Welcome to the TSSS Series on Canada’s Top 30 Under 30.
Learn about who and what inspires them and their vision for a more sustainable world. Each week two new profiles will be shared – take a moment and get to know the next generation of Canadian Sustainabilty Leaders. Thank-you to Kruger Products for supporting this initiative.
TSSS: Why does the sustainability sector resonates with you. Where/when did your passion begin?
Cindy Chao: Ever since I was young, I always wanted to effect large-scale positive change in the world. I always thought that I would do so by becoming a doctor – but as I reflected on my undergraduate studies, I realized that a doctor is often reacting to an illness, and that fields such as research, public health and epidemiology would be better career paths if I wanted to contribute to proactive betterment of global health. I didn’t feel that I had a personality fit to these fields and since I always had an interest in environmental issues, I turned my attention to becoming a “doctor of the Earth”. When I graduated, I weighed my options between starting off in the public, non-profit and private sectors. I concluded that the private sector needed the most support “from within” and that the career path would likely be accelerated compared to the other options. Further, my undergraduate education criticized capitalism without ever offering a solution. Given the reality of the system we live in and the current lack of a better system, I felt strongly about moving from academically criticizing the private sector to actively working with them to find practical solutions to minimize environmental and social impacts during the interim.