JOIN CO-CREATING A SUSTAINABLE BC 2020-2021
BE PART OF THE SOLUTION!
We are currently recruiting young people (16-30 years old) from the following regions:
- Cariboo-Chilcotin (Williams Lake and surrounding communities)
- North-Central BC (Prince George and surrounding communities)
- Thompson (Kamloops and surrounding communities)
- Fraser Valley
Being a part of the Co-Creating a Sustainable BC will provide you with the opportunity to collaborate with other youth, learn from leaders in your community, and develop a group project that addresses sustainability in your community. You will invest approximately 12-15 hours per month over eight months and participate in a kick-off event, bi-weekly dialogues and workshop sessions to:
- Collaborate with up to 14 other youth in your region
- Learn from local leaders and explore regional sustainability issues
- Discuss role of youth in addressing climate change and the characteristics of collaborative leadership
- Develop skills and design and implement a group project to address environmental, social, and/or economic sustainability gaps in your region, explored through a climate change lens
- Build networks and relationships with fellow youth in your own region and beyond, as well as with community leaders and professionals
Participants will receive a certificate of completion and will present their projects at a public event to share their successes and lessons learned with the community at large.
Thanks to funding from Employment and Social Development Canada through the Canada Service Corps program, youth are able to participate in this program at no cost. Approved travel and meal expenses can be reimbursed and ASL interpreters or other accessibility needs, such as childcare, can be accommodated.
Due to COVID-19, our dialogue sessions will be offered online until it is safe to meet in person. If you foresee online offerings as a barrier to your participation, please let us know how we can support the online offering being accessible for you.
FBC is committed to providing equal opportunities to all youth, including those with a diverse cultural background, nationality, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, gender or physical ability. We highly encourage all youth interested in this opportunity to apply!
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CCSBC Pilot year
In 2019, the FBC Youth Program launched a new pilot initiative called Co-Creating a Sustainable BC to create opportunities for young people to get more deeply involved in core environmental, social, and economic sustainability issues affecting their communities. In the first year, we welcomed a diverse group of youth (ages 16-30) from two regions in British Columbia: the Thompson and the Sea to Sky regions. Youth participants worked alongside each other over eight months to deepen their understanding of leadership within the context of sustainability and climate change, to identify barriers to making meaningful and lasting changes in their communities, and to practice a collaborative approach to identifying potential solutions. During the program, funding from Employment and Social Development Canada through the Canada Service Corps program allowed youth to participate at no cost, with travel and meal expenses reimbursed and ASL interpreters or other accessibility needs, such as childcare, accommodated.
The Co-Creating a Sustainable BC initiative created an opportunity for young people to:
- deepen connections to their communities,
- experience the benefits of being actively engaged civic participants,
- witness the importance of serving and contributing to a community, and
- learn how to embrace leadership roles.
Through a series of dialogue sessions, youth heard from guest speakers who are leading the way as climate and sustainability champions in different sectors, including municipal government, Indigenous communities, industry, and community organizations. Exposure to these different perspectives offered participants well-rounded knowledge about regionally specific sustainability issues and initiatives already underway in their communities. Participating youth also had the opportunity to expand their networks and create valuable connections with leaders in their communities.
Through a systematic process of identifying regional gaps and key areas for action using knowledge acquired through dialogues and skill-building sessions, youth identified and developed plans and got ready to implement sustainability projects that address a gap in the community. In alignment with FBC’s mandate, youth explored community gaps through an environmental, social, or economic sustainability lens to develop projects that address climate change.
In 2019-2020, the Sea-to-Sky youth cohort decided to work on a waste reduction behaviour change campaign called Sea to Sky Composts, focused on better understanding the composting practices of Squamish residents. View their final project presentation here.
The Thompson youth cohort also focused on composting through an infrastructure lens. They partnered with nine regional organizations in Kamloops, Clearwater, and the Shuswap, including schools, Indigenous and community organizations, and local governments, to deliver household compost bins, educational guides, and bear-resistant composters to different community garden facilities. View their final project presentation here.
The initiative runs over 8 months. Youth are asked to commit 12-15 hours per month on average. Dialogue sessions will take place on a biweekly basis. Participating youth are asked to stay committed and consistently involved to ensure a positive team dynamic and successful community project!
Although our initiative was primarily held in-person last year, we do have quite a lot of experience engaging youth digitally. We are always learning and trying new ways to make our virtual meetings and events as fun and exciting as possible. We know that Zoom fatigue is a real thing, and long Zoom meetings can get exhausting over time! We hope to introduce more task-based learning that youth can work on individually, in pairs, or teams outside of scheduled virtual meetings.
We will keep in mind the provincial regulations and recommendations around social distancing. If it becomes possible over time to host an in-person cohort meeting in small numbers or field trips, we will certainly explore this option.
Co-creating a Sustainable BC is designed for a range of levels of expertise in the areas of sustainability and climate change. It is a beginner-friendly initiative but also appropriate for those with more experience and knowledge. We will challenge youth by providing resources and presenting optional but recommended tasks. Facilitators and guest speakers will help make learning around sustainability and climate change more accessible for everyone. More importantly, youth participants will teach and learn from each other!
Last year we covered leadership styles and ways of making change, sustainability 101, design thinking, behaviour change, and evaluation methods. We also had a regional sustainability and community leaders series for each cohort, during which we invited guest speakers from four sectors. Our presenters in 2019-2020 spoke to youth about local economic development, seed saving, carbon capture and storage, blue carbon, community climate planning, to name a few. Past special guests include mayors, councillors, First Nation councillors, sustainability program leads, waste specialists, risk management practitioners, community advocates and more. Some youth even attended an Adaptation Conference held in Vancouver where they got to learn more about climate change adaptation and contribute as youth observers.
Within your youth cohorts, you will receive training and resources to help your cohort jump start a group project, but you will be expected to drive most of the planning and implementation process yourselves. We encourage youth to develop projects through a design thinking process and gap analysis based on what they heard and what is missing in the community/region. Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through these steps when the time comes! Each cohort will be able to decide how to allocate funding for their project, but we can provide some guidance. We are setting up an alumni network to ensure new cohorts can learn from and stay connected with previous cohorts who did projects.
We have funding available to hire ASL interpreters/transcribers for youth who may be deaf or hard-of-hearing. Approved childcare expenses can be reimbursed if it is needed by participants while they participate in this initiative. If travel is needed for CCSBC related in-person meetings/events, all travel, meal, and accommodation expenses are covered by the Fraser Basin Council Youth Program.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any particular accessibility needs, and we are always happy to work with you to try to accommodate them.
Nothing – Co-Creating a Sustainable BC is entirely free, thanks to our generous funder! Any costs incurred from attending in-person meetings/events are covered by the Fraser Basin Council.
Yes, participants will receive a “Certificate of Completion” at the end of the initiative. The certificate and a long list of soft and hard skills you’ll gain throughout the initiative will be a great addition to your CV. We are also happy to provide a volunteer letter of reference, should you need one!