More than 1,200 Nourish alumni are working around the globe to make a positive impact on our world. Using the skills they developed with Nourish, these changemakers work in previously-established companies and organizations as well as in self-started ventures. We couldn’t be prouder to have such hard-working, committed and talented individuals within the Nourish movement.
Nikishka Iyengar founded the University of Texas in Austin’s Nourish chapter. During her tenure with Nourish, she implemented ventures on her campus and invested profits in a women’s livelihood partnership in Guatemala, and grew her chapter’s membership tenfold in the first year. Nikishka was recently named one of the 2016 GreenBiz 30 Under 30. The editors described what it takes to make the list:
“These emerging leaders, all of them twentysomethings, are tackling some of the toughest challenges in business, from inside big companies, at the helm of startups or in the nonprofit sector. Whether they’re already seasoned and celebrated, or just seeding a standout career, watch them grow from here. A desire many of our honorees expressed: for sustainability to be part and parcel of how every business operates.”
Nikishka definitely qualifies! She grew up in India and attended UT-Austin, and now she is working in corporate sustainability in Atlanta. By day, she works as a sustainability strategist for waste management company Rubicon Global, helping to create sustainable waste, water and energy strategies. She estimates that her work at Rubicon and at her previous employer, Deloitte Consulting, has “unlock[ed] $600 million of value.” By night and on weekends, Nikishka works on her own venture, The Guild, a business incubator specifically for social entrepreneurs. And as if these weren’t enough, she also helped to create the Sustainability Maturity Matrix, a model used by retailers to optimize their energy management programs.
Nikishka doesn’t simply sit back and wait for change to happen; she actively makes it happen. “That’s why I focus a lot of my efforts into learning about and building on technology solutions to address environmental issues,” she told GreenBiz. “It’s the quickest way to influence behavior change as well as systems change. I’d also like to know that I inspired and provided support to others to do the same.”
And fortunately for us, Nikishka will be attending Nourish’s upcoming Summer Institute as part of those efforts to inspire and support future change agents. We can’t wait to learn more about how her Nourish experience influenced her career in sustainability!
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