What is PowerShift?
PowerShift is a project that started in 2007 in the United States, and first came to Canada in 2009 with national PowerShifts hosted in Ottawa in 2009 and 2012. It is a youth led organizing effort to bring together people from a diversity of backgrounds and communities to build a movement for climate and environmental justice. In 2013 and 2014, local PowerShift conferences took that message to local communities in BC and the Atlantic Region. These gatherings were supported by coalitions of indigenous communities, labour, and environmental organizations. They build communities of young leaders that are helping to spark the social transformation we need. PowerShift Alberta is the next step.
Has PowerShift Happened Before?
Yes, National PowerShifts took place in 2009 and 2012 in Ottawa, and then regionally in 2013 in Unceded Coast Salish Territory in Victoria BC and in 2014 in Unceded Mi’qmaq Territory in Halifax. There was also a 2 month tour called PowerSummer in 2011 which help 6 training camps across Canada.
Who Organizes PowerShift?
PowerShift is a project of The Canadian Youth Climate Coalition (www.ourclimate.ca) and is organized with the support of a wide range of organizations. In addition, we have a growing team of volunteers and grassroots organizers from across the country who are playing a vital role in making PowerShift Alberta a reality.
Why is PowerShift in Alberta?
We chose to move away from National PowerShifts in order to empower a coast to coast to coast movement and work more closely with communities on the ground. Alberta was the obvious next place to host because our province is poised at a unique moment of political opportunity and economic and social uncertainty. Having PowerShift here and now allows young people from Alberta and from other places to look at how our province can model a just transition to a clean energy future.
Can I come to PowerShift Alberta if I’m in high school?
Absolutely! PowerShift is open to everyone, including high schoolers. All the sessions will be open to everyone no matter what your age or experience, and there will be panels & workshops specifically about organizing in high school. High school students will need to have a form signed by a parent or guardian if they are under 18 for liability reasons. That form can be found here.
Are older people welcome at PowerShift?
PowerShift is primarily led and organized by youth aged 16-30, as we as we have the collective energy, creativity and power to transform society, and to work as together as allies with others fighting for climate justice in frontline and affected communities. While people falling outside that age range will not be turned away from participation in PowerShift , they should be aware that PowerShift programming is geared towards the specified ages. We also invite other parts of society to volunteer their time, be supportive of youth efforts and to participate in creating a better future for everyone.
What’s the connection between Global PowerShift and PowerShift in Canada?
Global Power Shift was hosted in Istanbul, Turkey in July of 2013 by our friends at 350.org to support young organizers from across the world to host PowerShift convergences in their own countries. Since PowerShift started in the U.S. in 2007 and came to Canada in 2009 youth organizations across the world have been hosting PowerShifts and we’re excited to work with them to continue to build a global movement!
What does my registration cost cover?
Your registration fee covers entrance to PowerShift and participation in all of the official events and activities of the gathering. Registration does not cover all food, travel or housing, which participants are asked to arrange on your own, but we will do our best to support making these happen for as low a cost as possible. A percentage of all registration fees also goes to support the Frontline Youth Fund which offers bursaries to those for whom costs presents a barrier to participation.
Can I get a refund for my registration?
Registration is not refundable, but if it turns out you can’t attend, it is possible to transfer your registration to another individual.
Are there scholarships for PowerShift?
Yes! We’re doing our best to make sure that no one is held back from PowerShift due to financial constraints. Please see our Bursaries page for more info.
TRAVEL, HOUSING, LOGISTICS, AND ACCESSIBILITY
How do I find housing and transportation?
There are lots of ways to find housing and transportation, including carpooling, renting vehicles from your community or chartering a bus! You can also check out our Getting Here & Staying Here page to get connected with others who can help or offer to help!
Is food provided at PowerShift Alberta?
Some food is provided by PowerShift, but not all meals. There will be food on-site, and we will have a list of local, affordable places where you can grab a meal!
What time should I arrive on Friday for PowerShift?
PowerShift will kick-off on Friday, April 1st at 7pm, but we’d encourage you to arrive early to avoid lines, get settled and officially checked-in (not to mention check out and explore Edmonton!). On-site registration will begin at noon on Friday.
When will PowerShift end?
Structured PowerShift programming will end on Sunday April 3rd in the early evening.
Will there be childcare at PowerShift?
Yes! We’re offering childcare as needed, so if you need childcare please let us know. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what you need.
Will the physical space be physically and socially accessible?
All PowerShift venues are wheelchair accessible, have gender neutral bathrooms, and plenty of space to use however you want or need. At the University of Alberta, where the majority of our events will take place, there will be many safe spaces to spend time alone, in a one-on-one conversation, or in social settings. Translation can be available during keynote speeches, and in workshops upon request. If you require translation services in order to fully participate in PowerShift please let us know by emailing email@example.com
If we can do anything to make PowerShift more accessible for you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know, and we’ll do our best to accommodate your needs!
What will be happening at PowerShift?
A lot! Over the course of the weekend there will be amazing keynote speeches from leaders from across progressive movements, in-depth trainings and workshops on organizing, climate justice, and a ton of action!
Who will be speaking at PowerShift?
PowerShift Alberta will bring together leaders from the climate movement and beyond. Each night we’ll hear keynote speeches, but during the day there will also be a host of trainings and workshops led by grassroots leaders from across the country.
Past speakers and presenters at PowerShift have included: David Suzuki, Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, Majora Carter, Clayton-Thomas Mueller, Maude Barlow and many others.
How do I suggest a workshop or panel?
PowerShift crowd-sources hundreds of workshops and panels from leaders across the movement to make sure that the breadth and depth of the movement is present. If you would like to submit a workshop for PowerShift please fill out and submit this form no later than midnight on February 28th, 2016. Proposals for Panels can be submitted here.
When will I know if my workshop or panel has been selected?
Workshop and panels hosts will begin to be notified in early March.
I’m interested in fossil fuel divestment – can I learn about that at PowerShift?
The student led fossil fuel divestment movement is on fire, and will most definitely be represented at PowerShift Alberta! There will be a host of panels, workshops and trainings on divestment, along with meet-ups, actions and more.
VOLUNTEERING AND ORGANIZATIONAL INVOLVEMENT
Can I volunteer at PowerShift Alberta?
Absolutely! PowerShift is organized almost entirely by volunteers, and we’re always eager to have more people join our team! Visit our Volunteer page to sign up and we’ll find a volunteer role that fits your skills and learning goals.
We’re looking for volunteers to help with logistical tasks like set up, take down, giving directions, and so on. We’re also looking for volunteers to work on local outreach to increase our reach in communities across the Alberta region, and much more!
Can my organization or group share campaign materials and information at PowerShift?
Of course! If you’d like to have a table to share information and materials, fill out this tabling form. We’ll set you up with a table in the main hallway during the day-time sessions at PowerShift Alberta.
How else can my group or organization support PowerShift Alberta? Your group or organization can become an official organizational supporter of PowerShift Alberta by contributing staff time to organizing PowerShift, putting significant effort into outreach for participation at PowerShift, and contributing financially to PowerShift Alberta. If your organization is interested in being involved in this way and learning more, please contact email@example.com.
If your group or organization isn’t able to commit to this kind of support, we would still love to have you involved in PowerShift Alberta! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to talk about other options.
FOSSIL FOOLS DAY
What is happening with the PowerShift Action? We’re organizing a distributed Day of Action that will kick off PowerShift and showcase the amazing youth-driven action on climate already taking place across the country. On April 1st (the Friday PowerShift begins) groups will take action across Canada for Fossil Fools Day by participating in a nation-wide action targeting the fossil fools that are driving climate change. PowerShift participants will have the opportunity to build materials, prep plans and build action teams for their community, campus and cities in the lead up to and during PowerShift with the support of PowerShift organizers and trainers. More info coming soon.