Two Schulich students honoured with 2020 Flourish Prize

Two students from York University's Schulich School of Business have earned the 2020 Flourish Prize, an award that recognizes story submissions that inspire others. Sarah Abdu and Heather Sharpe are this year's recipients.

As part of the Schulich School of Business sustainability course taught by Professor Charles Cho, students were assigned a story writing exercise in which they had to select, research and interview a business leader who is making a positive impact and advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that cover issues related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and social justice.

Once complete, students had the opportunity to submit their story to AIM2Flourish, a platform backed by the United Nations to publish story submissions that serve as sources of inspiration for others.

In 2017, AIM2Flourish launched the Flourish Prizes to recognize the best story submissions for the year. This year, 76 finalists were selected from 824 submissions. Winners are selected by a distinguished jury composed of previous Flourish Prize honourees, professors and story editors for each SDG.

Sarah Abdu

Abdu (iBBA ‘21) was selected as the 2020 Flourish Prize winner for her story "Sustainably Stunning, Ethically Made" on SDG No. 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth.

“When I learned about TAMGA Designs, my intention was to simply tell their story in a way that gives justice to their journey and commitment to sustainability,” said Abdu. “It was a really nice, unexpected surprise that my article was chosen from 850 (sic) global submissions.”

Heather Sharpe

Sharpe (MBA ’19) was selected as the 2020 Flourish Prize winner for her story "Meeting Humanitarian Needs" on SDG No. 17 Partnerships for the Goals.

“I am honoured to receive a Flourish Prize alongside an incredible organization, like NeedsList. Now more than ever, we need NeedsList’s innovative, fast and human-centred ways to respond to crises,” shared Sharpe.

Cho said despite the challenges of finding a company to interview, students have always enjoyed this assignment and AIM2Fourish provides a tremendous opportunity to have their stories published, and showcase the company they interview

"Last year, three of my students were finalists and it was quite rewarding; this year, having two students actually winning the Flourish Prizes for these two SDGs makes me feel very proud of them and the companies they wrote about. It reflects the quality of our students and the sustainability education here at Schulich and the Centre of Excellence in Responsible Business (COERB),” said Cho.

The prize-winning businesses, professors, universities and students were honoured during the 2020 Flourish Prizes virtual celebration in early June. Stories from organizations around the world celebrating business innovations working towards the United Nations Global Goals can be viewed here.

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