Dillon Mendes

Dillon Mendes

Dillon Mendes is an alumni of the Top 35 Under 35 Global Changemaker awards, social entrepreneur, TEDx & youth speaker as well as an analyst at Deloitte Canada.

Dillon co-founded the social enterprise, PickWaste (featured on CBC, CTV and CityNews) which has, and continues to have, a massive impact on the environment. Dillon is also a connector for the League of Innovators, a national charity aiming to bridge the gap between high school students and entrepreneurship. He was featured as a guest on one of the Top 100 podcasts in the world – Humans 2.0 and has consulted directly with the CEO of A&W Canada.

Dillon is a true believer in the Power of One; after an encounter with a friend in high school, he pivoted his direction in life and realized he had the power to ignite change. He speaks about how one person, one action or one movement can change the world. Dillon has already had the opportunity to share this message with over 9000 students and is not planning to stop there!

    When Dillon isn’t speaking or in class at the University of Waterloo, he calls Pickering, Ontario home.

Dillon Mendes Speech Titles & Descriptions

Status Quo to Social Impact
So often students put a limitation on their capability to make a change in society due to their age. They think that they are just one person, and their actions will not matter in the grand scheme of things. Dillon exemplifies the fact that this theory is absolutely false as he started a national movement when he was 17 years old!

A lot of students leave school unfulfilled and confused about want to do when they’re older. They put up ‘fronts’ to impress their peers and end up leaving school having no idea who they truly are. Dillon breaks down these barriers, relates to what the students are going through and encourages them just to be their authentic self. Dillon uses storytelling, humour, and motivation in this keynote to help students understand that they matter, their actions matter and that one person can, in fact, make a difference.

Student Leadership Reinvented
As a former Camp Director, the current Managing Director of UWAC (Canada’s largest student-run accounting conference), and the Co-founder of the youth-led environmental movement, Dillon understands the importance of student leadership in school communities and aims to teach students about the importance of everyday impact.

Students often have great ideas but are unable to turn those thoughts into actions. Dillon explains how change stems from serving a community rather than leading a community, and takes students on a journey inward where he shows them how to lead themselves, so they can effectively lead others and create an impact on their communities.


Building a School-Wide Initiative
After an engaging whole school assembly, Dillon will present to your leadership students and discuss tangible ways that they can improve campus culture and create impactful initiatives. Dillon references his experience building a city-wide initiative, and explains the step by step process of how he built and scaled his social venture, PickWaste. Whether your group is trying to revamp an old club, start a new initiative, or improve school spirit; Dillon will be there to guide and support them with their plan of action for a 60 minute session.

The Balancing Act
Dillon became a core student leader in grade 12, held a part-time job, started a social enterprise, all while trying to get into a prestigious university. It almost sounds impossible; so often we encourage students to get involved and make a difference, but forget about helping them understand how to balance everything! Dillon still struggles with maintaining all of his on-going projects, but he has developed tips and tricks over the years on how to manage energy instead of time, and how to stop acting busy and start being productive.In this workshop, Dillon has an intimate conversation with students about leading and managing themselves before attempting to serve others.

How Small Actions Can Create a Sustainable Future
Through consulting with the CEO of A&W Canada and working in Deloitte Canada’s sustainability practice, Dillon has accumulated a ton of experience understanding global environmental problems that occur in our world today. Dillon is renowned for his TEDx talk – What the Trash and is an alumni of Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists under 25 awards in 2018. A lot of environmentalists talk about the global issues that this world currently faces but fail to motivate individuals to start taking action. Dillon empowers individuals to think globally but act locally to make a change in their society.


  • "Loved the way Dillon formed a personal connection with each audience member while sharing his message in a fun and enthusiastic way! He used humour and storytelling to convince me to start taking action that matters."D. Rege, University Student
  • "He was so well put together! I loved the stories that he shared and how he made them so relatable to our students. I highly recommend Dillon to speak at other universities and entrepreneurship programs."P. Trotter, Entrepreneurship Coordinator, Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, Sault Ste. Marie, ON
  • "Dillon shared a very relevant and inspirational message that really resonated with myself and our students. I loved his key message that how every single person can make a small difference and together we can have a huge impact in our world."K. Marschuetz, Teacher, Millen Woods Public School, Waterloo, ON
  • "I loved his ability to share his story and it felt like he actually created a conversation with me while he was speaking. He helped me understand the importance of just starting something, even when I don't have every step planned out!"C. Dukes, University Student

Dillon Mendes Videos

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