Generation Green 2023-2024

This year, we are focusing on a topic that touches every aspect of our lives: 

Food Sustainability 


The harsh realities are stark – climate change wreaks havoc on agriculture, resulting in unpredictable weather patterns and threatening food security. Shockingly, one-third of all food produced globally is lost or wasted, which harms the environment. However, in recent years, we’ve embraced sustainable farming practices like regenerative agriculture which can revitalize our soil, boost resilience and reduce reliance on harmful chemicals. In the upcoming years, we’ll see more AI-driven farming solutions like vertical farming, which hold immense promise in optimizing resource use and increasing yields sustainably.

At Generation Green, we want you to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by supporting local and sustainable food producers, reducing food waste, embracing mindful eating and any other creative ideas you have to become catalysts for positive change. Together we can nourish the future and safeguard our planet for generations to come! Let’s make a difference, one plate at a time. More details coming soon – follow us on our Instagram @generationgreenyouth to stay tuned.

Key Dates:

Friday March 22nd – Student Projects Due

Saturday May 11th – Project Showcase Event

 

Speakers:

Margarita Fontecha

Margarita is a PhD Candidate in Rural Studies. She has a master’s degree in Sustainable Development and  ten years of experience in research for impact, knowledge mobilization, monitoring, and evaluation of development projects and programs. She has experience collecting data (qualitative and quantitative), analyzing it, and elaborating knowledge mobilization pieces and strategies to support stakeholders’ decision-making processes. She collaborates with the Arrell Food Institute.

Negin Ficzkowski

Negin returned to McMaster to complete her master’s degree in engineering and public policy where she focused on ecosystem-based management and policy development. During this time, she also developed a new set of skills delivering early STEM programs while working with youth and communities to address sustainability challenges through education. She is now working full force on establishing her consultancy firm, Wired in Nature, as a leader in facilitating the uptake of nature-based solutions for climate resiliency and works closely with local communities as well as federal and provincial practitioners on establishing frameworks and best practices in Canada.

Samantha Casey

After earning her degree in Environmental Governance, Samantha returned to the University of Guelph as a staff member, contributing to initiatives to enhance operational, environmental, and social sustainability on campus. Currently, she holds a unique joint role as the Communications and Engagement Coordinator for the UofG Sustainability Office and the Sustainability Coordinator for Hospitality Services. She is incredibly passionate about youth engagement, environmental education and creating opportunities for students to learn through doing. Outside of her role at the UofG, Samantha is heavily involved in her community and holds various volunteer roles in local organizations.

Elin Marley

After studying anthropology at the University of Guelph, Elin found that food was a perfect way to tie together her interests in cultural studies and environmental issues. She continued her studies at the University of Oslo, completing a program called “Culture, Environment and Sustainability.” Working on an organic farm in 2009, Elin learned a ton about growing food and was also reminded of how real carrots taste! Since 2010, Elin has worked as a School Garden Educator, teaching elementary school students about growing food, where our food comes from, and getting hands-on experiences in the natural world.

Seiiyinthan Nageswaran

Seiiyinthan is the Climate Change Specialist within the Climate Change Response and Sustainability team at Halton Region. As a member of the team, he helps support initiatives that advance the Region’s climate change response and sustainability efforts. He previously spent some time at the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) and Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA). Seiiyinthan has a Master of Environmental Science (MEnvSc) degree from the University of Toronto specializing in Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation and has an Honors Bachelor of Science degree from McMaster University specializing in Environmental Science and Biology.

Eleanor Hayward

Eleanor has 20 years’ experience as a health professional in Halton Region as a Registered Massage Therapist, and is passionate about empowerment, embodiment and evolution for holistic wellbeing and personal development. She is working towards her undergraduate degree in Social Psychology & Political Science part time at McMaster University. Since Girl Guides in her youth, Eleanor has felt a strong sense of Earth stewardship and has a world vision of connected relationships for social and environmental justice. Building on her leadership experience as co-founder of MiltonGreen Environmental Association Inc., Eleanor was proud to stand as 2018 Candidate for the Green Party of Ontario, then 2019 for the Green Party of Canada in Milton, to represent our community in the principle of sustainability for seven generations and beyond.

Meaghan Richardson

Meaghan is the Interim Executive Director of Food for Life. A Professional Agrologist with passion for food security, regenerative agriculture and circular economies, Meaghan is on a mission to ensure that food grown for people, reaches people – regardless of whether it is imperfect, ugly or in surplus. Co-chair of the Halton Region Food Security Action Table, and Director on the Halton Region Federation of Agriculture, Meaghan believes that great change is made through collaboration, alignment and systems approaches. Meaghan and her husband, Norm run a family farm in North Burlington where they grow + raise grain, hay and livestock.

Kale Black

At age 34, Kale Black (He/Him) has already accumulated more than 15 years of experience working in the environmental movement, helping to create a better world for people, the environment, and all forms of life that we share this beautiful and precious planet with. As an experienced Meditation Facilitator, he has incorporated mindfulness into all of his work and teachings and most recently, has been working as an Equity Practitioner with a focus on anti-racism training, working with both local and national organizations.
He believes that mindfulness is an essential component to behaviour change in any context and uses this as a starting point for meaningful transformation.
An inspiring, honest, funny, and enthusiastic speaker, Kale has a knack for connecting with audiences of all ages and is passionate about sharing his wisdom and the motivational lessons he has learned along his journey.

Shaheen Bagha

Shaheen has managed scientific projects and collaborated internationally to advance research in biotech and agriculture. As a guest speaker, she has lectured on a variety of topics at the university level and to the general public. Currently, she is focused on Project Management and using her skills outside of academia. Shaheen has a PhD in Plant Biology from UoT,  where she designed and managed projects related to thesis work on the impacts of climate change on rice yields.

Ziadh Rabbani

Ziadh (he/him) is currently the Learning Design Coordinator at Community Food Centres Canada where he facilitates learning with over 400 community food organizations across Turtle Island/Canada. Previously he was a Garden coordinator at one of the first community rooftop gardens in Toronto where he worked with youth, newcomers and racialized community members to grow food, share and learn together. His passion for food and growing is rooted in his Bengali culture, learning from his parents in their backyard in Scarborough and connected to generations of farmers and caretakers of the land. He strongly believes that the garden is the best classroom and that growing food is environmental, social and political.
 

Tiffany Henry

Tiffany is a mixed-ethnicity, urban Indigenous woman from the Cayuga nation who came to Islam by faith. She is passionate about life, learning, and healing through food.
 
Sharing experiences and learning from the diverse sources of knowledge that others hold keeps her rooted in the community. She has felt the void of the lack of Indigenous healing centers in the Halton Region, while on her own path towards healing personal and intergenerational trauma and seeking to reconnect with her many roots. She is here to do the neccessary work and be the fruition of our national commitment to Truth and Reconcilation. This has led her to start a land-baed healing lodge for alternative approaches to hollistic health, and connect the sacred of Mother Earth; Time to Earth Teaching; Healing and Wellness.

Dr. Marc Conteduca

Dr. Marc is a Board-certified Naturopath in Ontario. He graduated from the University of Guelph with an Honours degree in Human Kinetics where he developed a strong interest for nutrition and health sciences.
 
As a Naturopathic Doctor, his focus is to find individualized methods suitable to one’s lifestyle. He helps people with chronic health concerns manage their concerns with a patient centred approach that emphasizes both prevention and treatment. He can work collaboratively with your conventional medical interventions or provide safe and effective alternative solutions that will assist you in reaching your health goals.
 
Dr. Marc has also been working in hospitality for over a decade. In 2018, he decided to take his passion for food & health to a new level, and he began his career as a private chef providing unique culinary experiences centred around healthy eating.

University and College Fair

We are excited to announce that the 2023-2024 conference will feature a University and College Fair to promote sustainability and environmental programs available in Ontario.

GENERATION GREEN YOUTH CONFERENCE: WORKSHOP FACILITATION

Track, Measure, Record

Facilitated by Seiiyinthan Nageswaran

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. From small activities to large communities, climate change mitigation is typically measured and reported on by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions saving. This workshop shows students a step-by-step method for how to quantify GHG emissions impacts. Students will be guided through measuring the GHG emissions of activities they can do at home.

Wellness Workshop: Navigating Climate Anxiety

Facilitated by Eleanor Hayward

In a conflicted culture, personal wellbeing is vital for effective contribution to the Climate Crisis. Learn practical exercises to connect in relationship with yourself, including breathwork, grounding and meditation. Counter the effects of eco-anxiety with emotional regulation exercises.

Composting in Schools

Facilitated by Elin Marley

Ever wonder what to do with your apple cores and banana peels from your lunch? Wondering how you can reduce your waste at school or at home? Want to fertilize your garden or indoor plants in a natural way? In this workshop, we will explore some different ways to compost at school or at home, including vermicomposting (which can be done indoors) and setting up an outdoor compost system. We will also learn about the similarities and differences between composting at home and using the Region’s green bin.

Green Strategies in Action

Facilitated by Negin Ficzkowski

Strategic planning paired with social entrepreneurship drives innovative solutions to environmental challenges for a greener, more resilient future and fosters a culture of sustainable development. During this workshop, students engage in hands-on minds-on activities to learn project management skills, explore the power of community engagement, and gain skills and practical insights to plan, execute, and scale eco-friendly initiatives effectively for creating a meaningful impact.

Eating For the Earth - Learn about our Eco Foodprint

Facilitated by Kale Black

Taking on the issues of the world can feel overwhelming, but in this entertaining & uplifting workshop we will explore one easily-accessible way each of us can make a positive difference for the Earth every day.

Learn more about the eco-footprint of our food systems and walk away with easy, tangible tips that you can begin integrating into your life immediately. 

Our relationship to Nature - Food and Nutrition

Facilitated by Tiffany Henry

Learning about the complete food systems from an Indigenous (Haudenosaunee) perspective. From passing down ancestral knowledge about how to raise and share healthy food, good mind means; healthy food, healthy minds, the ceremonial elements from seed to harvest, and minds that understand themselves to be part of the ecosystem, and reflecting around the table when sharing a meal. 

Microgreen Growing Workshop

Facilitated by Ziadh Rabbani

Familiarize students with the importance of cultivating seeds and get them growing microgreens with take home kits.The importance of seeds in food sustainability. what communities are doing to preserve seeds; the importance of seed banks

Basic Knife Skills - Cooking Workshops

Facilitated by Dr. Marc

An introduction into basic knife skills. We will be dicing, slicing and chopping some commonly found produce items. Focusing on what we can do as individuals to help reduce food waste is a great way to make a positive impact on our environment.

Thank-you to our 

Generous Sponsors!