This past September, 120 Canada-wide youth leaders aged 18 to 29, gathered virtually for the ffwd2020 summit. Hosted in collaboration between CFC, Youthful Cities and RBC Future Launch, the ffwd2020 summit was completely by and for youth, bringing together ideas and visions for the future of work.
We are excited to share that nine projects, envisioned during ffwd2020, have been selected to receive up to $40,000 of funding from the RBC Foundation. Community Knowledge Exchange (CKX) and Youthful Cities will provide further support to ffwd2020 delegates as they leverage the ffwd2020 experience and initiate their projects.
“We’re excited to be working with CFC and Youthful Cities to deliver on the promise of RBC Future Launch, our decade-long commitment to helping Canadian youth prepare for the jobs of tomorrow,” said Mark Beckles, Senior Director, Youth Strategy and Innovation, RBC.
“We are committed to acting as a catalyst for change, bringing government, educators, public sector and not-for-profits together to co-create solutions to help young people better prepare for the future of the work through “human skills” development, networking, work experience, and mental wellbeing supports.”
Over the four-day duration of the summit, delegates worked together to identify key themes related to issues and barriers surrounding their future of work. Topics included the gig economy and precarious work, community mobilization, systemic inequality, financial literacy and universal basic income.
By the end of the week, delegates had produced tangible project ideas and presented them to mentors for feedback. With support from the RBC Foundation, CFC was able to offer a total of $200,000 to young leaders who decided to move forward with their projects inspired by the ffwd2020 summit.
Each project addresses a pressing need for the future of work, including the growth and development of equitable employment networks, professional skills-building opportunities, and language-inclusive tools and training. Each project integrates principles of equity and inclusion, from diverse standpoints.
Learn more about the selected projects:
Run by Alyssia Jovellanos, Martin Ciesielski-Listwan, Project FLY is an online, accessible, crowdsourced hub and resource repository to help people across Canada understand financial topics in a more accessible way across different languages. With support from Deltahacks, the project will work to provide financial resources in a variety of languages beyond English and French.
The project leaders believe that in this future of work, anyone should be able to participate meaningfully in the Canadian economy and Project FLY helps bring that belief forward, leveraging community and technology. Technology alone is not enough to solve problems. It’s crucial that community and technology work together in the future of work. The leaders believe that technology and software can change and enhance human capabilities and people’s ability to connect with one another, and Project FLY does that.
SFC Virtual Community Supports
In connection with the Selkirk Friendship Centre, the SFC Virtual Community Supports project will deliver short seminars on basic learning objectives from financial literacy, self care and mental health, community mobilization, systemic inequality and other prevalent issues arising due to COVID-19. Run by youth leaders Carly Chartier and Jordy Longbottom, the intended outcome is to offer information sessions virtually so everyone can access them during COVID-19.
Waniska Leadership Mobilization Program
Led by youth leader Casey Caines, in collaboration with the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre, the Waniska Leadership Mobilization program brings youth together in a workshop setting to look at the issues within their communities, brainstorm solutions, and then put those into an action plan brought to life through the grant process. This project will allow marginalized and racialized youth who are often left out of the important conversations regarding their communities to not only be encouraged in their leadership skills and ability to provide solutions for important issues but also to give the education and tools to pursue and implement.
This project seeks to raise up youth, the generation who will change the face of the future of work by giving leadership skills, access to resources, and encouraging them to seek out opportunities that will make a social impact in their communities.
The Youth Organization Database Revamp & Relaunch
Together with Young Diplomats Canada (YDC), youth leaders Jason Lau and Christina Caouette will over the Youth Organization Database Revamp & Relaunch. This project will build on YDC’s current database format as an online, open-access list of Canadian youth organizations, where anyone—anywhere—can easily network, find opportunities for youth participation, fill skills gaps, expand the reach of youth organizations, and create a more connected future of work for youth across Canada.
As of 2015, young voters have surpassed all other groups to become the single largest voting block in the country. However, young people are not represented proportionally in political discourse or leadership. Connecting with local youth-led civil society organizations is often the first step to empowering young people to play progressively larger roles in the representation and decision-making systems of their communities. By democratizing access to data, the Youth Organization Database intends to build the momentum necessary to bring a more diverse demographic of young people into civil society to help ensure decision-making at the local, municipal, provincial, and federal levels begins to reflect the priorities of youth.
The project NishIn is to create a digital platform for Indigenous educators and allies to access an on-going support network and interact with culturally appropriate resources about teaching reconciliation in the classroom or at home. Run by youth leaders Harmony Eshkawkogan, Miranda Newman, and Casey Caines, the intention of NishIn is to improve the way Indigenous educators and allies have access to online resources that are interactive, culturally appropriate and relevant to COVID-19.
The pandemic has pushed Western educators to transition to online platforms. Content created by traditional knowledge keepers has been released throughout the pandemic, but the challenge is sometimes a challenge to reach or understand. NishIn will work to ensure resources that are culturally appropriate are accessible to all who need them, and that they do not get lost in translation due to cultural or language barriers from different tribal Nations.
Run by youth leader Kayne Rivers, the You B.I project is working with The Black Lily Organization to provide information on Universal Basic Income (UBI) and other socialized income propositions in a formal, communal mentorship setting. They aim to hold weekly lessons on financial literacy, in addition to general community awareness meetings where the team will disseminate academic papers for accessible, public consumption. The more people who are aware of the necessity of UBI, the quicker it will be adopted en masse.
The Black Lily Organization aims to look to the future of advocacy and activism. The very core tenets of both You B.I and Black Lily are to be aware of and planning for the future, through a lens of four-year cycles. By creating small, independent, and well-organized groups, they hope to connect local communities to these initiatives.
The coCare Initiative: community income support for those who need it most
The coCare Initiative, run by youth leader Kim Kirton, is a community led initiative that allows individuals to seek immediate financial support and grants them temporary financial relief to help meet their basic needs and invest in their future livelihoods. The goal of coCare is to develop a community fund that is completely funded by individuals within a specific neighborhood (using postal codes to determine community boundaries) to create a pool of monthly funds that can be re-distributed to BIPOC members within that neighbourhood who are in need of financial support.
In collaboration with UnCo, coCare is inspired by the basic ethos of Universal Basic Income, but is community led. The key difference being that coCare is funded by members of a community, for members of that very same community, thereby allowing us all to really live into the meaning of community care.
Life Skills 101 / The Economy and Systemic Equality
Run by youth leader Nicole Tornquist, in connection with Opaskwayak Educational Service, this project will involve a series of ten workshops that provide youth with the tangible life skills needed to enter the employment market and today’s workforce. The workshops will help the youth in setting long-term goals and the skills in reaching these goals. The program will work to help youth uplift themselves and live a positive lifestyle. The participants will need to attend the full two weeks as each day will be something different. The workshops will address financial literacy, budget planning, grocery planning, interview etiquette, addressing past criminal records, housekeeping, and more.
Canada Micro-Grants Fellowship
Together with Leading in Colour, youth leaders Iknoor Khaira, Gurneet Bhela, RaeChelle-Faith Hamilton, and Sree Nair will run the Canada Micro-Grants Fellowship, a unique micro-grant fellowship program exclusively for racialized youth, featuring customized skills trainings to support the development of community-based advocacy projects. The project will involve training/skills development opportunities led exclusively by BIPOC youth facilitators, peer-to-peer knowledge sharing, networking sessions, and support in mobilizing around their particular advocacy issues.
The Fellowship aims to mobilize racialized youth to lead on advocacy issues in their communities, since marginalized communities are not always able to rely on government bodies, non-profits or other groups to advocate for them without exploitation. The program works to create jobs with livable wages for racialized youth, and address systemic inequalities by operating exclusively for youth from oppressed and repressed communities.