Eoin O’Neill, a 3rd year Computer Science student, and current Blackstone Rep, was selected to represent Ireland on the Worldwide stage at the Enactus World Cup to speak about a global goal he is passionate about, Zero Hunger. Eoin was sponsored by Blackstone LaunchPad at Trinity College Dublin to attend

Last week in Toronto I was lucky enough to experience one of the most eye opening experiences of my time as a student; the experience of attending the Enactus World Cup in Toronto, Canada. I was lucky enough to receive sponsorship for the trip from KPMG, Trinity College Dublin Business School and Blackstone Launchpad at Trinity College Dublin. Having previously only attended National Competitions, I could not prepare myself for being a witness to a showcase for some of the smartest and most caring students to use their talents to create sustainable projects which empower the needy through entrepreneurial action.

Every team’s projects at the competition were created with a useful guideline in mind: the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 goals set by the UN to be completed by the year 2030 to ensure progress across a range of issues across the world. I was lucky enough to find out that I had been selected to represent Ireland as an SDG Ambassador for Goal 2 of the SDGs: Zero Hunger. This goal is held closely to my heart; there should be no reason why anyone young or old should be hungry or undernourished.

As an SDG Ambassador, I would have the opportunity to be the representative for Goal 2 at the World Cup, taking part in Ideation sessions and somewhat more frighteningly, the Global Goals forum, a discussion between each SDG ambassador on the goals which would not only be watched by everyone attending the competition but to thousands via an online stream. I didn’t really know quite what to expect. What I did know was that this would be the biggest audience I had ever spoken to and would likely be one of the scariest experiences of my life. I was excited.

The ideation sessions were interesting. A room in the Toronto Metro Convention Centre was set up for us with 17 round tables arranged for each SDG ambassador. Attendees of the sessions were to sit with the SDG table of their choice which they were most interested in being part of a discussion for, a discussion which I would moderate. The aim was for each member to leave the discussion with three pieces of knowledge: 1) What actions was each person at the table currently doing with their Enactus team to tackle the issue of zero hunger, 2) what actions would each attendee take over the next year to achieve zero hunger and 3) what actions could we all take to achieve zero hunger. I loved these discussions. It was wonderful to share a table with so many cultures, each with their own perspective. Many nuggets of information were shared from everyone. One such that stood out was the idea that these actions each of us can take in achieving an SDG doesn’t have to be something big. One attendee shared her story of how after their events, her own Enactus team would redistribute any leftover food to the homeless in the local community, a simple action that anyone can do that makes a difference to their lives.

After such an amazing session, the fear started to creep up on me. The forum was on in just a few hours. Those few hours went by far too quickly and before I knew it, I was on stage with the other ambassadors sharing my thoughts on achieving zero hunger with thousands.

I’m extremely grateful to Enactus for providing me with such an amazing opportunity, an organisation I’ve found since joining not only strives to help those who need it the most, but team members like myself who just wanted to join an amazing journey in which business is used to do good things. I can’t say enough good things about the organisation and if anything, I hope those of you reading who might not be involved to see how Enactus offers great opportunity to all (#WeAllWin) and that you might consider becoming a part of this wonderful journey.’