International Young Environmentalists Youth Summit

Held annually, the International Young Environmentalists Youth Summit (IYEYS) is a youth-imagined, youth-driven, and youth-executed event aimed at providing young environmentalists the tools they need to take their campaigns to the next level. From youth who have started global organizations, to youth who are leading school-based environmental projects, IYEYS is for everyone. We also welcome adults who are looking to learn more about how to implement youth leadership and engagement strategies into their classrooms, organizations, or even businesses.

Skills-based topics include:

How to turn a project idea into action

How to write grants & fundraise for your project

How to engage stakeholders as partners

How to create diverse, inclusive projects

How to manage your time & resources efficiently

How to develop skills that build your volunteer team

How adults can leverage youth engagement

Environmental issues include:

Sustainable & Urban Agriculture

Stream Ecology & Water Conservation

Marine & Wildlife Conservation

Renewable Energy

Waste & Consumption

Transportation & Air Quality

Land Use & Environmental Planning

Environmental Justice

Diversity & Inclusion

Career professionals from these topic areas

Internships opportunities within these topic areas

April 13th and 14th, 2018

940 Garrison Ave, Bronx, NY 10474
(718) 542-4139

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Point CDC

Time Activity Description
5:00PM Welcome To kick off the fifth annual International Young Environmentalists Youth Summit, attendees will hear opening remarks from conference organizers, as well as participate in engaging ice-breaker activities. A light vegan dinner will be served.
6:00PM Roundtable Discussions with Leaders There will be a roundtable discussion with elected officials on progress made in NYC community. Elected and appointed government officials will discuss how they are helping to shape a more sustainable future through intimate discussions with conference participants.
7:00PM Introductions, Screening, and Discussion There will be a group discussion on issues that are personal to attendees; Why are you here? What role can you play?
8:00PM Closing

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Point CDC

Time Activity Description
9:00AM Exhibit Hall and Breakfast Over a dozen environmental organizations from across New York City and the country will visit the exhibit hall: ​B​ronx ​R​iver ​A​lliance​, ​National Wildlife Federation Eco Schools​, ​Environmental ​P​rofessionals of ​C​olor​ - NYC,​ Leave It Better​, ​Green City Challenge​, ​Grow to Learn NYC​, ​Lower East Side Ecology Center​, ​WE ACT​, ​The Audubon Society​, ​Waterfront Alliance​, ​Alliance for Climate Education​, ​Adirondack Council​, ​The Youth Farm Leadership Counci​l, ​Project EATS, Manhattan Mushroom Company. Each will share internship, and volunteer opportunities. A vegan breakfast will also be served.
10:00AM Welcome The staff of Greening Forward will launch the main day conference with a welcome.
11:00AM Workshop Session A Interactive workshops that focus on the types of impactful changes that are happening in the community.
11:55AM Workshop Session B Interactive workshops that focus on the types of impactful changes that are happening in the community.
12:35PM Lunch In order to reduce the conference's carbon footprint, all meals will be served vegan. Meals are prepared by the experienced staff of Kelston Bascom Catering.
2:00PM Workshop Session C Interactive workshops that focus on ways attendee can use their skills to create change.
2:55PM Workshops Session D A repeat of 2:00PM workshops will take place.
3:35PM Reflections Panel with Greening Forward Staff Emphasis on Youth Council and how they can join. Emphasis on grant writing for Earth Savers Club grants.
4:15PM Closing Ceremony Student participants will be handed a Greening Forward grant application, because each student will now be eligible for funding for their school or community environmental project.

Workshop Session A

Morning Workshops (45 minutes) – Interactive workshops that focus on the types of impactful changes that are happening in the community

“Man vs Mollusk: The Water Filtration Challenge”

Presenter: Capt. Margaret Flanagan & Louis Kleinman
Description: Build your own model water filter and compare it to an oyster reef, New York Harbor’s historic natural filters. Learn about this critical ecosystem service, what’s being done to restore it, and ways to involve youth and communities in marine stewardship.

“Victory Farm: A Global Citizen’s Challenge to Reverse Global Warming”

Presenter: Edward T. Hall III, Seedball
I will frame the severity of global warming today and how we must shut down the “hot economy” and maximize the “cool economy” which will be built by global citizens. I will dive into the power of regenerative agriculture, aquaculture and simple, self-financed renewable energy infrastructure and explain how these practices can be organized into an action plan that can reverse global warming within 5 years. A new economy of cooperative enterprise, finance, and education is required. I will present the youth-focused game and challenge of “Victory Farm” and the children focused game of “Seedball” for learning the tools of the “cool economy” to reverse global warming and answer any hope to inspire many questions and a desire to engage these games and make them their own in our fair City of New York.

“New Sustainable Technology: Green Roofs”

Presenter: Evelyn Levine, Department of Parks and Recreation;
Description: NYC has a lot of skyscrapers, but the government and local building owners are trying to incorporate more sustainable technology through the use of green roofs. This workshop will go over how they operate and students will be able to see firsthand a demo of how they operate.

Workshop Session C

Afternoon Session (45 minutes) – Interactive workshops that focus on ways attendee can use their skills to create change

“Carving a Place for Environmentalists in 2018 Politics”

Presenter: Kayla Zhu, Greening Forward
Description: We are living in, undoubtedly, one of the most polarized political climates in U.S. history, so how do environmentalists maneuver political barriers to remain effective advocates for the issues that transcend partisan politics? Participants are invited to understand messaging and community outreach from the perspective of a youth political strategist. Kayla has worked on multiple political campaigns and in the United States Senate, during all of which she has remained a vocal advocate for environmental issues.

“Taking Action for Clean Water”

Presenter: Shino Tanikawa, Executive Director, NYC Soil & Water Conservation District
Description: New York City is a coastal city surrounded by water – some of us call the water around the city the sixth borough. Today many people enjoy the water around us for recreation, such as kayaking, canoeing, and even swimming. Participants will learn about what has been done and are being done to improve the water quality of our rivers, creeks, and harbor and understand the challenges in making these waterways clean enough for swimming. Participants will then write a letter to their City Council members to ask them to become clean water advocates.

“Snapchat, YOLO, Bey, and All That Other ‘Youth Stuff’ I Don’t Know”

Presenter: Charles Orgbon
Description: A new generation is coming up and are ready to change the world but are adults ready for the cultural nuances that Millennials bring to the table? Adult participants are invited to understand how to create meaningful partnerships with their students that bring about environmental and social change. We will explore helpful tools such as Roger Hart’s Ladder of Youth Participation, techniques such as “Yes, And,” and strategies for effective mentorship.

Student Environmental Debate

This year, for this first time at IYEYS, Greening Forward will be hosting a student environmental debate to increase student participation in the conference. This debate will be designed to develop student’s proficiencies at creating an argument, effectively communicating crucial points, and public speaking. In today’s world, it is becoming increasingly important to be able to convey messages effectively to audiences so that they understand the problem and potential solutions. Creating arguments and public speaking are both skills that get better with practice, and this is an opportunity to work on them in a low-stakes environment in front of your peers.

It is also an opportunity for students to win prizes!


The structure of the debate will be as such:

  1. Debate topics will be presented, in the order of when they will go.
  2. The first debate group will have an opportunity to talk with their group briefly about how they plan to approach the debate. Groups will be listed before lunch time, so there will be  opportunities during the lunch for groups to plan out their arguments.
  3. The first topic will be debated. Following the first debate, the winner will be announced based on a panel of judges (Greening Forward Staff). Judges will determine the winners based on persuasiveness, strength of arguments, and audience input.
  4. After the first debate group, the second topic will be debated, and so on until all groups have gone.


Speeches and Time limits:

Opening Statements: 5 minutes per team (A and B). Teams will provide their main arguments for why their side is correct. A coin toss will decide which team goes first.

Rebuttals: 3 minutes per team. This period is for explaining why the other team’s arguments are wrong or not as significant as they might claim.

Second Rebuttal: 1 minute per team. This is where teams can directly answer why an argument made against them is incorrect or not significant.

Closing Statement: 3 minutes per team. Teams will summarize their position, and why their argument is better than their opponents.


The winning team from each debate will be awarded Greening Forward swag. The specific speech timings are subject to change, but this will be the general format of the debate. More information will be given Saturday morning to help prepare debaters.

If you would like to participate, please go to this form and select your preferred topics ranging from 1 as your top choice, and 3 as your last choice.

Personal Development Resources

Non-Violent Communication: Delivered at the 2013 IYEYS, this presentation encouraged attendees to understand how self-empathy, empathy, and honest self-expression help us create a life-affirming, and fulfilled life.

28 Racist Attitudes and Behaviors: IYEYS brings together a multicultural community, which can jump-start some healthy conversations on race and diversity. To equip participants with a tip sheet on racism, this list of 28 common racist attitudes and behaviors became popular.

EarthEcho International: Often, youth who come to IYEYS find a heightened confidence in themselves, and leave empowered to make a difference. This presentation by EarthEcho International was developed for young people who are searching for their self-confidence in their advocacy campaigns.

Environmental Education Resources

Stream & Ocean EcologyPhilippe Cousteau often refers to Earth as the “Blue Planet.” Water makes up 71% of our Earth’s surface, yet less than 1% of this is drinkable freshwater. Designed for stream water monitors, learn some basic stream ecology, and how what happens upstream impacts our oceans in this PowerPoint.

Environmental Ethics & Wrap-Up Discussion: Environmental issues are often not plain or simple; they are often complex, and divisive. While at the end of the day, people must agree that clean air, water, and land are all important; the situations presented in this PowerPoint will help you determine your stance on “controversial environmental issues.”

Youth Voice and Environmental Education: At the 2014 IYEYS, Emily Vercoe, Director of Next Steps at Earth Force, reminds young people of the role they play in shaping today’s environmental education movement. Follow her PowerPoint for key points of her advice.

Fundraising & Development Resources

Potential Youth Eco Funders: Captain Planet Foundation Grants, Katie’s Krops, Youth Service America 

Bringing Home the “Green:” A Workshop on Fundraising and Development: Greening Forward has found that young people today are lacking the skills needed to pursue funding in a competitive fundraising arena. Each year at IYEYS, we deliver a new presentation on how to earn funds that can keep your eco project running.

Relevant Research

Key Findings from National Survey of American Youth: Very little research exists about young people and their attitudes about environmentalism and conservation. Hence, the Nature Conservancy commissioned a national survey 2011. Among their findings, “American youth are unhappy with the condition of the environment, and lack faith in adults to address it.”

Greening Forward and the International Young Environmentalists Youth Summit is a proud member of the Global Youth Service Day Lead Agency Program for GYSD 2016. As the official organizer of Global Youth Service Day in our region, GYSD Lead Agencies are a vital part of creating a culture where young people have the opportunities and support to create positive change.



IYEYS Registration Fee Payment


If you are registering for more than one person, please pay the full amount directly through this link:

IYEYS Lodging

Greening Forward can provide lodging for the conference. This lodging will be at the Comfort Inn and Suites near Yankee Stadium (pictured below). Each room has two queen beds, and there will be three people in each room. The hotel has free wifi and complimentary breakfast.

Students must complete the 2018 Liability Release form in order to participate in the 2018 International Young Environmentalists Youth Summit. Forms may be submitted electronically to or brought to the conference in-person. Failure to return this form properly signed either electronically or at the time of the conference may result in you not be able to attend the conference without a reimbursement.