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11 Nov


Dev Drinks: Poverty Reduction Advocacy and the Federal Government

November 11, 2014 | By |

Welcome to our November EWB-WRG Newsletter! We, the Waterloo Region & Guelph chapter of EWB, have got a cool event coming up this week in our “Development Drinks” series. And, EWB-UW Gala and a Venture Update.

Development Drinks: Poverty Reduction Advocacy and the Federal Government

When: Wednesday, Nov 12, 7pm

Where: Huether Hotel – The Board Room Upstairs at Barley Works, 59 King Street North, Waterloo, ON

Development Drinks is about meeting up with like-minded individuals with a themed talk, discussion, and your choice of beverage. Come meet up with Engineers Without Borders and connect with the development community.

A federal election is looming. This election will give us the opportunity to advocate for policies to help reduce poverty. Come learn what EWB is proposing that we say to our elected officials and candidates in particular about Development Assistance and Canadian Foreign Policy. Meaghan Langille and Kathryn Stasiuk Riddell are members of EWB Advocacy Distributed team and they will present EWB’s advocacy campaign.


EWB University of Waterloo’s Gala will be Monday, November 17 from 5:30-8:30 in POETS (the engineering lounge in CPH). Tickets are $5 and you can get them at the door. It would be great to see members of the professional chapter there and other “grown ups” from EWB and beyond :-)

Spotlight on Ventures

While our events are important locally, it’s also equally important for us to pay close attention to the side of our work that we all find purpose, meaning and impact in regarding the social change we’re pursuing. This month, we thought we’d share a few exciting updates from some of the Ventures in EWB’s 5 portfolios:

  • VOTO Mobile is shortlisted for a Global Innovation Competition and it needs your help! The VOTO Mobile team has proposed an innovative project to bring public polling of social priorities to the Ghanaian political scene. Find out more, and upvote their idea at: VOTO Mobile was also recently named one of the top 3 m-Governance solutions in Africa at the World Summit Award’s. Mark Boots was also recently selected as a Cordes Fellow.
  • Mina Shahid from Kulemela Investments was selected as a SOCAP14 Social Entrepreneur, featured as one of the most promising ventures to attend SOCAP and given a scholarship to attend.
  • After 2 years of hard work, The Canadian Fair Trade Network recently celebrated a major success in convincing Starbucks Canada to serve Fairtrade certified espresso exclusively at their University campus locations!
  • The Pollen Group’s Amir Allana recently had a paper on Adaptive Management published by the Beam Exchange. The Knowledge Management for Development Journal has accepted a shortened version of the paper for peer-reviewed publication in their May 2015 issue.
  • Sydney Byrns from WatSan recently presented three in-depth papers at the “Water, Engineers and Development Centre Conference” in Vietnam.
  • This week alone, the Rent to Own team signed up 40 new farmers!
  • Jeff Geipel, alongside the VP of Sustainability & Environment at Centerra Gold, recently presented to a packed audience at Ryerson University’s CSR Institute and at the UN’s , discussing his work in local procurement.

Thanks & see you soon.

07 Jun


Looking back at 2008-2010

June 7, 2014 | By |

Our chapter was very active during the 2008 to 2010 period, as this list of past events will show.

In addition in 2009 – 2010 we sent Professional Fellow Elizabeth Logan to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Upper West Region, Ghana.

EWB Waterloo/Grand River Events 2008-2010:


CinemaShift: The Antarctica Challenge – Jan 2010
EWB National Conference, St. John’s NF – Jan 2010


Holiday With Heart: Fair Trade Gift Gala – Dec 2009
CinemaShift: Capitalism-A Love Story – Nov 2009
Ontario/Quebec Retreat, Sharbot Lake, ON – Oct 2009
EWBGR Retreat – Sep 2009
PUMPED! For Africa – Aug 2009
“Fair Trade Coffee: Social Justice or Business-as-usual” Author Talk – Jun 2009
Toronto/Grand River Retreat, Toronto, ON – Jun 2009
Overseas Program Workshop – May 2009
Adventures With Wine & Chocolate – May 2009
Presentation & Public Speaking Skills Workshop – Apr 2009
Workplace Outreach Workshop – Mar 2009
Consumerism & Fair Trade Film Festival – Mar 2009
Craig Cardiff Benefit Concert – Mar 2009
Collaboration Day, Toronto, ON – Jan 2009
EWB National Conference, Toronto, ON – Jan 2009


Holiday Development Drinks – Dec 2008
Canada’s Foreign Aid Policy: Untied Aid Workshop – Nov 2008
First Date With EWB – Jun 2008
Workplace Outreach Workshop – Jun 2008
Socially Responsible Investing Seminar – May 2008
New Members Meeting – May 2008
Ethical Consumerism Seminar & Workshop – Apr 2008
“One Lap Top Per Child: Appropriate Technology?” Seminar – Mar 2008

01 Jun


EWB & First Nations: is there a connection? #DevDrinks Thursday

June 1, 2014 | By |

Is there a connection between EWB and First Nations issues? Could there be? We invite you to join expert Jennifer Preston at our next Development Drinks for an overview and lively discussion over beer & wings. Read More

22 Mar


Upcoming Events: DevDay and DevDrinks

March 22, 2014 | By |

Thanks everyone who came to #DevDrinks last Wednesday and watched the film Manufactured Landscapes with us.

Our next two events are:

Development Day: Saturday, April 19 from 10:30am to 2pm, at 15A King St. North, Waterloo.

Development Day is when we throw open our doors to everyone and share in the spirit of international development, learning, and making an impact on the world. We provide a light breakfast, a featured presentation, lunch, and then a hands on workshop in the afternoon.

Development Drinks: Thursday, May 15 at 5:30pm at the Huether Hotel.

Development Drinks is a casual event where we invite the local community to develop a discussion about various international development topics in a laid back atmosphere.

Stay tuned for more details about both events.

14 Mar


Development Drinks with the EWB Film Festival, and more from your local EWB chapter

March 14, 2014 | By |

In this newsletter:

  1. Development Drinks with the EWB Film Festival
  2. Water for the World
  3. Professional Fellowship Program
  4. Toronto Star Article About PWYP and Mining

1. Development Drinks with the EWB Film Festival

Manufactured Landscapes poster

When: Wednesday, March 19, 9pm
Where: Huether Hotel, 59 King Street North, Waterloo

Title: Development Drinks with the EWB Film Festival


  • “Manufactured Landscapes” is playing at the Princess Twin at 6:30pm
  • Discussion about the film at 9pm

After the success of our last DevDrink with the Kumvana leaders, we would like to invite you join us for March’s Development Drinks. In conjunction with the University of Waterloo chapter, who are presenting a film festival on the same day. A discussion of the film will form the centre of the Development Drinks.

About the film Manufactured Landscapes: Follow Edward Burtynsky as he visits what he calls manufactured landscapes: slag heaps, e-waste dumps, huge factories in the Fujian and Zhejiang provinces of China, and a place in Bangladesh where ships are taken apart for recycling. In China, workers gather outside the factory, exhorted by their team leader to produce more and make fewer errors. Burtynsky concludes with a visit to Shanghai, the world’s fastest growing city, where wealth and poverty, high-rises and old neighbourhoods are side by side.

Development Drinks is a casual event where we invite the local community to develop a discussion about various international development topics in a laid back atmosphere. We hope to see you there!

Also, we’re going to have our Development Drinks every second month, so the next one will be on May 15.


2. Water for the World

Enjoy engaging with the movers and shakers of the future? Register today to present at our upcoming Water for the World workshops, or if you have kids, bring them out to participate.

We present Water for the World Workshops in partnership with H2O GO Festival at Guelph City Hall, Guelph Public Library (Main Branch) and Waterloo Public Library (John M. Harper Branch). It’s delivered by EWB volunteers to school students (Grades 5 to 9) during the National Engineering Month in March. This interactive workshop generates discussions on local and global water issues, and what youth can do about these issues.

The sessions are on Saturday, March 22:

For the Waterloo session, contact Sylvie Spraakman, for the Guelph sessions, contact Jane Simmons.

We will have an informal orientation session on Thursday March 20 @ 7pm – 8:30pm. We will do introductions, some background on Engineers Without Borders, and a mock run though of the presentation. We’ll also make sure each group has all the supplies they need. I’ll make some snacks and people are welcome to stay and mingle. Address: 14 Edwin St, Guelph (use upstairs door around back).

Please let people know about these great events.


3. Professional Fellowship Program

EWB is seeking ambitious and creative leaders to support EWB’s ventures in Africa and EWB’s profesional chapters in Canada through our Professional Fellowship Program. If you are a leader and are based in Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg or the Waterloo and Guelph area, then you can apply. Applications are due on March 25th, 2014 before 11:59pm PST. Several of our chapter members have participated in the ProFellow program in past years, and it has been a horizon expanding experience for them. More information & how to apply.


4. Toronto Star Article About PWYP and Mining

George Roter, CEO of EWB Canada, and Marinke van Riet, International Director of Publish What You Pay, penned this editorial in the Toronto Star: Canada moves closer to transparency in mining and energy.

Our chapter has been supporting the movement to reduce the trade in conflict minerals such as coltan which is used in manufacturing smartphones. Last year we supported the KW Just Minerals campaign. EWB National office is also a member of the Publish What You Pay coalition, which is pushing mining companies to be transparent about the money they pay to local governments in developing nations. This way, local communities who are supposed to benefit from mining and can find out what deals have been made and ensure they have received their benefits. The PWYP initiative should also take a step towards eliminating conflict minerals.

If you’re interested in this issue, it is the subject of the film “Manufactured Landscapes” and will be discussed more fully at the Development Drinks on Wednesday March 19.


Thanks, from the EWB-Waterloo Region & Guelph Leadership team:

  • Simon Woodside
  • Naomi Knischewsky
  • Kathryn Sutter
  • Neal Morris
  • Brent Bouteiller
  • Don McMurtry

04 Feb


Member survey, photos from #DevDrinks with African leaders, and other notes

February 4, 2014 | By |

1. Member Survey

The Waterloo Region & Guelph chapter is preparing our strategy plan for 2014-16 and we need your input. If you want to participate in a planning meeting on Sunday February 9th, or you would be willing to comment on the draft plan later in February, please contact Kathryn at Kathryn Sutter <>.

Please click your way through this survey because we would like as much input as possible. It will take about 5 minutes:

Read More

26 Jan


Development Drinks with African Leaders & Other EWB-WRG News

January 26, 2014 | By |

1. Development Drinks with African Leaders

When: Thursday, January 30th 5:30-7:30pm
Where: The Cavern Room @ The Lions Brewery Restaurant, 59 King Street North, Waterloo

Title: Meet African Leaders from EWB’s Kumvana Fellowship Program


  • Oswald Nkhuwa, Malawi – District Water Development Officer
  • Habib Shahadu, Ghana – Development Planner, Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development
  • Benson Kampapa, Malawi, Ministry of Health & Population, Zomba District

Read More

10 Nov


Development Day: Kumvana’s Samir Dhanvantari

November 10, 2013 | By |


At EWB we build leaders, and none are more important than the African leaders who join us in Canada through the Kumvana program. Samir Dhanvantari, engineer with the City of Cambridge, has hosted Kumvana fellows for three years and will give his insight into the program at our Development Day on Sunday, November 17. Read More