with the winner of this year’s Impactful Actions Award. Profound Impact received nominations from community members and named the finalists in August. They are, in alphabetical order, Kehkashan Basu, M.S.M., Dr. Mona Nemer and Dr. Neil Turok. You can learn more about the finalistshere.
With presentation and remarks from notable attendees:
Sherry Shannon-Vanstone, President and CEO, Profound Impact
Dr. Feridun Hamdullahpur, 2021 Impactful Actions Award winner, former president of the University of Waterloo
Winner of the 2022 Impactful Actions Award
ABOUT PROFOUND IMPACT CORPORATION
Profound Impact helps education, research and social impact community organizations leverage data to measure program impact, tell their story and inform strategy. Profound Impact products include Connection Impact, Career Impact and their newest offering, Research Impact. Research Impact helps researchers match with the perfect grant to fund their research. Everything Profound Impact does works towards the important goal of connecting great people to do great things and maximizing their world-wide impact.
Environmental activists, scientists, and government advocates – the finalists for the 2022 Impactful Actions Award are global leaders exemplifying collaboration while making a positive impact on the world around us. The Impactful Actions Award is presented annually and celebrates individuals who inspire collaborative solutions to difficult global problems.
We’d like to introduce this year’s finalists (in alphabetical order) and provide three short stories of impact. The winner will be announced on September 14th at the 3rd annual Profound Impact Day.
Kehkashan Basu, M.S.M.
Kehkashan Basu, M.S.M., began her commitment to making the world a better place when she was a child.
“When I was seven, I saw an image of a dead bird with its belly full of plastic. That was very disturbing to me,” Basu said. “I realized that I had to do something to stop that from happening again.”
She planted her first tree at eight years old and founded her own humanitarian organization, the Green Hope Foundation, at the age of 12. The foundation is now celebrating its 10th anniversary.
“I wanted to be able to bridge that lack of inclusivity and really empower those who don’t have access to bringing about change in their own spheres of influence,” Basu said.
The Green Hope Foundation is a global social enterprise working across 26 countries impacting more than 300,000 people. The group works closely with vulnerable communities, bringing them education for sustainable development, and turning that education into ground-level actions focused on water, sanitation, clean energy and food security.
“Overall, we’re working to create an equal and peaceful society so that we are able to really leave no one behind and ensure a life of dignity for all,” Basu said.
Mentorship and collaboration are at the heart of Green Hope Foundation’s work. “You can’t do this on your own,” Basu said. “You need to be able to work with others, share best practices, see where they’re succeeding, and learn from that as well. It’s really about joining hands to bring our effort together, because at the end of the day, it’s our common humanity, it’s our common planet.”
Basu hopes her work through Green Hope Foundation will continue to inspire people to give back to their community and protect the planet. “We want the Green Hope Foundation to be in every country, ensuring we’re able to change the mindsets of those all across society.”
The visualization below showcases Basu’s past accomplishments and awards:
Dr. Mona Nemer
A leader in providing scientific advice for policy development, Dr. Mona Nemer was named Chief Science Advisor to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2017. In her role, Dr. Nemer helps to ensure that science is taken into consideration in government decision-making.
“Increasing the visibility and understanding of science is an important aspect of the work of my office, as it helps provide people with the tools they need to make good decisions for their lives,” Dr. Nemer said.
As Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Nemer is responsible for offering expert advice on key scientific issues. She also assesses how the federal government supports quality scientific research and recommends ways to improve that support. “Science is our best tool for understanding and being able to make predictions about the world,” she said.
Prior to taking on the role of Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Nemer was Vice President of Research and Director of the Molecular Genetics and Cardiac Regeneration Laboratory at the University of Ottawa. A leader in molecular cardiology, Dr. Nemer has discovered several genes associated with development and function of the heart. Her research has contributed to further development of diagnostic testing for heart failure and genetic birth defects.
Dr. Nemer has served on multiple national and international advisory committees and boards, including as an Executive Committee Member of the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force. Dr. Nemer put together the COVID-19 expert panel, bringing together researchers and practitioners to provide multidisciplinary advice on aspects of the covid pandemic from infectious disease research and disease modelling to behavioural sciences. The panel helped to bring emerging scientific information about COVID-19 to the Prime Minister and Cabinet in a timely manner to ensure Canada was handling the pandemic in the most effective way possible.
“We saw scientists step up and not only provide advice to governments, but communicate and explain science to the public on a variety of issues,” Dr. Nemer said. “That is because there was really no aspect to the health crisis that shouldn’t be informed by science.”
Dr. Nemer’s work has expanded and diversified scientific advice provided to the federal government by establishing a multidisciplinary network of federal scientific advisors. She worked to help create the Interdepartmental Indigenous STEM Cluster to inform and advance Indigenous innovation in natural science stewardship. Dr. Nemer has a strong commitment to educating the next generation of scientists, supervising more than 100 graduate and postgraduate students around the world during her time in academics. Now, as Chief Science Advisor, she continues to help develop young scientific minds through her pan-Canadian youth council, which provides evidence-based input on scientific issues affecting young people.
The visualization below showcases Dr. Nemer’s past accomplishments and awards:
Dr. Neil Turok
After spending years as a theoretical physicist, Dr. Neil Turok wanted to do something to give back to his home continent and to the global scientific community. Nearly two decades ago, he was prompted by his father to write up a concept note describing his idea for a new kind of centre for advanced scientific training, in Africa. The note was shared with a range of interested parties and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) was born. Dr. Turok, now the Higgs Chair of Theoretical Physics at the University of Edinburgh, was a Professor at the University of Cambridge when AIMS’ first centre was launched in Cape Town, South Africa.
“As a theoretical physicist and a cosmologist, I don’t exactly work on useful things. I work on what happened at the Big Bang and where the universe is going,” Dr. Turok said. “Just about the only useful thing I could do was teach people math, computing and related skills.”
Students travel from across Africa to take part in the program, where they learn from the best lecturers from around the world. Now, more than 19 years since its inception, AIMS graduates over 350 students at Master’s level each year, at centres in Cameroon, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa.
“As soon as we started, we were overwhelmed with the enthusiasm of the students,” Dr. Turok said. “They said, ‘this is a totally life-changing experience.’ And then all of the international lecturers who came to teach them said, ‘this is the best teaching experience I’ve ever had, because suddenly I’m with these super enthusiastic students from many different cultures and backgrounds.’”
Spots at AIMS are fully funded, including travel, medical insurance, accommodation and tuition. Students make meaningful connections with like-minded scientists around the world. Most go on to lecturing positions at African universities or into industry.
“These students come, in general, from very disadvantaged backgrounds. They come to us because they can’t afford to pay for a scholarship to go overseas to Europe or the U.S. for further study,” Dr. Turok said. “AIMS provides an environment where they can really thrive.”
Dr. Turok said AIMS plans to create five more centres in the next 10 years, scaling up its postgraduate training and research as well as teacher training and STEM high school programs. Dr. Turok predicts a wave of highly motivated young African scientists entering and positively impacting global science.
The visualization below showcases Dr. Turok’s past accomplishments and awards:
Do you have an impact story to share? Let us know at email@example.com for a chance to be featured in an upcoming newsletter!