Youth as Voices of Optimism and Agents of Change

Purpose of the Summit

Youth played a particularly important role at COP26 Glasgow as voices of optimism and agents of change. This was a much stronger theme than in previous COPs.

This Global Youth Summit will support and enable youth in higher education across the world to –

  • 1) engage with leaders in government, industry and research
  • 2) understand and discuss the outcomes of COP26 via global dialogue, and
  • 3) present their own research and co-developed briefings on climate action to global leaders and peers, to create momentum for change. 

But, what do the outcomes of COP26 mean for our future, and how can global youth continue to take action ahead of COP27 Egypt? 

The purpose of this Youth Summit is to continue the momentum from Glasgow. This is a platform for youth to collaborate internationally and continue to take the lead.

COP26 Glasgow was widely discussed among governments and civil society as our “last chance” COP. It’s purpose was to spur widespread and urgent global action via intergovernmental processes to create a positive future. The four goals of this COP were to secure global net zero, adapt to protect communities and natural habitats, mobilise finance, and work together as a global community to deliver on the Paris Agreement. But did COP deliver? Some major outcomes were the US-China agreement and some new wording for implementing the Paris Rulebook, however, we have a long way to go to keep warming within 2 degrees.

How can I make a difference?

Youth from higher education will continue to raise their voices after COP and create impact as future leaders in their careers ahead, driving forward sustainability transitions across society in all sectors and regions of the world.

Join us at our Youth Summit to build your leadership as a voice of optimism and agent of change. Engage with incredible leaders and your fellow students from all over the world to enact climate action, from a local to global scale.

What is happening at the YEAH Global summit?
Overview of YEAH Youth Summit for December 1 2021

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Schedule for YEAH Youth Summit for December 1 2021

Plenary Speakers: Leaders in Climate Action

Professor Richard J. Koubek became Michigan Technological University’s 10th president in July 2018, bringing 30 years of higher education experience to the role. In 2015, he was named executive vice president and provost of Louisiana State University (LSU) after serving as dean of the LSU College of Engineering since 2009. Previously, Koubek served as head of Pennsylvania State University’s Harold and Inge Marcus Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering; chair of the Department of Biomedical, Industrial and Human Factors Engineering at Wright State University; and associate dean of research and graduate studies in Wright State’s College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Scott Ferraro is a leader in net zero-emission strategy development and implementation, with a deep understanding of the opportunities to reduce emissions across the energy, transport and buildings sectors. Currently, Scott and his team are focused on transitioning Monash’s Australian operations to net zero emissions by 2030. The program aims to find translatable solutions to enable the broader transition to net-zero emissions required under the Paris Agreement.

Professor Diana Wall served as President of the Ecological Society of America, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and the Society of Nematologists. Diana received the 2017 Eminent Ecologist Award from the Ecological Society of America, the 2019 President’s Medal and 2016 Honorary Member award from the British Ecological Society, the 2015 Ulysses Medal from University College Dublin, the 2012 SCAR President’s Medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research and the 2013 Soil Science Society of America Presidential Award. Wall Valley, Antarctica was named in 2004 to recognize her research. She is a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America and the Society of Nematologists and holds an Honorary Doctorate from Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Diana is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is the 2013 Laureate of the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. Diana is currently Science Chair, Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative. She is the Inaugural Director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University. Diana earned a B.A. in biology and Ph.D. in plant pathology at the University of Kentucky, Lexington

Dr Brandon Jones is the Program Director for education and broadening participation efforts in the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Geosciences. At NSF, he oversees programs that focus on undergraduate and graduate workforce preparation for the Geosciences and supports initiatives related to increasing diversity and enhancing inclusion and belonging in STEM. Brandon received a BA in biology from The Lincoln University (PA) and his graduate degrees in Marine Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment. He taught five years of high school science in the interim between his MS and PhD matriculation. Brandon is a recent board member of the American Geophysical Union and a current board member for the Environmental Leadership Program. He is also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment. He continues to be an active mentor for early career STEM scholars who are members of historically excluded communities.

Jeanne Beacham is President and CEO of Delphon Industries LLC., a materials manufacturing company to the Semiconductor, Aerospace and Medical Industries. Jeanne was awarded the Diamond Leadership Award and East Bay Women of Distinction Award.  Jeanne also received awards from the San Jose Business Journal as one of the most influential women in business in Silicon Valley and Woman of Distinction in Technology.  Delphon was named by the San Francisco Business Times as one of the Top Women Owned business in the Bay Area. She is an active member of SEMI, and sat on the Advisory Board of the Kellogg School of Management’s Master of Management and Manufacturing Program. Jeanne is a Past President of NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) and a founding member of Semiconductor Women’s Alliance Network, a member of SEMI and an active member of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Board and the C200 organization.

Terence Jeyaretnam is an environmental engineer and Partner at EY in the Climate Change and Sustainability practice, based in Melbourne, Australia. He is EY’s national leader for indigenous reconciliation, as well as the D&I leader for EY. He has been an integral part of EY’s cultural diversity efforts over the past two years.Prior to joining EY, Terence founded Net Balance in 2006. Before it was acquired by EY in 2014, he succeeded in growing the firm to Australia’s largest standalone sustainability and climate change advisory service. Net Balance was twice rated by BRW as one of the Fast 100 growth companies in Australia. Terence is on the Boards of Knowledge Media, Food Frontier and Fairtrade Australia New Zealand, and is an Adjunct Professor at University of Southern Queensland. He is a fellow of the Institute of Engineers Australia