We’ve partnered with Microsoft Canada and the Ontario Trillium Foundation to run the 3rd annual Agents of Change: Youth competition, designed to help innovators turn their ideas into real impact and prepare them for early stage investment. We selected 10 projects led by youth under 30 working to build stronger and more resilient communities.
Meet the 2013 Agents of Change: Youth
Many Rivers Permaculture
Paul Wartman likes to create space to imagine what’s possible when communities are grown from good, accessible food systems. Bringing that vision into reality is his mission. Paul founded the group Many Rivers Permaculture which is working to create a healthy, environmentally-protective, food-loving, “I-wanna-grow-that-in-my-backyard” community. He is currently researching Edible Forest Gardens as a Master Student at the University of Guelph and is collaborating with community groups to bring healthy food to everyone in the Guelph and Mississauga communities.
Randell Adjei is a Spoken Word Edutainer and Artivist. He uses art to empower and provoke thoughts of a better society for our world. Randell is the founder of Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere (R.I.S.E) Edutainment, which is a youth led initiative that provides a weekly platform for artists to express themselves in a positive way. R.I.S.E Edutainment also conducts workshops and artists development initiatives to develop Toronto’s talents.
The Kitchen Library
Dayna Boyer’s kindergarten report card states: “Dayna does not like sharing”. Her former teacher might be surprised to learn that not only has Dayna learned to share but she’s also at the forefront of the sharing community in Toronto with her non-profit, The Kitchen Library. The library works in partnership with The Toronto Tool Library, which has provided support and incredible mentorship along the way. This project is the perfect combination of three of her passions: community outreach, marketing, and food.
Grounds for Gardens
Founded by Jocelyn Molyneux, Wastenot: Resources Managed Sustainably up-cycles food waste into natural fertilizer through worm composting, providing clients with Zero Waste organic management solutions. The Grounds for Gardens project aims to enhance organics recycling within the urban agriculture movement by installing free worm bins at community gardens and using vermicomposting to locally upgrade coffee grounds into fertilizer for that neighbourhood.
My Green Neighbour
Bianca Sayan is the founder of My Green Neighbour, which matches lenders in the community to people with profitable energy efficiency projects. Think Kiva.org for energy efficiency projects! Bianca is constantly exploring what works in corporate sustainability and social responsibility.
FoodiePage.ca, started by Erin Maynes and Stephanie Pal, is an online marketplace that helps make local, responsibly-produced food more accessible and convenient to locate and purchase. We’re responding to a significant trend in consumer demand – the desire to support local, know where food comes from, and understand the background and story of food producers and products.
Evan Bell calls himself a thinker, tinker and builder. He is equally happy discussing the specifics of aquaponics design or rolling up his sleeves to lay out new grow beds or frame a greenhouse. Evan’s varied background assists WaterFarmers with project management, business development and community outreach. Evan got his start in aquaponics by building household hobby systems and volunteering with the University of Waterloo’s Aquaponics Group as a grant writer and project manager. Now continuing his aquaponics adventure under the expertise of Arvind, he is passionate about bringing systems-level change to the world’s food security problems. His present research interests surround the design and construction of high-efficiency controlled environments tailored for aquaponic farming in Northern Climates.
Heartbeat Nation develops programs for healthy living and creating elite student-athletes. The first initiative, DeenUP Athletics, leverages sports as a social engine to engage youth. The basketball training programs cater to hundreds of players in Toronto to further their athletic and academic achievements. All trainers have played basketball at CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sports) and/or NCAA in the US. The mentorship includes sessions on building healthy lifestyles, community activism, post-secondary education, etc. Nahyan Chowdhury’s and Adeel Sahibzada’s objective is to provide the highest quality of athletic training, alongside the mentorship to build strong individuals whom their families and communities can be proud of!
After serendipitously connecting over siblings touched by autism, Jeff Bernstein and Joseph McDonald, co-founded synapsABILITY – a community for lives touched by disability. As an intermediary working to provide opportunities in employment, housing and financial planning, synapsABILITY aspires to connect individuals in need with the private sector as an alternative to traditional, publicly delivered services. By creating critical mass around broad societal challenges, synapsABILITY believes that every Ontarian’s potential can be realized.
Equal Grounds is a Social Enterprise dedicated to providing professional services to their clients by creating opportunities for people of different abilities. Additionally, they provide training & development and access to assistive technologies to enable participants. Fun Fact: Torrance Ho is a 12 year power wheelchair goaltender in the Toronto Power Wheelchair Hockey League (TPWHL) and Terrence Ho loves adventures, including summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in July 2012 and skydiving in August 2013.