Climate Guides Summit 2018

On April 7th, we held the first Climate Guides Summit. All 10 mentees and 10 mentors were in attendance, and the amount of energy in the room was unmistakable. We wanted to take a moment to look back to the Summit, in lead-up to revealing the projects our mentees are currently hard at work on!


After signing in at our Summit venue, CityStudio, we started the day with some introductions, ice-breakers, and then a Q&A with the innovator, entrepreneur, United Nations Young Champion of the Earth, Kaya Dorey. Kaya shared some of the challenges of being a young innovator, and tips for how to make the jump from project idea to project in action. It was so inspiring to hear from a youth environmental leader that has taken an idea and built an entire company from it!


After that inspiration-boost from Kaya, mentees dived into the mechanics of problem definition and project management. We were lucky enough to have Alana Wittman from CPAWS deliver a Defining the Problem workshop. This was the perfect way for mentees to start thinking about their projects and outlining their next couple months.

Then, it was the moment everyone was waiting for: meet and greet with the mentors. In a circle, we all introduced ourselves and shared what brought us to Climate Guides. Which was the perfect segway into lunch, where mentees could chat with their mentors over food, and where the entire cohort could get to know each other better. What better way to connect than over a delicious meal?


With full bellies and minds buzzing from inspiring conversations, we jumped right in to our Project and Communication Planning workshop, where we went over the details of the Climate Guides program and discussed expectations as a group. Everyone had the chance to contribute, and together we built a guide that will help direct the entire cohort in the months ahead.


But the most exciting activity of the day was yet to come. Time to pitch project ideas! Nicknamed “HIVE Pitch”, mentees had the opportunity to share their project idea with the entire group, which they had summarized on a paper hexagon; their “hive”. Mentees also shared what they need for their projects to become reality, and what they personally can offer other mentees. After their pitch, mentees posted their hives on the wall. Then, the entire cohort was able to add what resources they can offer to each project by posting sticky notes around each individual hive. This included tools, suggestions, contacts, and ideas. At the end of the activity, each mentee was left with tangible resources that will be invaluable when getting their project off the ground.


To end the day, all participants shared how the Summit impacted them and what they hope to gain from Climate Guides by its conclusion in July. In a circle, each participant passed a ball of yarn to another after they finished sharing their thoughts. By the time everyone had received the ball, we had built a web, illustrating how each of us is connected to each other; if one person pulls at their part of the web, everyone else will feel the ripples. Together, we had built a new Climate Guides community.


By the end of the day, the majority of the cohort reported that they saw themselves as change-makers by the Summit’s end. Overall, the Summit accomplished its goal of being a productive, motivating, and inspiring program kick-off that brought the entire cohort together and provided the momentum the cohort needs to dive head-first into the next four months. It just goes to show: Incredible things happen when you bring together a group of change-makers!



While we had to say goodbye at the end of the Summit, it certainly wasn’t the end of the journey for the 2018 cohort. Mentees are currently busy developing their projects with the guidance of their mentors. We can’t wait to share the incredible work they have already accomplished very soon - stay tuned!