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2007 YWALK Youth Forum

The 2007 YWALK Youth Forum in Toronto was the first of the annual Walk21 conference components planned for, and with, youth participants. This report has attempted to document the intentions in preparing for the Forum, the actual processes as they developed and recommendations -based on our experiences- for the planning of future Youth Forums.

poster image for the 2007 YWALK Youth Forum
artwork by Anna Haas

The YWALK Youth Forum was developed with the support of an Advisory Committee made up of colleagues from across Canada and the UK. The original intention to host a Global Youth Forum was transformed towards a more regional scope, and as such, a local Steering Committee made up of thirteen Toronto-area teenagers took on a great deal of the responsibility for the planning of YWALK. These teenagers - named the YW Crew – were trained and supported by the Program Co-ordinators working for Green Communities Canada. The training of the YW Crew took place over the summer of 2007 in a series of Saturday workshops aimed to; build-skills, provide background information, plan for the Forum and create resources to share with delegates.

The Program Co-ordinators worked with a variety of schools and community groups to promote YWALK, and sought presentations from around the world. Over 120 people attended the Forum, and in addition to the many Toronto area presenters, YWALK included presentations from Nova Scotia, Michigan, England and New Zealand. The day began with an inspiring 18- year-old keynote speaker, and at the end, almost half of the delegates‟ evaluations cited confidence as the most valuable lesson or tool gained by attending YWALK.

The YWALK Youth Forum was a success in highlighting the need for Walk21 to include and enhance youth participation. A foundation has been set for future youth forums to develop its conference objective to provide an international platform for an inclusive discussion.

2007 YWALK Youth Forum Case Study
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