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Change Your World

The goal of the Change Your World conference is to inspire youth in Ontario to be the next generation of environmentally active citizens. We welcome high school students and their teachers to this dynamic one-day conference that brings together youth and community organizations from across Ontario to discuss, collaborate and learn how to make sustainable and equitable change in our world.

Change Your World 2020 COMING SOON!


York University, Keele Campus
9:30am-10:45amOpening Ceremonies
York University, Keele Campus
 10:45am to 11amBreak
York University, Keele Campus
11am to NoonWorkshop #1
York University, Keele Campus
Noon to 1pmLunch
York University, Keele Campus
1pm to 2pmWorkshop #2
York University, Keele Campus
2:00pm to 2:30pmClosing Ceremonies
York University, Keele Campus

Keynote Speaker and Workshop Organizations

Keynote Speakers

Dianne Saxe

York University McMurtry Fellow and former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

Opening Keynote Speaker

Larissa Crawford

York University Alumni and Action Canada Fellow

Opening Keynote Speaker

Sam Demma

Youth Speaker and Alumni of the Top 35 under 35 Global Changemaker Award

Closing Keynote Speaker

Past Keynote Speakers

2019 Conference Workshops

Change Your World offers students and teachers the opportunity to expand their passion for the environment with hands-on skill building and interactive workshops. Supported by our dynamic eco-partners across the province, these workshops will provide you with the skills you need to make positive change in your school & communities.


This list will help your students select the workshops that they are most interested in attending. They can choose three of the sessions offered below for the other two workshops they will attend at the conference.

We encourage students from each school to select a variety of different workshops and bring back the information to share with their peers. Once they have decided which sessions they would like to attend, please complete the Workshop Allocation form and submit this to us by Wednesday, October 9, 2019.

1. Featured Sessions: 3% Project is coming to Change Your World!

3% Project mobilizes 1,000,000 Canadian youth – that’s 3% of Canada – through 5 national tours across 600 high schools. We present climate solutions in the holistic context of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Fourth Industrial Revolution themed: “The Future We Want.” Students identify, analyze, and develop solutions to their community’s Biggest Sustainability Challenge, exercising the muscle for sustainability problem-solving skills to make it a core competency of our generation. In essence,3% Project empowers the final generation who can solve climate change.

Speak Your Peace – Youth Voices in Social Action
What role do the youth of today’s generation play in bringing about sustainable global change and social justice? How can youth be a voice for the victims of injustices from the past? In this interactive workshop participants examine what it means to be responsible global citizens, collaborate with fellow youth &E ducators to develop strategies for equitable and just action, and explore core questions about humanity through a historical investigation of WWII in Asia. Using examples of the youth who have contributed to fostering ALPHA’s goals of peace, justice, and reconciliation, the workshop inspires to empower young people to create change in their local and global communities.

Climate Reality and You!
This session will take you through the basic science of climate change and its consequences for humans. There will be a focus on impacts on youth and the GTA, intergenerational equity, and what youth can do to make a difference.

Speak Up!
Youth leaders have been mobilizing across the world for climate justice. Inspired by Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project and Great Thunberg’s Fridays for Future campaign, this session will provide you with tools and strategies you could use to stand up for climate change.

Introduces sex trafficking as a home-grown issue, affecting our communities and our young people. Describes how victims are recruited and how unsuspecting young people, mostly girls, are being lured online, in malls and from schoolyards. Explains how trafficking victims can come from any background and how they can be lured as young as age 13 – by predators posing as romantic partners or friends.

Become a Citizen Scientists with EcoSpark
Learn how you can become citizen scientists by engaging in environmental monitoring activities right on your school ground, your local green space, or in the nearby stream! In this interactive, hands-on workshop, you’ll learn about how EcoSpark’s Changing Currents stream health assessment protocol, and about the different citizen science activities our School Watch program has to offer, including pollinator, bird, invasive species, and precipitation monitoring!

Pollution, Particles and Parks: Acid Rain in Ontario
Pollution from smelting releases harmful particles into the water cycle and ends up forming into acid rain which negatively affects important ecosystems. Join Aliya on conducting fun and engaging science experiments as she explains the causes of acid rain, how it has altered the natural landscapes of Ontario Parks and what we can do to reduce its effects.

Fighting plastic pollution and climate change
Have you ever wondered how plastics are made? Do you know how long they take to break down once they reach the natural environment? Plastics are commonly manufactured from fossil fuels, one of the industries that contribute the most to greenhouse gas emissions. Once plastics reach the land or waterbodies they can take hundreds of years to break down. In this workshop students will learn about the intersection between climate change and plastic pollution, how plastics negatively impact wildlife, and we will work collectively to come up with ideas to make our communities aware of the issue. Our workshop will include hands-on activities to foster environmental curiosity and empower students to take action for protecting the natural world.

Wellbeing or Sellbeing: A Critical Look at Alternative Measures of Progress
Government and citizens tend to look at economic growth as the primary measure of wellbeing in society, which tend to ignore the environmental and social impacts. This workshop will help you identify other aspects of wellbeing aside from money (subjective wellbeing, natural capital, human capital, social capital).

True Cost of Fashion
Students learn about the life cycle of our clothes, and the many negative impacts at each stage – from the field to the factory, from our purchasing behaviour to end of life. They learn about the fashion industry’s use of highly toxic chemicals, water usage and pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, textile waste and recycling, and the circular economy of fashion.

Building a BirdSafe® and Better Future For Migratory Birds
Collisions with buildings is a leading cause of death to migratory birds. Explore the causes of this global conservation problem, and what simple yet effective measures you can take to help mitigate this threat.

Listening to the Land: An Introduction to Environmental Justice and Storytelling
Join the Indigenous Environmental Justice (IEJ) Project, led by Canadian Research Chair, Deborah McGregor, to explore stories on the land. How can Indigenous storytelling point to justice and environmental issues? How can Indigenous and non-Indigenous people move toward reconciliation through storytelling? What story can you tell?

Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals at the Grassroots Level
Passionate about how you can become a catalyst for tangible change in your local community? This is a skills-based workshop focused on engaging students in grassroots project planning and management, such as networking and negotiating, using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as a conceptual framework. The target SDGs for this workshop are SDG 13: Climate Action, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, and SDG 15: Life on Land!

Action Projects to Change the World
What bothers you? What changes would you like to see happen? How can we make our world a better place? This workshop will help you explore, choose and act on sustainability issues at home, at school and in your community. Gain tools and strategies to start your very own changemaking Action Project and become a sustainability leader today!

Share Your Passion
Have you ever been talking about something you are passionate about, but you just can’t seem to get others to care too? Does it seem like the more you care the less others do? This is something we deal with on a daily basis when we connect people to ideas and concepts that are new, frightening or even gross to them. With over 30 years’ experience using our voices to provoke the minds and actions of visitors; let us scratch the surface of the Art of Interpretation to help you change the way you share your passion.

Building a Pollinator Home
Pollinators like bees, wasps, butterflies, and other insects are not only critical to our ecosystems, but they are responsible for providing the food we have to eat on earth. In this workshop, students will learn to create an environment suitable for our pollinating insects, that can be placed in any garden. Students will participate in the hands on building of their own pollinator home, as well as learn about the features that attract insects to it. In doing so, we will also be discussing the importance of pollinators in our gardens, and the impact that they have on our ecosystems. Further, we will be educating in becoming good neighbours to our pollinators, and encourage them to teach others to do the same.

Climate Change and Solutions
The international nonprofit is working to realize the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS) to protect the Arctic Ocean and all life on Earth. This short slide presentation will generate all-age discussions about civic responsibility, peace, sociology, geography, renewable energy, and changing the business paradigm from short-term gain to long-term good.

Climate Change and Solutions
This session will explore the solutions in the buildings and our daily lives that reduce our global carbon foot print. Practical tips for students to take and become the instruments of Change in their World.

Renewable Energy 101
Students will learn how Renewable Energy technology is a better choice for mitigating the impacts of climate change. Throughout the workshop, students will discuss 6 controversial areas of concern linked to the climate change. Using technological tools linked to the renewable energy industry, students will use inquiry-based learning to explore solar energy, wind energy and energy storage. In closing, Relay Education will provide evidence about the feasibility of using Renewable Energy sources in a sustainable world that is dealing with climate change.

#RisingYouth Grants to support your community
Through the #RisingYouth workshop, youth will: Explore issues impacting their local community, understand the impact that youth can have in creating positive change, generate ideas and solutions to address issues in their communities, build confidence in turning their ideas into positive action and gain support in applying for a #RisingYouth Community Service Grant.


We have developed a professional development day for teachers attending the conference that centers on bringing environmental education into your classrooms. All teachers will participate in the following session during both workshop periods on our conference agenda:

Earth to Tables Legacies: A multi-media educational package to enliven your classroom

Food is a great starting point for lively conversations about the environment: human health and the health of the planet, biodiversity and cultural diversity, land and Indigenous rights, climate and food justice. The Earth to Tables Legacies project is creating a multi-media educational package based on a 4-year exchange between youth and elders, rural and urban food activists from Indigenous and settler communities in Canada and Mexico.

This dynamic workshop program will introduce you to a website where you can access not only short videos and photo essays, but also teachers’ guides that help you use these media tools for deeper discussion, hands on activities, and further research in the classroom. We’ll try out some of the proposed questions and activities, welcoming your feedback on the draft multi-media platform to be launched in 2020.

Facilitators for the workshop include Professor Emeritus and settler food activist/photographer, Deborah Barndt, and two FES PhD students: Alexandra Gelis, Colombian-Canadian multi-media artist, Chandra Maracle, Mohawk food leader from Six Nations.

Our Sponsors

Hospitality Sponsor

Workshop Leader Recognition



Lily Piccone

Conference Coordinator, Faculty of Environmental Studies

Aliya Din

Student Conference Coordinator