Be the Change You Want to See in the World

(Big Ideas Panel | BMO Auditorium | 5:00pm-6:00pm)

Melissa (Crnić) Sariffodeen

Co-Executive Director at Ladies Learning Code

I'm an entrepreneur who loves to build things that create opportunity, impact and redefine traditional success in business. I’m a yoga teacher who strives every day to live my #bestlife. I'm a developer-in-progress and one part of the amazing founding team at Ladies Learning Code and HackerYou - organizations promoting digital literacy across Canada. I'm hopelessly inquisitive, obsessed with doing more, living with less and I'm learning to think big. I like (and am good at) getting things done and I’ve spent a lot of time successfully building and scaling things (programs, products, processes and initiatives) at organizations like Deloitte, Canadian Tire and Freshii and now dedicate my time (and heart) to helping Ladies Learning Code grow and help close the gender gap in technology.

We’re a community-driven not-for-profit working to empower everyone to feel comfortable learning basic, beginner-friendly technical skills in a social, collaborative way. We also run workshops for youth under Girls Learning Code and Kids Learning Code.

I'm one part of the founding team and I'm responsible for running the organization day-to-day including our network of 19+ Chapters in cities across Canada.

More information at:



Sarah Saska 

Studio [Y] Fellow | MaRS, Doctoral Candidate | Western University

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Sarah Saska is currently a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Women’s Studies and Feminist Research at Western University and her research works in collaboration with The MATCH International Women’s Fund - the first fund of its kind in Canada - to understand how social innovation can change the lives of women around the globe. She completed her Master’s at the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies at the University of Ottawa and her undergraduate studies at Queen’s University. 

Ms. Saska is a seasoned academic, and she has 10 years of experience in policy and social change within the non-profit and philanthropic sectors, with expertise on women’s rights and gender equality, climate change, LGBT human rights, social innovation, social enterprise, and social finance.  She is currently a Studio Y Fellow at MaRS Discovery District, which is supporting her as she steps into her latest role as Co-Founder, and CEO of Feminuity, a social enterprise with a bold approach to innovation, using feminine ingenuity to redefine and redesign what it means to be innovative.

Get in touch with Sarah via  | 647-458-7275 | @sarahsaska



Jory Cohen

Managing Director - Youth Social Innovation

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Jory Cohen is passionate about applying market-based solutions to societal challenges. In 2011, Jory lived in East Africa and developed a sustainable for-profit business model based on fair-market-value sales of honey that empowers poor, Tanzanian female entrepreneurs with the opportunity to provide additional streams of income to their respective families and to contribute to individual savings accounts. During that same time period, he developed the career of a Tanzanian musician and empowered him with the tools to transform his quality of life.

Jory previously worked on the business side of a technology startup. He graduated from the University of Western Ontario as the Valedictorian of the HBA 2010 Graduating Class at the Richard Ivey School of Business. Jory is also the co-author of an illustrated children’s book.

More information at



Josh Snider

Manager of Youth Sustainability Leadership with The Natural Step Canada.

After leading communications and fundraising for the organization since 2010, he jumped into the driver seat of the IMPACT! Sustainability Champions Training program in 2012. This inspiring program is a high-impact initiative that builds the capacity of young leaders to act strategically to address the environmental, social, and economic challenges facing their communities. Participants deepen their sustainability understanding, enhance their confidence as leaders, and are empowered to develop or advance meaningful sustainability projects and social enterprises.

Josh now leads unique collaborative programming for youth across Canada who are passionate about sustainability and want to make a tangible difference in their communities. He has also been invited to deliver stimulating guest workshops, lectures, and presentations on youth sustainability leadership at a growing number of universities, including McGill University, Carleton University, University of Ottawa, University of Toronto, Queen's University, and Western University.

More information at: