The Virtual Climate Change Youth Forums offered by Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF), a Canadian charity located at York University, empower learners in a warming world and encourage youth to take action on the climate.
LSF’s Virtual Climate Change Youth Forums program has been named a recipient of Canada’s Clean50 Top Project award. The annual award recognizes the contributions of projects towards a cleaner, healthier, innovation-based, low-carbon economy supporting all Canadians. Clean50 Top Projects were selected from more than 100 nominees, based on their innovation, their ability to inspire other Canadians to take action and, most importantly, their climate-action impact.
LSF’s Youth Forums have historically been held as full-day, in-person experiences, but due to the impact of the pandemic, LSF decided to move the Youth Forums online.
“We knew that skipping a year wasn’t an option,” says LSF President and CEO Pamela Schwartzberg, “since students needed access to the skills and knowledge provided in the forums. So, LSF created a multi-component virtual event series offered over a six-week period.
“While creating a new delivery model, LSF also had to accommodate various school board privacy policies, teachers who were new to technology and virtual learning, events covering multiple time zones and a myriad of school schedules, and student learning at home, at school or a combination of both,” says Schwartzberg. “Our new Virtual Youth Forums still build a sense of community and connection among teachers and students from different schools. Most importantly, the forums engaged students in climate change issues, equipped them with skills and knowledge, and empowered them to take action.”
The virtual events dramatically increased LSF’s audience and geographic reach, with 17,600 students from all of Canada’s provinces and territories receiving an opportunity to contribute to the fight against climate change by participating in an Action Project.
LSF is a Canadian charity founded in 1991. Working with businesses, governments, school boards, universities, communities, educators and youth across Canada, LSF’s programs and partnerships are helping students learn to address the increasingly difficult economic, social and environmental challenges of the 21st century. LSF has been located at York University since 1997.