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Collingwood woman honoured with award at United Nations

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Kelsey Cole was always taught to reach for the stars.

“I got here, I came from a place where we were encouraged to dream,” she said. “I have two parents (Sue and Richard Cole) who always told me, the sky is the limit.”

The Collingwood woman is making her name on the world stage and was recently the recipient of an award at the United Nations.

Cole was the first recipient of the FrontierWoman300 Award at the SGD (Sustainable Development Goal) Frontier Finance Forum during United Nations General Assembly Week on Sept. 21.

The UN has introduced 17 goals for “more sustainable and prosperous humanity” by 2030.
Cole has been heavily involved with the UN over the past year in the implementation of the organization’ sustainable development goal No. 5, gender equality.

Cole hosted the Frontier Finance Forum, which had a number of panelists discuss frontier technologies such as blockchain and cryptocurrency, and also look at how to unlock new areas of capital, sustainable giving and impact investing.

Cole is one of the founders of the Collingwood-based AdBank, an online ad platform built on blockchain technology.

With her role in AdBank, Cole has been traveling to various countries to speak and educate people on blockchain technology, including the government of Austria.

She was asked to participate in the UN in March to offer her thoughts on the impact this type of technology will have.

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“They knew frontier technologies were going to be a big deal,” she said.

However, her desire to make an impact on the world stage started at Collingwood Collegiate.

She said Kim Stevenson ran the model UN for the school and Cole said she was inspired from the start.

“It was something she went way above and beyond to organize,” she said. “I’ve been to the UN four times this year and I was told this time, I was home.”

She said she also wanted to make an impact for women after being told she wasn’t as valuable as her male Adbank co-founder.

“I was challenged by a man that I knew, that I wasn’t worth as much as my male co-founder,” she said. “I decided to fight back on that and put myself out there to show my value.”

Cole was involved in the launching of the SDG Impact Fund, which was co-founded by former astronaut Ronald Garan.

“He was one of the reasons I was inspired to get involved,” she said in an interview with simcoe.com. “If we have more women at the table, we can make some changes and have some voices that aren’t heard currently.”

The fund kicked off with $1 million in donations but Cole said the goal is to raise $1 billion by 2030 to help bridge the gender gap.

Cole said she’s been able to meet and talk with a number of highly successful people and whenever she does, she always discusses Collingwood.

She believes Collingwood is on the brink of big things.

“I believe we have the opportunity to turn it into a new Silicon Valley,” she said.

Source: SIMCOE

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