One Youth Change Network: What Is It, What Can It Do?
The One Youth Change Network is a group that young people of all ages across Canada are welcome to join. In this community, everyone is sharing and building ideas for how we can make Canada a better place for children and youth.
In the Change Network:
- Everyone can be themselves
- All are welcome
- We design the future we want
- We talk about well-being
- We dream big
- We learn about design
- We care about each other
- We know we can change things
- We are curious
- We create things
- We share our stories and ideas
- Everyone’s voice matters
How do we make change?
In the Change Network, we use design to make change. People often think design involves making logos or decorating houses. Design is actually much more than that! It is a way to solve problems using curiosity and creativity. Every person that takes a current situation and makes it better can be called a designer.
What does a Change Network Workshop look like?
Our workshops follow the same steps, but the topics and outcomes change every time.
We always start by playing some games to get to know each other and to build a safe space for using our imaginations.
We then talk about well-being and how well-being means something different for everyone. We also talk about what well-being looks like in everyone’s community, and what we want it to look like in the future.
We then ask the question, “What is something I could make right now that would make life better for young people in my community now or in the future?” Everyone spends time thinking of ideas that would make a difference for children and youth.
Then comes the really fun part. We break out the Play-Doh, the pipe cleaners, the markers and the scissors, and we start to build our ideas.
Once we have an idea or two built, we share with each other
- what we made,
- why we made it, and
- how it will make the lives of children and youth better in our communities.
Want to see some things people have made so far? Check this out:
What happens with the ideas youth share at the workshop?
The ideas for change that we hear in the workshops live on long after the workshop ends. The ideas help One Youth to better understand how youth define well-being and what changes they want to see in their communities. We share what we’ve learned with others who are working to make change with and for children and youth.
Here’s a great example:
In one of our workshops, two young people who recently immigrated to Canada worked together to make a genetically-modified flower that reclaims carbon dioxide and cleans the air. They explained that the flower would be important for a future that would have more pollution.
With their permission, we then used this idea to build other versions of the flower–including a poster advertising it and a life-like version. We used the poster and the flower at a workshop we did with adults who work to raise money to support youth programs across Canada. It helped these adults see what young people care about and how they would make change.
How can I get involved in the Change Network?
That is a great question! Right now, we are hosting Change Network workshops with organizations who help or support youth in some way. Each workshop is about three hours long. If you go to or run a camp or youth program of some kind and want us to host a workshop–let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Sometimes we run workshops for the general public. If you want to learn more about these upcoming workshops, sign up for the One Youth newsletter!
We can’t wait to have you join the Network. You have the power to make change!