Youth.ify: from foundation to the future


      (esse post também está escrito em português aqui)

         In a previous post, I talked about Youth.ify, a platform recently created in August 2020 (in the midst of the pandemic) to connect young environmental activists around the world and also to empower them, give them extra arms to move forward on projects existing ones or create new ones. 

In the last publication, I explained briefly what the platform was, but today, I bring here a series of doubts that I took away with the team itself and also with Apurva, a founder of the organization to which I am very grateful for the attention. The platform was created by a woman and I believe that it is very appropriate to talk about it today.

Apurva Iyengar, Youth.ify founder
Read the "interview" we did by correspondence and notice all the future activities that Youth.ify intends to carry out to reach more and more young voices that want to make a difference.

1. Can you tell me a little about the Youth.ify foundation?

                "As youth in the environmental movement, we noticed how many youth led initiatives and projects were working toward the same goal, but were separated by location, age range, methodology or other factors. These barriers to cooperative effort stifle our progress as a youth movement and make it harder to achieve our collective goals. Youth as a demographic have the greatest power to affect environmental change, but lack the resources, skills and support to do so. We believe this problem stems from the lack of an open platform for young people to freely collaborate, meet, share ideas, and gain support  in the environmental community. 

                Youth.ify emerged from a strong desire to create such a space for passionate young people from around the world to meet, exchange ideas and make a difference together. Youth.ify's goal is really to provide a space for anyone interested in environmental work, regardless of experience. We are a global community of youth from every continent except Antarctica, and our mission is really to provide a platform for connection, collaboration and support for young environmentalists. 

                We were founded in August 2020, and in just 6 months, we’ve grown to include over 120 members from over 20 different countries plugged into our digital hub, and we’re not done yet. We have big plans for 2021, including an international youth summit that puts power in the hands of young people. Visit our website and follow our social media pages to learn more and stay up to date!"


2. How the organization works? How are you composed and who are the organizers?

                To give youth the tools they need to make a difference, Youth.ify has fostered an active digital community and open space for collaboration over Slack (connecting driven youth from countries spanning every continent except Antarctica), hosting virtual networking events that allow passionate young people to meet and build connections with their peers, and running monthly virtual workshops that teach real-life skills (such as creating a resume, writing for press/media, creating a social media presence, speaking with legislators, etc.). 

        Apurva Iyengar, our founder, leads a Board of Directors in our 5 teams: Engagement, Communications, Creative & Design, Partnerships, and Research. Each director leads their team with projects providing new and exciting resources to our members and improving our current programs.

3. How many youngs do you have engaged with the Youth.ify and from which places around the world?

                Over 120 young people are directly involved in our platform, from a myriad of countries ranging from Ghana to Colombia to the UK to India. We also have over 400 followers across our social media channels who are plugged into our work and resources. Our platform has grown to engage more than 115 youth in over 20 countries around the world and is expanding every day.

4. What activities do you realize and what projects you have or want to implement?

                Youth.ify is a platform for youth from around the world to share ideas, opportunities and build relationships with their peers. We regularly host action-oriented workshops, networking sessions and other virtual events that engage and empower Gen Z changemakers. Our past workshops have been focused on Landing Environmental Internships and Climate Communications. This July, we plan to host an international youth summit that will connect and empower over 250 youth environmental activists from around the world. The Summit aims to invert the traditional structure of summits in the past (adult professionals speaking on stage and youth listening and learning), and instead invite youth speakers to the stage to present about their ideas and projects and professional mentors to listen and learn from them. The Summit will also include a line-up of workshop sessions led by inspiring youth changemakers, Ideation & Brainstorming sessions, a Shark-Tank style pitch contest for environmental projects with prizes from sustainable brands, networking sessions with mentors and other youth, and fun, social activities to round out each day! Attendees will be organized into groups of their peers to serve as a support group before, during and after the summit. Each group will be led by a Youth.ify Team Member and allow attendees to socialize and share their experience through the event.

5. Can you tell me about the themes you deal with?

                Our main focus is on youth empowerment and connection, but we create educational materials on a variety of subjects, including the climate crisis, biodiversity issues, ocean conservation and many others. Our primary mission is to empower you.

6. We know there is a barrier that sometimes blocks many youngs, the language. In countries as Brasil (my country), the greatest part of the youngs don't speak english, so do you have some project to achieve this youngs?

                Our goal is really to foster a global community, and we aim to engage young people from all over the world, especially those who would not have otherwise have had access to the resources that we provide. To that end, we’re proud to say that our team is made up of individuals from 6 countries, and they lend a vital international perspective to our programs. We send out a monthly newsletter packed with resources and would like to translate it into multiple languages in the future. Currently, our workshops are all in English but we hope to be able to host programs in other languages in the future as well. We record each workshop for those who attended to review and those who were unable to attend to watch. We are also in the process of adding translated subtitles to these recordings.

7. How can someone interested join in Youth-ify? Do this person needs to be experient about some environmental matter or have some project to join in, or just needs to have the want to know more?

                You can get involved with Youth.ify by joining our virtual global community, attending one of our virtual events or applying for a position on our team. By joining our Slack Community, youth are plugged into a network of other Gen Z activists, where they can learn from advice, ask questions and hear about opportunities. We regularly host events, including monthly workshops, that empower young people with actionable skills and connect them to a network of other youth changemakers. We are also currently recruiting team members; all interests and levels of experience are welcome! There is no experience or expertise needed to take part in any of our programs, just a passion for our planet and a desire to get involved. 

             If you're passionate about environmental advocacy, research, policy work or activism, but don't know where to start, you can find opportunities, resources, peers and advice through Youth.ify. We are an international community of over 120 young people from well over 20 countries at this point, and we would love to see you join us!

You can know more about Youth.ify acessing:

And I would like to congrats Apurva and all the women in Youth.ify's team, for the
International Women's Day

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