2018 #SFTop25 finalist - Dominique Souris
HOMETOWN: Ottawa, Ontario
TRADITIONAL TERRITORY: Traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people.
Dominique is a connector, thought-generator and compassionate youth climate advocate. She is a self-proclaimed “climate nerd” whose passion, research and work focuses on innovative climate action. Her journey started when she approached the Seychelles Ambassador to the United Nations, United States and Canada, volunteering her support for COP21.
As a graduate student, youth advocate, and advisor to governments and institutions; she has led and contributed to a variety of climate advocacy, policy and entrepreneurial initiatives. Her passion, work ethic and positive attitude were an asset to Seychelles during the negotiations for the Paris Agreement, and the subsequent negotiations at COP22 and COP23.
After growing from her experience in global climate politics with the Seychelles, it was clear to Dominique that she needed to elevate youth and empowers them to play an active role in climate policy and entrepreneurship. This is what sparked the founding of the non-profit Youth Climate Lab in 2017. Since its inception, Youth Climate Lab has developed initiatives that has reached young people in 35 countries.
In the past 10 months, these three projects were brought to life:
A project of Green Growth Global Institute (GGGI) and Student Energy, Greenpreneurs is 10-week virtual accelerator program and business plan competition to help young people around the globe build and validate their business proposals for solutions that positively impact the future. Themes in the program include energy, water and sanitation, land-use and agriculture and green city development. Launching in July, the program will support 10 teams of young entrepreneurs from four continents.
Pop-Up Lab Series
Physical, interactive spaces designed to engage, empower and connect youth to the mentorship and resources they require to transform their ideas into actions at events and conferences around the world. The Honourable Minister McKenna inaugurated the first Pop-Up Lab Series at GLOBE forum, a high-level conference on Corporate Social Responsibility in March. Under her direction, YCL intends to run these Pop-Ups throughout 2018-2019.
Seychelles Support Team
The Seychelles Support Team (SST) is a multi-year program that serves to meaningfully engage youth in international climate policy processes while providing assistance to the Seychelles delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In 2019, the program will expand to other small island developing states (SIDS) and climate-vulnerable countries.
Continuously striving for excellence, it’s clear Dominique is connecting youth to resources and designing programs that give them a meaningful experience in the UNFCCC process.
Alongside empowering others, she continues to push herself. She was recently a part of a team that were finalists in the Government of Canada’s International Policy Innovation Challenge for her research on innovative finance and refugee responsibility sharing.
Dominique continues to show the incredible passion and determination of young climate leaders around the globe, and their impact on the ground. She has also demonstrated the powerful reach of youth networks that span around the world, and their potential as partners for action.