Areez Gangji (Photo courtesy of Areez Gangji)

Areez Gangji (Photo courtesy of Areez Gangji)

Areez Gangji

Nature’s problem-solver

COVID-19 has given Areez Gangji some much-needed time to reflect on life, career and humanity’s place in the world. And the 33-year-old has decided it’s time to make some changes.

“Looking at what we’ve been doing to our planet, I realized that we need to do better and that I personally need to do more,” he says. After eight years at Ottawa-based ecommerce company Shopify Inc., most recently as a senior data scientist, Areez resigned with a plan to return to university next fall to study economics. He also started volunteering with several local organizations. And he stepped up his charitable giving. At the top of his list is the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

“We tend to look for fast, easy solutions to environmental challenges, but that’s just buying time, not solving the big problems,” he says. “NCC recognizes that you have to do the hard work.”

He values the charity’s commitment to conserving endangered lands and species, and to mitigating the effects of climate change. To have the greatest impact in all these areas and across the entire country, Areez makes flexible gifts. NCC spends his donations on projects of greatest need.

Nature hasn’t always been on this young donor’s radar. The Canadian-born son of East African immigrants, Areez says his family didn’t have much of a relationship with the outdoors. For him, that came during his teenage years in Edmonton, Alberta, when he started camping and visiting friends’ cottages.

As an adult, he prefers hiking, something he hopes to continue pursuing until it’s time to hit the books in the fall. He has his sights on a few NCC properties and also on the Conservation Volunteers program when it resumes after the pandemic.

“I want to continue doing my part to help protect this beautiful little blue dot in the universe.”

Areez Gangji is a generous supporter of the Landmark Campaign. Learn more about the campaign and what you helped accomplish, here >

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