Summer Internship @ MaRS Discovery District
Search for funding opportunities, Program design, mapping, networking.
MaRS is North America's largest urban innovation hub, committed to helping innovators change the world for the better. The Smart Cities team at MaRS aims to co-develop and execute projects that make Canadian cities more resilient and sustainable.
After 18 months of research undertaken with municipalities and academic institutions across Canada to understand their needs and opportunities, they conceptualized the Green Youth program to address the climate crisis and increasingly competitive youth employment landscape.
My involvement on this project involved additional research, system mapping, program design activities, and reaching out to potential funding and grant opportunities from private and government agencies.
The Green Youth program seeks to build municipal capacity for climate action by channeling student capacity and impact to develop climate positive projects.
The main goal of the project is to bring students and small to mid-sized municipalities together in a mutually beneficial collaboration that will:
- Support small to mid-sized municipalities in identifying and prioritizing financially viable projects and/or key next steps.
- Unlock student ideas and empower them to drive impact in the real world.
- Connect young talent to the municipal sector that would promote student career exploration and longer term municipal talent acquisition.
While cities are responsible for ⅔ of Canada’s infrastructure and 50% of its carbon footprint, small to mid-sized Ontario municipalities often find themselves short on the staff and resources necessary to achieve their climate goals.
Meanwhile, students often have capacity and brilliant ideas but little access to real projects and experience.
Green youth unlocks the opportunity to address both these needs and bridges the gap by providing experiential learning opportunities for students in climate-related programs, where they work to support resource constrained small to mid-sized Canadian municipalities to identify and develop actionable green infrastructure projects to address their climate commitments and goals.
To support the remote collaboration for this project, I relied on platforms like Miro and Mural to share my research findings, develop insights and share resources, as well as to host brainstorming and working sessions.
High Level Program Blueprint
This Experiential Learning Program will require strong collaborations and engagement to align municipal and academic priorities, creating meaningful change within cities while gaining relevant professional experience for students.
This blueprint provides an overview of the events, activities and interactions required for the program launch, divided in 4 phases: Start-up, Planning, Execution and Evaluation.
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