Energy Futures Youth Seed Fund

The Energy Futures Youth Seed Fund provides Albertans aged 18-30 access to low-barrier financial support for projects or initiatives that help accelerate the transition to the energy system the future requires of us.

With $50,000 in total eligible grants, our goal with this program is to support projects initiated, led, and organized by young people. Grants range from $200-$2500. We’re looking for your creativity and passion to help enable a just and sustainable energy transition.

Learn how to receive funding to support your project!

What is a Just and Sustainable Energy Transition

Energy transition is about more than just reaching net-zero emissions targets. While enabling a low-emissions future is critical, we must also consider how people from across all demographics will fit into the new systems we’re working to create.

The Government of Canada defines just transition as an approach to economic, environmental and social policy that aims to create an equitable and prosperous future for workers and communities as the world builds a low-carbon economy.

Meanwhile, the EFL considers a sustainable transition to be one that aligns with The Four System Conditions of a Sustainable Society.

A just and sustainable energy transition, therefore, focuses on people, economy and climate.

Who Should Apply?

The Energy Futures Youth Seed Fund is open to applications that meet the following criteria:

  • The Lead Applicant is aged 18-30 years old at time of application. Teams/groups are encouraged to apply – just select one person as your Lead Applicant.
  • The project takes place in Alberta and/or engages Albertans and makes tangible steps towards a more just and sustainable energy system.
  • If the project is conducted or hosted by a formal organization, the project itself must be led and run by youth aged 18-30.
  • Applications must be completed and submitted through our application system before the stated deadline(s).
  • The funded activities can be completed (and reported on) before September 1, 2022.

Activities that are not eligible for this funding include:

  • Political campaigns or partisan activities;
  • Direct religious activity;
  • Academic research;
  • Conference attendance;
  • Benefit only one individual; or
  • Have already occurred.

How to apply

  1. Read through the FAQs to understand more about the granting process, and to determine if you and your project idea(s) are eligible.
  2. Fill out the application form below. Be sure to answer the questions as thoroughly as possible. Review your answers before submitting, and be sure to submit on time.

If you have any questions regarding your application, you may connect with our Youth Seed Fund coordinator John Gould at jgould@naturalstep.ca.

Application Rounds:

 

Applications Open

Applications Close

Notification of Results

Application

Round 1

October 4, 2021

November 12, 2021

December 1, 2021

Closed

Round 2

December 6, 2021

February 6, 2022

March 1, 2022

Apply here

FAQs:

What is the rationale behind the EFL’s definition of youth?
There is no single definition of “youth.” This means that we need to consider our strengths and weaknesses, keeping those in mind as we design new programs. While we’d love to support everyone, the EFL is best designed to support young and emerging professionals working on initiatives that are directly impacted by, impacting, or influencing the energy system in Alberta. We feel the 18-30 age range captures a large cross-section of those young Albertans.
I will be considered a youth prior to the application deadline but not within the funding period. Can I still apply?
Yes, as long as you are with the age range at the time of application, you are welcome to apply.
I am not a youth but I am involved in work that focuses on or engages youth. Can I still apply?
No, you cannot apply as a Lead Applicant. If you are working alongside one or more youth who are aged 18-30 and who are meaningfully involved in the leadership of the project, we suggest that you inquire if one of those youth would like to be the Lead Applicant.
Other than being considered a youth, is there any other criteria that applicants should be aware of before applying?
Yes, there are several criteria to keep in mind: (1) You should ensure that your project is aligned with the objectives of the Energy Futures Youth Seed Fund project, which is to contribute to a just and sustainable energy transition. (2) The project should take place in Alberta and/or engage Albertans as a key activity. (3) The activities funded must be completed by September 1, 2022.
What makes a strong application?
We recommend that you have a thorough project plan and outline to help you organize your thoughts before completing the application. Consider desired key outcomes, timelines, and the required costs associated with your activities. Have a peer or advisor read your project plan to ensure that it’s clear and understandable by others with an outside perspective.

Strong applications will make a clear and direct link to the objectives of the fund – a contribution to a just and sustainable energy transition in Alberta.

Applications that come from teams or groups can often be stronger, as you can rely on more people’s perspectives and areas of expertise. Similarly, working alongside or in collaboration with other organizational partners who are connected to the challenge(s) often creates a more robust response to the challenges identified.

Applicants with previous direct experience related to the issue(s) or challenge(s) that you wish to tackle in the project enhance your likelihood of success, and thus strength of application. Be careful to ensure that you have adequately co-designed and/or consulted with your intended beneficiaries to ensure that you understand the real needs of these affected communities.

Consider if there are other groups or organizations who might be doing similar work. Is there an opportunity to collaborate? How would your project be differentiated or distinct from efforts that are already underway?

When will we receive a response?
We intend to provide you with an answer on your application no more than 4 weeks after the application deadline. See Application Rounds above.
I’m funded! Now what?
Congratulations! When we write to tell you the good news, we’ll ask you for a few things: (1) A signed agreement, indicating your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of the grant. (2) A survey to help us collect some basic demographic information on you and your team members. (3) Your banking information, for direct deposit of the funding.

If your total grant is less than $500, we will disperse the funding in one instalment. Expect to receive the funds two weeks after you’ve followed up with the requests described above. If your total grant is more than $500, we will disperse the funding in two instalments: 50% within two weeks of your approved funding request , and 50% upon completion of the project or 6 months later, whichever comes first.

Will we have to report on how we allocate the funds?
Yes, we will arrange a short check-in conversation with the Lead Applicant a few months after the initial instalment has been made. See this more as a conversation rather than a report. We will look to you to share how things are going and together we can discuss if there are ways that the Energy Futures Lab platform can help your work.

Once completed, we’d love to profile you and your project on our website and/or social media channels. We encourage you to share your news with us – both your successes and challenges!

Can I connect with someone at your organization about my application?
Yes, please get in touch with us at jgould@naturalstep.ca

About the Energy Futures Lab

We are an Alberta-based coalition of diverse innovators and leading organizations working together to accelerate the transition to the energy system the future requires of us.

As a trusted convenor, connector, and catalyzer of innovative energy system initiatives and solutions, our platform supports change-makers as they collaboratively explore the following question:

How can we leverage our leadership position in today’s energy system to create the energy system that the future requires of us?

Learn more about how the Energy Futures Lab takes action to accelerate the transition to the energy system the future requires of us.

Youth Seed Fund Committee

Abbas Ali Beg

Abbas Ali Beg

ATCO

Abbas is a Manager in Clean Fuels Development at ATCO, Corporate Development. He has a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, an M.Eng in Mechanical Engineering and is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM). He has worked in the utility industry since 2011 as an EIT and Senior Engineer in a number of different engineering, construction and operations groups, he was also involved with commercializing micro CHP units in Alberta. Abbas is passionate about energy and energy related technological solutions that are fiscally and environmentally responsible and believes that not only can utilities support the change towards a low-carbon future, they can lead it.

Diandra Bruised Head

Diandra Bruised Head

Kainai Blood Tribe

Iitoomsao’kaasii convocated from the Lethbridge College with her Renewable Resources Management diploma, and subsequently, completed her undergrad at the University of Lethbridge, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in environmental sciences. During her post-secondary education, Diandra worked as a junior forest ranger crew leader, forestry technician, and wildlife technician, experiencing nature and its wildness first-hand. As a Blackfoot woman, she aimed her studies on Traditional Ecological Knowledge and the importance of conserving and protecting native environments from an ecological and spiritual perspective. Diandra currently serves the Kainai First Nation as the Climate Change Coordinator; through her training in classical western science, the projects Diandra works on aim to braid Traditional Knowledge into climate change policy in both climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Emma Gammans

Emma Gammans

Energy Futures Lab

Emma works with Energy Futures Lab as their Communications Lead. Emma’s professional experience ranges from educational programming and public speaking to historical research and strategic communications. As a communications professional, she is focused on exploring the relationship between energy literacy and storytelling. She believes that stories are a powerful tool in helping us tackle important issues with curiosity and empathy.

Gareth Thomson

Gareth Thomson

Consultant

Gareth Thomson is passionate about advancing education about energy, climate, and environment in lockstep. He has over thirty years of experience in the field, including his recent role as Executive Director of the Alberta Council for Environmental Education, a group he founded in 2006. He has taught high school, served on Canmore town council, and has two engineering degrees. Gareth lives in Canmore with his wife Kelly, where he divides his time between parenting three exceptional young people, and exploring little-known hiking trails and hidden valleys with his hyperactive friends.

John Gould

John Gould

Energy Futures Lab

John is a communicator, videographer and designer who curates stories with hopes of inspiring action. His passion and enthusiasm stem from a love of Alberta and its natural landscapes. His masters research addressed the communicative barriers to climate action and energy transition within Alberta. He has previous experience working in the UK for a Scottish Climate Group that educates and empowers young people in creating a sustainable future. In his spare time, he runs his own clothing upcycling business and has past experience retrofitting homes.

Laura MacTaggart

Laura MacTaggart

UBC Indigenous Community Planning

Laura is a Masters student in Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia where she is focusing her research on Indigenous community planning. She is also a UBC Sustainability Scholar and works with EcoTrust Canada and the Canadian Urban Sustainability Practitioners. Their collaborative research focuses on energy poverty and equity-based clean energy program design. Laura is in her fifth season as a varsity athlete with the UBC Women’s volleyball team and was previously a member of the Team Alberta and Team Canada volleyball programs. Laura previously worked as the Provincial Green Initiative Coordinator at the Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association (ANFCA), a non-profit organization that works to improve the quality of life for urban Indigenous peoples across Alberta. There, Laura worked with a provincial advisory committee consisting of two youth and two Elders to create Indigenous Climate Leadership programs that engage, educate and empower.

Olivia Reshetylo

Olivia Reshetylo

Global Youth Engagement

Olivia is Student Energy’s Director of Global Youth Engagement, responsible for the oversight, development, and implementation of Student Energy’s program portfolio. Since joining Student Energy in 2015, she has co-founded the organization’s global Chapters program, co-designed and launched the organizations’ Fellowship program, and has overseen the development of the suite of programs now offered under Student Energy’s Programs Ecosystem. Olivia has a passion for leadership development and creating opportunities for youth to shape their own energy futures. Olivia holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Non-Profit Management from Mount Royal University. When she’s not working, Olivia is happiest with her hands in the dirt, working on the farm she and her partner co-founded. She’s always keen on a good conversation about the agriculture industry and its role in the sustainable energy transition over some delicious local food.