19+23 OCTOBER 2020


Pexels: Trace Hudson

On Monday 19 October 2020, YMCA’s Youth-Led Solutions Summit: Climate Action will launch with the first of two live virtual events, and we invite you to join us. Inspiring young leaders, the thinkers and doers of today, will begin an international dialogue on creating solutions to address the climate crisis. 


A second event on Friday 23 October will look to the future, equipping young leaders to be multipliers of change who can empower others. 

Image by Philip Graves
Both events are LIVE:
4pm - 6pm
Central European Summer Time
10am - 12pm
Eastern Daylight Time 

Hundreds of young leaders from around the world are taking part, coming together as ‘Solution Teams’ to address environmental challenges in their context and communities. 


The events form part of the two-week Youth-Led Solutions Summit, YMCA’s new initiative to amplify youth solutions that positively impact local and global sustainability, the development of just and equitable communities, and the well-being of all people.



Young leaders, educators, activists, business leaders, policymakers, indigenous communities, philanthropists, artists, influencers, NGO staff and volunteers and community members are all invited to join YMCA for these two unique events. These events are for anyone passionate about addressing the climate crisis and committed to taking action in their community.


The live event will be primarily in English, and translated into French and Spanish.


Conversations, panels and keynotes

Featuring dialogues with young people at different stages of their journey to take action, panel discussions, and specially curated talks, keynotes and conversations with young leaders and world-leading agencies addressing the climate emergency.


Discover the Youth-Led Solutions initiative 

The Summit will also explore the essence of the Youth-Led Solutions initiative, with the launch of seed funding for participating Solution Teams from every continent. 


Hopin, our event platform

Focusing on connections as well as talks and panels, Hopin allows attendees to watch and react together to the content as it happens live, and take a deeper dive into the content post-event. Attendees will have the chance to meet others and stay connected. Plus unique post-Summit connection opportunities for small group conversations and networking with other attendees, participants and speakers.


World YMCA is excited to welcome eclectic and dynamic contributors from different backgrounds in the area of youth leadership, activism and climate. Interactive panel discussions and Q&A sessions, keynote speeches, conversations and dialogues all form part of the programme.

Hosted by:

Winner of the International Children’s Peace Prize, L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth Honouree and Canada's Top25 Women of Influence Awardee, 19-year old youth icon Kehkashan Basu, has been impacting the global fraternity with her work on children’s rights, promoting gender equality, mitigating climate change and social upliftment. A United Nations Human Rights Champion and a National Geographic Explorer, Kehkashan is the Founder President of social innovation enterprise, Green Hope Foundation which has 2,038 youth ambassadors working in 15 countries.

Kehkashan Basu

One Young World Ambassador

Kehkashan has spoken at over 125 United Nations and other global forums including the World Bank, St Louis Climate Summit, Parliament of World's Religions, One Young World, Globe Forum and has been awarded the 2019 Innovator of the Year award for her path-breaking work on engaging marginalised children in the implementation of the SDGs. In 2013 at the age of 12, she was elected for a two-year term to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as the Global Coordinator for Children & Youth and a member of its Major Groups Facilitating Committee making her the youngest person and first minor, ever, to be elected into this position in the history of UNEP. A passionate advocate of children’s rights, Kehkashan is a One Young World Ambassador, Climate Reality Leader, the Youth Ambassador of World Future Council & Honorary Advisor for the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development – New York.

Scroll for more speakers and contributors

More to be announced

Image by Lukasz Szmigiel

Jayathma Wickramanayake

UN Youth Envoy, UN

Appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth in June 2017 at the age of 26. Originally from Sri Lanka, Jayathma has worked extensively on youth development and participation. 

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Carlos Madjri Sanvee

Secretary General, World YMCA

As YMCA deepens its commitment to addressing global issues, the highest level of YMCA global leadership will set the context and state the reasons for why YMCA is doing this now.

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Patricia Pelton

President, World YMCA

World YMCA's first women President, Patricia, of Canada, will bring to the forefront the importance of Youth-led Solutions and look to the future, of a more just and equitable planet for all.

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Desert Dune

Stefanie Tornow

Political Science Student, Climate Activist

Currently studying a Masters in Political Science, Stefanie, 24-years-old from Germany, has been an instrumental protagonist in YMCA’s Resource Group on Environment since 2015 and its UN Advocacy Group. She has attended United Nations ECOSOC Forums in New York, and COP events as part of YMCA’s delegation.

Dahni-El Giles

Founder, Uprhizer

Presenting ‘The Optimist’s Guide To The Climate Crisis: How To Do More Than Hope’ Dahni-El conveys what you need to know, what makes a difference, and what you can do. Co-founder of the Global Regeneration CoLab, and, a crowdfunding platform that has directed over $875 million to US public school classrooms.

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Hemant Ya-u-thai

Volunteer, Teacher, Chiang Mai YMCA

With a PhD in Educational Administration from the North Chiang Mai University, he has been taking action on climate through YMCA Asia Pacific Alliance's Green Ambassadors programme. He has helped to build dams, encourage the use of biofuels on campuses, and helped to save mangroves through the Sao Hin YMCA.

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Ana-Luisa Santos

Co-investment Fund Manager, Lemann Foundation

Her experiences in international development include leading an MIT D-Lab team during their field work in Brazil; acting as an advisor in the Humanitarian Technology Challenge Project, an IEEE and United Nations Foundation initiative and developing solutions for the reuse of waste vegetable oil in collaboration with waste-pickers.

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Simangele Msweli

Co-Founder, South African Youth Biodiversity Network

MSc in Biological Sciences (UKZN) and Project Coordinator of WildTrust’s Oceans Alive project at WildOceans. Simangele was awarded the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship and sits on the 2020 Mail & Guardian Young South Africans list. 

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Bertine Lakjohn

Environmental Studies student, Marshall Islands

To the Marshall Islands and Kosrae the climate emergency poses severe threats to its security, human rights and way of life. Something Bertine is acutely aware of, having taken part in and led youth leadership camps and dialogues on the subject, which inspired her into taking Environmental Studies at college.

Mathilde Emilie Thue

COO, Norwegian-African Business Association

Serving as World YMCA's Strategy Committee Chair, Mathilde also led the creation of its first global environment initiative. She has taken part in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and to the UNFCCC representing Norwegian Children and Youth Council (LNU) in the Official Norwegian Delegation to the climate negotiations.

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