Youth, climate change and resiliency

RRU Staff

School of Humanitarian Studies Prof., Disaster and Emergency Management Program Head and ResilienceByDesign (RbD) Research Lab Director Dr. Robin Cox was interviewed on Kootenay Co-op Radio about her vision and the vision of her team at the RbD Lab for innovation and resilience building with youth in the context of climate change.

Working from the Peter Pan analogy, Cox argues we need to invest more in youth and their belief in their capacity to make a difference.

"We need more of a neverland mindset, more people who fly because they believe they can fly. The challenges we face are too urgent and too complex to keep doing things the same way, to keep trying to solve the problem with the same approaches that created the problems in the first place. Youth are psychologically prepped to take risks and to want to create change, and we need to invest in that and empower young people's voices and creativity in our work to address climate change and reduce disaster risks."

Cox and the RbD Lab are working with young people in southern Alberta to explore and develop novel responses to local problems related to climate change adaptation and disasters. Part of the Alberta Resilient Communities research project, participating youth are learning and co-developing a creative youth-centred social innovation process. In the process, youth are developing skills in community based research, design thinking, and knowledge mobilization in order to generate projects to increase the resilience of their communities and families.

Using interviews, photo-stories, and digital storytelling, youth are also contributing to our understanding about how disasters and climate related challenges impact youth and what opportunities they have, or would like to generate in order to increase the resilience of their families and communities and contribute to Canada's capacity for climate change adaptation.

Listen to the full interview with Cox on the Kootenay Co-op Radio podcast.  You can also check out Cox's Walrus talk on youth and resilience on YouTube and some of the work of the RbD Lab on their Facebook page and YouTube channel.