Our Mission: Accelerating youth and young professional leadership for positive environmental, social, and economic impact.
What is Leading Change?
Leading Change is a Canada-wide movement for us, by us – a group of young environmental leaders and sustainability professionals working to accelerate action on environmental, social, and economic issues that are critical to attaining a sustainable future for Canada and the world.
We bring together sustainability and innovation leaders, aged 19-35 from across Canada, to build skills, form partnerships, and take action in the following areas:
- Climate Change Adaptation & Resilience (including GHG Reduction)
- Connected & Thriving Communities
- Entrepreneurship & Innovation
- Commercialization & Scalability
We design our programs thoughtfully creating delegate experiences that last a lifetime by driving:
- Action & Initiative
- Collaboration & Mentorship
- Connection & Support
- Training & Development
Leading Change is a volunteer partnership led by Connecting Environmental Professionals (CEP) Canada, a not-for-profit network of young leaders across Canada with chapters in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Ottawa. Strategy and advisory support is provided by the Delphi Group, a Canadian leader in strategic sustainability consulting, providing innovative solutions in climate change and corporate sustainability.
What is the Forum by Leading Change?
The biennial Forum by Leading Change is put on in conjunction with the GLOBE Forum and Innovation Expo, where global leaders from business, government and civil society come together to manage risk and capitalize on opportunities in the clean economy.
The Forum brings together 150 people, aged 19-35 from across Canada, to catalyze action for environmental change through a variety of activities including social labs, keynotes, collaborative workshops, open discussions, and mentoring sessions.
The goal is for participants to feel confident, prepared, and supported to take action – whether that’s planning and implementing community sustainability projects, driving partnerships for greater impact, starting or scaling intrapreneurial programs at work, or making presentations to local government.
3 Pillars of the Forum:
- Engage: Connect and convene young leaders across diverse professional, academic, social environmental networks to develop innovative connections, collaborations and partnerships addressing existing and emerging problems related to sustainability and environmental protection
- Equip: Inform, teach and enlighten young leaders by exploring different ways of personally and professionally leading change through discussion and learning about topics, trends, opportunities, issues of interest in environment and sustainability community.
- Encourage: Inspire, motivate and prepare young leaders by providing professional development workshops, mentoring sessions, and skill building opportunities to enable them to have an impact and realize their potential on an individual level, through social innovation level or in a business venture.
Continued discussion, continued action – Supporting young leaders to overcome the challenges and barriers to leading change by fostering continued discussion on a national level and encouraging action on a regional or local level. This includes holding a biannual forum, local touch points and digital medium to maintain and build lasting connections for young leaders to continue discussion and action between biannual forums.
Strength in diverse teams – Recognizing the importance of multi-disciplinary approaches to complex social, environmental and economic problems related to sustainability and the growing diversity of the Canadian population. Great social, personal and professional value is added when solutions to these problems are developed in collaboration with individuals from different professional, regional and cultural backgrounds.
Balancing inspiration, theory and reality – Connecting emerging leaders with established leaders or mentors with the necessary leadership, guidance, and experience to focus their passion, energy and knowledge and inspire them to lead change.
Sustainability – Delivering on our commitment to sustainability both in the content of the programming delivered and in how events are planned and executed. This includes special attention paid to waste management, sustainable sourcing and water and energy consumption. Leading Change will purchase carbon offsets to demonstrate its commitment towards minimizing its footprint. Leading Change will hold itself accountable and transparent by reporting on the sustainability event in line with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) indicators.
I attended my first Leading Change Forum in 2014 at age 27, while pursuing my master’s degree and working full time in the energy sector. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet other young people who are passionate about making an impact and leaving a legacy. We were all there with common values, impressive accomplishments and various talents – this diversity made things even more inspiring and exciting. The engaging speakers, challenging activities and dynamic people I met will be with me always and I will never forget my experience with this stellar group. Leading Change kick started a deep shift in my life. For the past two years I have worked hard to further my education, expand my network, start my own small side business and transition to a new career in renewable energy. Leading Change is a perfect platform for young people who are seeking answers to the ‘big’ questions of life, or who long to be inspired to make tangible impact. Thank you so much for all you do.
– Kimberly Gray, EELF 2014 Delegate
If you are a young professional looking to learn more about the sustainability field and to expand your professional network, I would highly recommend The Emerging Environmental Leaders Forum. The hands-on workshops focus on professional capacity building, and the access to engaged critical thinkers from across Canada was invaluable to my personal and professional development. Almost four years have passed since I first attended in 2012, and I am still in close contact with the network I established while participating in the forum.
– Kaitlin Szacki, EELF 2012 Delegate