Why we're changing the way we celebrate young changemakers.

Photo: George Kamiya

Photo: George Kamiya

It’s our sixth year of the Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 program -- and we’re excited to talk about Canada’s young environmental champions once again.

The Starfish Canada is a volunteer-based organization, which to me, really means that it’s a community-based organization. That’s a hard concept to imagine when you work in the online space across the entire country. But it’s possible, and we’ll keep working to bring Canada together as an online community.

Being community-based means you need to listen just as much as you need to make decisions and act. It also means that when you listen, you do so to understand what the community wants and needs, and finding an effective way to meet that.

So this year, with the Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 program, we’re doing just that.

We’ve heard from our community members in Quebec that want to be heard. So we recruited the help of Top 25 finalist from 2015, Audrey Morin, who is helping us provide the program en francais. We’re intrigued and excited to hear about the amazing work our francophone friends are doing to create a cleaner, greener Canada.

We’ve heard from former Top 25 finalists that a ranked list doesn’t create community a reinforces an unnecessary power dynamic. So this year, we’ll showcase 25 individuals without ranking them, but give each of them a spotlight through social media, our website, and in our Top 25 magazine.

And we’ve heard from our community partners, who want to see us showcase these amazing young people in a creative light. So this time, we’re going to show you how awesome these 25 environmentalists are through stories - stories of their upbringing and of their times advocating for the conservation and protection of this pale blue dot.

For the sixth time, our community is leading the charge and showing Canada how much hope and optimism there is in the young environmentalist movement. Join us on this journey to celebrate those who are working hard to create positive change.