An urgent call for creative young people

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Calling all 18 to 24 year olds!

#YouthStepUp Climate Contest is a new initiative from Our Climate and partners, including The Years Project and the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research. The contest organizers invite young people to join the search for innovative solutions to climate change. The entrants are tasked with designing and proposing concrete, implementable ideas across a range of climate solution categories.

There are multiple formats in which ideas can be  proposed, allowing room for contestants to express themselves. Youth Step Up Climate Contest is not designed to overwhelm young people by asking them to solve all the world’s issues in one fell swoop, but rather challenge young minds to think both locally and globally.

Submissions are accepted up to August 8th, and scoring information can be found here.

You can pitch ideas within the categories of:

Policy ideas: a great space to propose your own suggestions that could feasibly be brought to your local legislator.

Sustainable business: one may consider fleshing out a new business model for a local business in your community.

Advocacy campaign: to put forth a detailed plan to educate other and raise public opinion on the topic of climate change.

Land use design: a place to propose creative reimaginings of existing land use in your area.

Scientific proposal: an avenue to set forth detailed research and the impact that would have on you and your community.

Three steps for entry:

1.) Pick one of the above categories to frame your idea

2.) Write about your proposed solution in a short essay.

3.) Pick from a host of  mediums from the “visual/creative” categories to showcase your ideas, in a more artistic way, which can include visual art, music, spoken word, video, or a creative writing project/opinion piece.

The winners will receive an all expenses paid trip to the Global Climate Action Summit, in San Francisco, CA in September. The top contestant will also win a $5,000 cash prize. Those who do get selected will have the unique chance to represent young people at the summit alongside climate leaders from across the globe.

Our Climate, an organization dedicated to carbon pricing, prides itself on its equitable nature. As a result the distinguished panel of judges is notably diverse and strives to represent the rich, diverse composition of this nation.

As exciting as the cash prize and the trip, this competition offers more than just the new connections presented to the youth invited to the summit. As Nicole Crescimanno, the New York State Director from Our Climate, and Put a Price on It,  describes it, the competition’s impact goes beyond cash or the place at the table. Crescimanno makes clear that an effort will be made to follow up with all contestants, as each idea is valuable and worth exploring. Our Climate hopes to reach out to all the contestants on an individual level to let each and every person know in a tailored way how they can get more involved in their communities. This will be done by connecting youth with pre-existing organizations and entities that fight for climate change, and to give feedback on proposals to support contestants, helping them find ways to concretely implement the ideas that they submitted in their own communities.

To get hands on with this monumental challenge, take a look at the contest info and put on your thinking cap: “This begins with you(th)!”


Lead photo and above: Students at the Zero Hour march, NYC 2018 (Photo: Bridget Scanlon, City Atlas)