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Project Details

Project dates

Emma Kirke

Project Lead

By creating an action toolkit outlining the story and lessons learned from the Sustainability Literacy Initiative at the University of Waterloo, we hope to empower post-secondary students across the country to make waves at their institutions to increase the accessibility of sustainability education to all students.

Project Description

We need to populate our workforce with sustainability-literate post-secondary graduates who can confidently address the daunting climate challenges of our generation. By equipping graduates with a base level of sustainability literacy relevant to their discipline, they will enter the workforce and communities with the capacity to be engaged citizens and better contributors to the fight for a resilient future.

For that reason, the Sustainability Literacy Initiative participated in the eco-accelerator program to draw attention to post-secondary education as the launchpad for a workforce to achieve environmental goals in the ocean conservation sector and beyond.

Specifically, our project includes the creation of an action toolkit for youth to advocate for increased integration of sustainability education in their institutions, producing social media/multimedia content, and laying the groundwork for future collaborations to build our presence and engage beyond the University of Waterloo. Our main deliverable, the action toolkit, outlines our path at the University of Waterloo and identifies opportunities for students to influence curriculum development at different levels of post-secondary institutions.

We also have developed our library of multimedia content to increase our online presence and awareness of our work. We primarily focused these efforts on increasing our social media presence and engagement through our SLI social accounts. Finally, we are in the process of creating op-ed blog posts to be hosted on Ocean Wise and Climate Reality Canada’s websites to amplify the movement for increasing sustainability curriculum across post-secondary institutions as well as highlight our action toolkit resource for youth/students on how to become engaged within their own communities/institutions.


This project has been created in commemoration of the lives of all the victims of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, including two Ocean Bridge ambassadors, Danielle Moore and Micah Messent. We aspire to carry on their legacy and commitment to making the world a better place by creating long-lasting impacts with a firm commitment to driving positive change for the environment and our ocean. We will never forget the light that Danielle and Micah brought to the world and will continue to keep them in our hearts. To learn more about these two amazing people, please visit: Honouring Danielle and Micah  – Ocean Wise. This work is partially funded by the Commemoration Fund for Victims of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 Tragedy.

What was your biggest challenge?

One of the biggest challenges our team faced was meeting initial project plans and deadlines due to difficulties in synchronizing schedules and challenges in individual capacities.

We navigated this challenge by being fluid, adaptable, flexible, communicative, and realistic with each other in our individual capacities to complete projects according to our initial plan. We recognized these skills were key to overcoming challenges in a small, remote team environment. When our Plan A did not meet the objectives we aimed for, we adjusted and turned to Plan B. For instance, we recognized that our initial plan for hosting an online event was unrealistic while still working on our toolkit, so we turned to our alternative plan to create blog posts instead.

What was your most valuable takeaway?

Our most valuable takeaway from this project was the importance of developing and nurturing relationships. As a result of the work we have put into to developing relationships, we have been able to access expertise and networks we could not have otherwise, maximizing the impact of the work we were already dedicating to this project.

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