As the first month in the most pivotal decade in the fight against climate change comes to an end, a group of bright and creative minds gathered to exchange ideas and propose solutions on how to combat climate change — no, we’re not talking about Davos, we’re talking about CIS Ontario Future Prize 2020.
United by the challenge statement: “How might we leverage technology to help solve climate change within our local community?” 28 teacher-student teams from across CIS Ontario Schools came together at Upper Canada College for the 4th annual CIS Ontario Future Prize Challenge.
Prior to the event, teams were tasked with identifying and learning about a focused, meaningful issue related to climate change that every of the team could rally behind and get excited about. Teams then conducted interviews with real people to build empathy and understanding for individuals affected by the issue. Each challenge the teams brought forth was unique, reflecting specific regional issues related to climate change.
Students spent the day addressing topics such as the spread of disease, natural habitat destruction, renewable energy, waste management strategies, recycling and poverty. The challenges reinforce that climate change does not exist in a vacuum — but increasingly pervades every aspect of human life.
"This was my first year coming to Future Prize, and I found it as a great opportunity to break barriers and stretch my mind. I loved working with my teammates on a challenge that we’re all passionate about”, said one middle school student.
Each Future Prize team spent the day leveraging human centred design strategies, devising a solution that most effectively meets the needs and motivations of their users. The critical thinking, empathy, resourcefulness and collaboration shown by participants modelled the actions that leaders and corporations must also demonstrate to effectively forge toward a more sustainable future.
“I love the process. I also loved connecting with the students by working to solve an interesting problem with them”, said a CIS Educator of their experience.
The day culminated with finalists from Branksome Hall, Rosseau Lake College, St. Mildred’s Lightbourne School and Trinity College School, pitching their ideas to a panel of judges, including from directors and engineers from Shopify, Sidewalk Labs and Gengrowth Renewables.
CIS Future Prize finalists and People’s Choice Award Winners
Environmental stewardship is vital to the future of our planet. Students deserve a platform to develop their creativity, pursue their curiosity and feel empowered to take action to reshape the world around them.
Congratulations to all of our participants on an incredible day of leadership and learning! We are so inspired by the diversity of thought and dedication to the planet shown by these students.
Future Prize is a renowned competition that empowers students to get involved and become stewards within their own communities, enables them to showcase their ideas on a public stage and celebrates the real world impact that youth can have to make meaningful change! Future Design School partners with regional organizations to bring the competition to new groups of students and we are always thrilled to hear from those interested in bringing the event to their area. Stay tuned for our next Future Prize event with ISABC on February 25, 2020!
Thank you to our wonderful partners at CIS Ontario for putting on such a fantastic event and to Upper Canada College for hosting us!
Interested in more Future Design School student programming? Consider our Future Skills Retreats. Immerse students in a fun, transformative and memorable experience that engages students in deep competency development and self reflection. Enhance experiential community connected learning and IB programs!