GLOBEForum 24

GLOBEForum 2024: Power of Youth-Driven Spaces in the Climate Conversation

Last February, Student Energy was delighted to talk about our Theory of Change at GLOBEForum 24 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Between the 13th and 15th of February, hundreds of climate-conscious change makers converged to forge new connections, strengthen existing bonds, and provide a space for keen intergenerational engagement on key climate issues.

This year’s forum theme was “The Future is Regenerative,” exemplifying the event’s commitment to youth empowerment and sustainability. GLOBE Series operates as part of Profoundry, a collective of like-minded sustainability and climate experts dedicated to helping organizations create positive sustainable change. The group, including Delphi, CBSR, and Leading Change, is collectively focused on achieving its vision: a more sustainable, prosperous, and just future for the next generation of changemakers.

Last time, we shared the GlobeForum experience of Piper, our Chapters Coordinator. Today, we are thrilled to feature Julie Boyce, our Career Training Manager, and share her experience taking part in the event. For Julie, GLOBEForum 24 served as a source of climate optimism, thanks to the voices of youth being centered.

Julie Boyce: Healthy, Respectful, Collaborative Spaces for Youth

This past February 13-15 I had the privilege to attend both the Leading Change and GLOBEForum 2024 as a youth delegate representing Student Energy. For those who don’t know me let me introduce myself; I am a thirty year old caucasian female settler on the stolen lands of Turtle Island, I have a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Victoria, and work as a Program Manager for the global Student Energy Career Training program. 

“My mission is to use my social work education to support global youth through enhancing their skills, raising critical awareness, and advocating for meaningful opportunities while uplifting youth as resourceful, resilient experts on addressing the energy transition and related climate crises in their communities.”

I myself come from a rural Alberta where my community was predominantly influenced by the mining industry, and experienced social and economic devastation after Alberta transitioned away from coal, and just this past summer was gravely impacted by the wildfires due to global warming. 

Left to right: Piper, Julie and the Leading Change delegation, Julie and Pattie Gonia, The Canadian Cleantech panel.

When I first learned the conference theme “The Future is Regenerative,” admittedly I scoffed. As a young professional fully immersed in the energy and climate change space, my personal future has often felt bleak because of my ongoing dance with climate distress. To my surprise after the three day conference I felt hope for the future. I applaud Leading Change for creating safe and brave spaces for young professionals (19-35) from diverse lived experiences, education, work backgrounds to share our perspectives and opinions about our net-zero future that is just, equitable and fair. They created space for us to have healthy, respectful and collaborative conversations about truly difficult topics. 

The organizers did a phenomenal job of creating safety for their youth delegates by creating the Leading Change delegate badges in a vibrant red color that instantly provided a sense of relief when I was navigating the GLOBE event space because I could always locate another delegate to talk to if I was feeling intimidated. Industry leaders, innovators, workers and activists actively engaged Leading Change delegates through numerous intergenerational networking opportunities.

“Throughout the event I felt privileged to connect with thoughtful professionals who were willing to listen to the perspectives of youth delegates, engaging in meaningful conversations that drive progress forward.”

I was drawn to the panels, workshops, and dialogues about critical minerals, Canada’s net-zero electricity grid, Indigenous leadership, climate resilient infrastructure, the just transition, and public private partnerships towards net-zero emissions. The knowledge sharing was invaluable, and I was most inspired by the Canadian Cleantech Leadership Panel that highlighted leading Canadian cleantech companies by sharing their perspectives on advancing innovative solutions to achieving net-zero while also speaking to their limitations. I was delighted to see Apoorv Sinha, co-founder and CEO of Carbon Upcycling, a previous Career Training partner, who spoke to the importance of mobilizing government support towards cleantech to have a more inclusive and just transition to Canada’s net-zero future. 

Annabelle Liao of G7 Research Group with Julie Boyce, and waterside Vancouver

My biggest takeaway from my experience as a Leading Change delegate at GLOBE Forum is the immense potential for conferences to learn from each other about creating meaningful youth engagement. This ensures young people feel safe and confident to contribute actively to dialogues, networking, and collaborative actions aimed at transforming the world toward a sustainable, equitable, and just net-zero future for everyone.

More Blog Content to Come…

Thanks for sharing your unique perspective on GLOBEForum 24 and Leading Change’s inclusion of youth this past February, Julie! Over the next year we are going to make it a priority to amplify the diverse voices of the Student Energy team through our blog. You can expect to see more retrospectives on events, key takeaways and points to consider on emerging renewable solutions, and a continued commitment to highlighting the accomplishments of our vast network of program participants.

Do you have any idea for a future blog post and you’re a participant in one of our programs? Contact your Student Energy Coordinator and let them know! We would sincerely love to hear from you.