Climate Action Fellowship

From March - June 2023, a cohort of dedicated, climate-conscious residents of Burnaby met weekly to explore how to generate a climate-resilient, community-led future for Burnaby. These leaders are members of the inaugural Climate Action Fellowship convened as part of the Urban Resilient Futures (URF) Burnaby initiative, stewarded by Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue in partnership with the City of Burnaby and Vancity. 

One of the central missions of the Climate Action Fellowship is to empower Burnaby residents and institutional leaders to become climate champions within their communities. Taking collective action in groups fosters the creation of social capital, exploration of the interplay between climate action and personal identity, and the recognition of links between climate and other societal priorities, including health, equity,and community. 

To fulfil this mission, our design team recognizes the importance of building a diverse cohort within the multicultural city of Burnaby, where residents speak over 120 languages, and more than half were not born in Canada. It is crucial for the cohort to reflect this diverse social fabric. Participants in the Climate Action Fellowship cohort represent a wide range of employment and immigration statuses, ethnicities, and languages spoken. Despite adverse weather conditions, they demonstrated unwavering commitment, meeting every Thursday from 4:30-7:30 pm, often coming directly from their demanding workdays to brainstorm and envision a resilient, low-carbon and climate-friendly Burnaby.

Over ten weeks, the cohort collaborated within itself, as well as with organisations, institutions and groups most affected by climate change, and, most importantly, with their own communities. They explored climate action in Burnaby while building relationships with one another and subject matter experts, enhancing their network and capacity for climate action on a neighbourhood level.

Our hope is that this group-centred approach will sustain progress in the long term, rooted in community aspirations and relationships. 

  • Members of the URF Burnaby Climate Action Fellowship developed the Burnaby Climate Action Guide as a result of their ten-week collaboration. The guide provides a roadmap for reducing carbon emissions in Burnaby.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?

Applications are now closed.

I don’t live or work in Burnaby, can I still participate?

We recognize that municipal borders are a convention of colonial administrations. We welcome applications from anyone who has a strong connection to the land currently known as Burnaby or the communities that exist on the land.

How much does it cost?

There is no fee associated with the program as it is generously funded by our partners, Vancity and the City of Burnaby.

Do I have to attend all sessions?

We ask all participants to attend a minimum of 8 weekly sessions and the showcase in order to successfully complete the Climate Fellows Program and receive their certificate of completion.

What is expected of participants?

Participation, open communication, respect, and kindness. As we kick off the program, we will be co-creating a set of community agreements with the cohort.

What is the profile of the ideal participant?

  • Interested in collaborating and connecting with other residents of Burnaby
  • Curious/concerned about the climate emergency and its impacts 
  • Interested in pursuing a climate action project within your community
  • Keen to learn about the many aspects of climate action including climate science, climate justice, engagement, facilitation and community building

Will I receive honoraria? / What type of financial support is available?

To make this program accessible, we have a nominal budget to help cover costs (e.g. transportation, childcare, etc.). If you require support to participate, please specify this on your application.

What does a typical weekly session look like?

Weekly sessions run 4 - 7 PM, excluding field trips which may happen outside of those hours:

  • Welcome and introduction to group and/or facilitator
  • Facilitated overview
  • Activity
  • Debrief/Q&A/reflection period
  • Project work with staff/speakers/mentors
  • Close

What are the program dates?

Please refer to the key dates and locations above.

Will programming be in person or will there be a hybrid model as well?

Weekly sessions and field trips will be in person, aside from the one-hour virtual kick-off. 

How much time will I spend working on the program? 

We ask all participants to attend a minimum of eight weekly sessions and the showcase in order to successfully complete the Climate Fellows Program and receive their certificate of completion. Sessions are three hours weekly on Thursdays. Project work will vary week to week, but participants should expect to spend roughly two to four hours outside session time.

Partner Organizations