SWAG Canada

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SWAG Canada

Langley, CanadaLangley, Canada
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Our solution is to create SWAG clubs in high schools throughout BC which engage youth in sustainability projects and environmental awareness.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Our solution is needed to help youth around British Columbia become more environmentally friendly. It engages youth through mediums that are appealing to them, such as social media and exciting videos, to expand their knowledge of environmental issues. Before the creation of SWAG Canada, many Canadian schools did not offer environmental clubs to their schools, but now Canadian youth can have an outlet to express their ideas for helping the environment and create clubs in their schools. Many Canadian schools were also old and were using energy-consuming lights and equipment, and through SWAG Canada we hope to retrofit those schools while inspiring youth.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

SWAG stands for Students Working in Alliance for Green. We are a coalition of International Baccalaureate students working to promote environmental awareness, in a mission to bring youth together in synergy and work for a better tomorrow. As an environmental awareness group, we hope to advocate on behalf of the environment and create events that aim to engage youth with their planet. Through merchandise and social media, we hope to promote sustainability to get youth just as passionate as we are about saving the earth! By creating chapters in local schools, we are providing them with the resources and leadership to create community gardens and recycling programs. Our solution addresses the need for students to take real action in their communities for the environment and having the resources to create environmental clubs in their schools.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Our solution hopes to make every school in Canada more sustainable through school projects. One of these is school gardens. We want to promote the consumption of local food, and encourage students to take leadership roles to create the garden. SWAG Canada would help students achieve the resources they need to initiate such a project, and the students would implement it themselves with the help of a teacher advisor. Through this program, the ecological footprint of the school would decrease, and fresh food would be provided to students. This same model would apply to the recycling, retrofitting and Earth Week program we would help initiate in all schools.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

What sets SWAG Canada apart from other national environmental organizations is how we are fundamentally created by a group of passionate young people. We are all still in high school, so we can implement our solutions inside our own schools. We have a vast network of contacts our age, and can easily spread our message and create our movement. We have a vision for engaging as many youth as possible with their environment, and changing what it looks, feels, and means to be "green".
Team

Founding Story

The International Baccalaureate World Student conference involved 330 IB students from 37 different nations. We met in groups and discussed global issues and how to resolved them. Our group created S.W.A.G. International. We knew that "being green" seemed really overrated to the majority of youth, so we went on a mission to rebrand what being green really means. Using technology and social media, we wanted to engage youth to really be inspired to take action. Hence, we created a video called "flip" (find it here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQhC05WXiJQ), which was received to a standing ovation by the youth at the conference. Everyone in the room was so invigorated with energy and passion, and we really wanted to bring that same feeling we had to more youth around the world. So SWAG International was created. We have Country Representatives from the conference who are going to start their own SWAG chapters in their schools, and SWAG Canada is the Canadian chapter of this initiative.
About You
Organization:
SWAG Canada
About You
First Name

Nika

Last Name

Moeini

About Your Organization
Organization Name

SWAG Canada

Organization Country

, BC, Langley

Country where this solution is creating social impact

, BC, Langley

Region in BC where your solution creates social impact

Vancouver.

How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

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Innovation
How long have you been in operation?

Still in idea phase, but looking to launch soon

Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your solution addresses? Choose up to two

Access, Equity.

Social Impact
Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve

We want to inspire as many youth as possible to create real change for the environment. We want to show them what we as high school students are doing, and that it's not actually very difficult to create projects that make an impact. We want to provide schools with the resources they need to become a lot more sustainable, whether it is through school gardens, recycling and compost, earth week or other projects. We want to really change what it means to be green and sustainable, by creating videos and content and art that people find remarkable and inspiring.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

Our one video, "Flip!", has been viewed over 1000 times and shared by about 70 students, reaching a total of 27 000 people on Facebook. Starting in September, we are going to have SWAG chapters in the countries of Colombia, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Venezuela, America and Canada. In Canada, we have provincial chapters in both Ontario and British Columbia. All school chapters are going to initiate school gardens, recycling and compost projects, and social media campaigns, as well as whatever needs they see in their province/country.

What is your projected impact over the next five years?

Over the next 5 years, we hope to have chapters in the majority of Canadian high schools. We want to reach out to other countries as well through the connections we make, such as to African and European countries. Most of all, we want to create an environmental movement among youth, and really make their voices heard.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

Barriers may include lack of funding, which we can solve through fundraisers. It might be a barrier for us to expand to other high schools in the province, but we will overcome that by networking and connecting with environmentally aware individuals to expand our networks.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

500 members of our teams

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Grow programs already in place at schools

Task 2

Outreach - reach out to other schools

Task 3

Reach out to the community

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Partnership with another youth organization

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

identify youth organizations with same values

Task 2

contact them and negotiate with them

Task 3

have meetings to decide on events run together

Sustainability
Tell us about your partnerships

Currently, we have a partnership with OneProsper international which helps disadvantaged farmers in India increase their yields through drip irrigation systems. We help fundraise for them, since their values of sustainability are in our organization as well.

Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your solution? If so, where and why?

We are targeting all high school students around the world actually. SWAG International has bases in 13 countries including Venezuela, Mexico, the United States, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Kenya, Jordan, and more. We are doing this to create a global movement of youth who are passionate about change, and we want to help them feel that they are part of a movement bigger than themselves.

What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?

We work in an environment where all ideas are welcome and considered. We know that communication is the key to resolving many issues so we try to have fair and open communication between all members. We aim to keep organized and keep accounts of all our members, initiatives, locations, ect. We have a team of strong leaders as well, who are willing to go the extra mile to help the organization reach its' potential.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

We have a large team of youth who are very excited to work with various initiates, so we have plenty of human resources and talent! Through our social media platforms, which reach a wide variety of youth, we can promote the other initiatives. We can also provide our ideas and input on solutions.

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