The 2017 Youth Community Leaders Conference will take place from 9:00am to 5:30pm on Monday, May 8th, 2017. Students will hear a keynote speaker and attend 4 workshops and/or info-sessions throughout the day. During the lunch period, students may attend a panel discussion on a first come, first served basis (space permitting). Following the conference, there will be a networking event where students will be able to meet representatives from local nonprofit organizations.

Monday, May 8th

(Schedule is subject to change. We will update this page as any changes occur.)


9:00am – 9:45am: Welcome note & keynote address
9:50am – 10:50am: First session
10:50am – 11:05am: Break (refreshments will be served)
11:05am – 12:05pm: Second session
12:05pm – 1:05pm: Lunch & panel
1:05pm – 2:05pm: Third session
2:05pm – 2:20pm: Break (refreshments will be served)
2:20pm – 3:20pm: Fourth session
3:20pm – 3:45pm: Closing comments
3:45pm – 4:00pm: Break (refreshments will be served)
4:00pm – 5:30pm: Networking event


Detailed session information

Welcome note & keynote address (9:00am-9:45am)

Welcome note from representatives of Fair Trade Ottawa Équitable, as well as an inspiring keynote address from Harsha Walia, renowned author and environmental activist.

Session 1 (9:50am-10:50am)

What Is Fair Trade? – An introduction to the 10 principles of fair trade, as well as the different organizations that are part of the Canadian fair trade movement.

Qu’est-ce que le commerce équitable? – Une introduction aux 10 principes du commerce équitable, et aussi des diverses organisations qui forment une partie du mouvement équitable Canadien.

Session 2 (11:05am-12:05pm)

Taking Action for Climate Justice – This workshop will introduce participants to the issue of climate change and fossil fuel extraction. In small groups, students are asked to draw their ideal community on a piece of chart paper and then pretend to interact with a fossil fuel company.

The Lottery of Life – Students will play a board game where they play a character. The game will encourage students to think about how their lives are different from their character’s life, and what they have in common.

Commerce équitable et cacaoculture en Côte d’ivoire – Nous parlerons des 30 000 producteurs ivoiriens de cacao certifié commerce équitable et de la différence entre ceux-ci et ceux qui ne le sont pas. Nous parlerons également des enjeux, des difficultés que rencontrent ceux-ci et nous ouvrirons enfin un débat sur les solutions.

Why be a BCorp? – This workshop will discuss the how and why of using business as a tool for environmental and social sustainability.

Lunch & panel (12:05pm-1:05pm)

Students will have the option to attend a Q&A panel on fair trade during the lunch hour. It will include representatives from the local fair trade advocacy community (nonprofit sector, small businesses working with fair trade producers, etc.). The panel will be available on a first come, first served basis, as there will be limited space.

Session 3 (1:05pm-2:05pm)

Embedding Sustainability in Business – We will explore the importance of putting environmental and social sustainability at the heart of businesses. We will use examples of fair trade businesses to illustrate how this is done.

Divestment: Cutting ties to Big Oil – This information session will discuss the math of climate change, the divestment theory of change, and the role of young people in the fight for the climate (including the participants!).

De l’eau pour tout le monde – Les élèves apprendront les principes de base sur l’accès à l’eau potable dans le monde. Ensuite, ils auront la chance de construire leur propre filtre à eau avec des objets du quotidien.

Securité alimentaire 101 – Cet atelier comprendra un bref aperçu des différents éléments impliqués dans la sécurité alimentaire – tels que les deserts alimentaires, les barrières géographiques dans l’agriculture et les déchets alimentaires.

Session 4 (2:20pm-3:20pm)

Displacement of Indigenous Communities – Students will discuss self-governance as a tool for the empowerment of indigenous communities in Canada. They will help develop a program that will be presented to the federal government for consideration.

Water for the World – Students will learn the basics of why some people in the world don’t have access to clean drinking water. Then they will have a chance to build their own homemade water filter out of everyday items.

Écoles équitables – Dans cette session, les élèves auront l’opportunité d’apprendre comment commencer une campagne pour rendre leurs propres écoles équitables.

Intersectionality and Identities – This workshop will introduce the term “intersectionality” in relation to society today, looking at communities like the LGBTQ+ community, and talk about why social justice activism is still necessary.

General notes on food service

Food will be served throughout the day at no charge to students. Students with severe food allergies and sensitivities are encouraged to pack their own food, as we cannot guarantee that allergens will be 100% absent from food. However, the conference committee plans to make vegan options widely available for students who do not eat animal products for ethical or religious reasons and reasonable measures will be taken to avoid cross-contamination wherever possible. Food will be labeled if it has animal products or common allergens added. If you have specific dietary needs, please let us know when you register.