Vicki Saunders

Special Advisor, Innovation, Ryerson University (Toronto, ON)

Vicki Saunders is Special Advisor of Innovation at Ryerson University in Toronto. She is also the Co-Founder and CEO of Impactanation, an organization dedicated to inspiring entrepreneurial action in young people and building awareness around the themes of environment, health and social justice.

Ms Saunders is an entrepreneur committed to developing businesses that tackle the major challenges we are facing in society and nurturing entrepreneurial attitudes and talents. She started and ran her first two businesses in the Czech Republic, and was a catalyst for the development of many more.

In 1995, she created Canada's first international co-op program for high school students focussing on business and technology. By 1997, the success of her programs led to the launch of KidsNRG, a youth-inspired consultancy. Within three years, KidsNRG grew to become Canada's leading catalyst and supporter of youth entrepreneurship in technology. In 1999, KidsNRG became the NRG Group and merged with a $40 million venture fund into an internet incubator and youth marketing consultancy. In 2000, NRG became a publicly traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange, with Ms Saunders as Co-CEO.

After co-founding Impactanation in 2002, she established Zazengo, a company providing a technology platform for employee and consumer engagement, and used by Fortune 100 companies to track sustainability efforts.

Ms Saunders has been recognized as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and has spoken widely at events around the world including: the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, the Tällberg Forum, the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting and the Women of Influence Speaker Series. She is also the founding Board Member of the Ontario chapter of the Organization of Women in International Trade.

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