2018 #SFTop25 finalist - Sophia Yang
HOMETOWN: Calgary, Alberta
TRADITIONAL TERRITORY: Blackfoot and Peoples of Treaty 7 including Siksika, Piikuni, Kainai, Tsuut’ina and Stoney Nakoda First Nations, including Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nation. It is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III.
Youth participation in climate change discussions is incredibly important to Sophia. As she told us: “We are the driving force behind new innovation, forward ways of thinking, and social change.”
“I see youth my age, and people of even younger generations capable of filling the environmental, technological, and policy gaps that currently lack in our political systems to effectively take action on climate change. We need to be more empathetic about the situation, to help each other, and I want to work closely with affected communities to share their narratives.”
Sophia currently works with ParkBus, where she is currently piloting their ActiveDays program in Vancouver. Sophia plans, leads and evaluates guided hikes throughout the lower mainland to help bring together outdoors and nature enthusiasts. Known among her networks as a “fun-cilitator”, this role showcases what she does best: fostering healthy communities through outdoor learning and exploration.
Her second job this summer is with the Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning at the University of British Columbia. Sophia engages communities throughout the Lower Mainland of Vancouver on their ‘CoolKit’ initiative, meant to build resilient communities through outdoor participation, urban forestry engagement programs and interactive workshops.
Sophia is equally passionate about climate change and how fossil fuels are contributing to the issue. “I'm working to solve this problem because the way energy flows in our world and how different nations use energy is a deep, systematically flawed issue. With Western nations releasing millions of toxic pollutants and gasses into the atmosphere each year, only to have developing nations and coastal communities pay the price for our irresponsible consumption. This needs to end now.”
Last September, Sophia came up with the idea of starting her own initiative which specializes in creating energy maps and stories of different energy perspectives. This platform will map out individual’s energy stories and what that means for their livelihoods and futures.
Generation Mindfuel would be an online platform where people can share their global stories with regards to what energy means to them and how they see energy playing a role in their lives. The platform would showcase what energy resource they identify the most with, or what resource their nation currently uses the most, and how we can move forward to make that energy resource more sustainable.