BLS YouthCAN’s 11th Annual Youth Summit on Climate and Sustainability

About the Summit

The Annual Youth Summit on Climate and Sustainability at MIT is in its 11th year. The day includes a keynote speaker, free breakfast, free lunch, workshops, and 30 plus exhibitors, including Greenovate Boston, Boston Green Fest, Quabbin Regional HS Composting & Garden Club, Rain Forest Reptiles, Baja Face Painting, the YouthCAN photo booth, and many more.  The Summit generally draws around 200-250 students and educators from more than 50 area schools in Massachusetts and the Greater Boston area. It is hosted by Boston Latin School YouthCAN in partnership with the Technology and Culture Forum at MIT.

Every year the Summit focuses on a different theme related to climate change and sustainability.  This year the focus is:  Youth Activism and Social Justice as they relate to Climate Change and Sustainability.  We are delighted to announce that Mariama White Hammond, will be our keynote speaker.  She will deliver a powerful message about youth activism and sustainability based on the extensive work she has done in the Boston community inspiring young change-makers and she will speak about the necessity of pursuing social justice as a central element of any and all sustainability work.  

The slate of workshops will address youth activism and the social justice issues that are connected to climate change and sustainability.   Tem Blessed and Blessed Energy, a green hiphop group, will kick off the day. 

Register Here



Futuristic Energy and Climate Change – MIT Student  

What if we could power our houses with solar-energy, drive our cars with grass, and light our cities with nuclear fusion? Come hear about some of the cooler innovations in energy, many of them happening right here at MIT. We’ll talk about what the future might hold, and how new technologies can change what’s available now.


Getting to a Smarter Grid – Sara Harari, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale School of Management 

Have you ever thought about what happens when you turn on a light switch? It’s a bit complicated, and it’s changing, fast! Join us as we explore the electric grid and learn how smart meters, solar panels, and electric vehicles are dramatically changing what happens when you flip that switch. 


100% Renewable Energy: Why We Need It & How We Get It – Alliance for Climate Education Action Fellows 

Participants will explore the impact of unequal resource distribution; learn about benefits of 100% renewable energy for our health, jobs, and climate; and how we can use our voices to call for the change we need in City and State government.


Climate Impacts on Boston Harbor Islands & Less Resourced Coastal Regions – ClimaTeens, NE Aquarium  

Learn how climate change is affecting Boston Harbor specifically the Boston Harbor Islands and Boston’s less resourced coastal regions.  The New England Aquarium’s ClimaTeeens will talk through community-based solutions that can help us combat these environmental impacts.


How Youth Activists Can Get Involved in Food Justice, Zoe Fahy, Boston Renaissance Charter Public School  

How can we empower each other to advocate for a food system that ensures everyone has the right to food produced in a way that respects people and the planet? From deportations of migrant workers to food deserts in low-income communities, we’ll map out food systems issues and create an activist’s toolkit specific to our roles as students, citizens, community members, and consumers.”     


Excited About EcoEntrepreneurship!  Karen Weber, Executive Director, Boston Green Fest 

This workshop will enable students to have direct input into planning the upcoming International Youth Summit that will take place on Sunday, August 13th at Boston GreenFest and Faneuil Hall in honor of International Youth Day.  Over 100 student members of the United Nations from across the globe will be attending the summit with about 100 local Latino youth, 100 Native American youth, and many more local and regional youth (anticipated participation of around 400 youth ages 14-32).  We are excited to share the planning directly with youth who are inspired by nature, business, and event planning.


The Shark: A Species We Could Not Live Without – Isabelle Cadene 

Find out why every living thing on this planet relies on a healthy ocean. Learn how climate change and the threat of extinction for sharks can affect this, causing both environmental and humanitarian crises. There will be the showing of a short, animated film with follow-up discussion and Q&A.


Climate, Racism + Capitalism – Mike Prokosch, Boston Climate Action Network & Michel LeGendre, Stop Corporate Abuse 

In this participatory workshop we’ll explore ways that racism, capitalism, and energy-intensive economies have created the climate crisis as well as the denial that is blocking solutions. We’ll also discuss what people in Boston are doing about it.


The State Legislature: Protecting Water & Natural Resources – Hannah Traggis, Project Green Schools 

 On March 21st, 2017, Project Green Schools President, Mark Thekkethala and Vice President, Belle Allmendinger, unified a large group of students at the Massachusetts Water Forum Youth Summit to create a resolution that will be submitted to the Massachusetts State Legislature. In solidarity with the United Nations International Water Day, this resolution seeks to create a Water Awareness Week in perpetuity for the state of Massachusetts. There is much work still to be done in order to successfully submit the bill and see it through to become signed into law. Join us as we invite you to learn about and participate in this historic, student-led, legislative process! 


Forestry and Climate Change: Maple Syrup, Storm Surge, and Forest Carbon – Laura Green, Co-President, Yale Society of American Foresters

Come learn about some of the current challenges forest managers face with regards to climate change both as an ecological and a social justice issue.  This workshop will examine the social and equity dimensions the impacts of climate change on our region’s forests, as well as efforts to prevent or redirect those impacts. We will look at maple sugaring and forest-dependent economies, as well as urban forests and ecosystem services, as a way to think about rights, justice, and climate governance. Get connected with Yale Forestry students to have your questions answered.


Schedule for the 2017 Summit:

9:00 – 10:00   Registration/Check In

10:00 – 11:00  Welcome, Green Hip Hop, Blessed Energy; Mariama White Hammond, Keynote

11:00 – 12:00  Workshops

12:00 – 1:30    Lunch/Exhibitors/Activities

1:30 – 3:00     Networking, Recognition, & Raffle Prizes!


When and Where:  Saturday, May 13th in the Stata Center at 32 Vassar Street in Cambridge, MA.