SUN VALLEY — The Sun Valley Institute’s Youth Council, a group of high school students from across the nation including the Sun Valley Community School, the Sage School and Wood River High School, will organize the inaugural Claiming our Future: Youth Action for a Resilient World at the Argyros Performing Arts Center in Ketchum — paralleling the Sun Valley Institute’s fifth annual Sun Valley Forum.
From July 23 to 25, high school students will unite to focus on sustainability and resilience — working to develop solutions to local and global challenges in food, transportation and plastic waste. To apply, students should go to sunvalleyforum.com/youth-forum.
“We see the changes to our world today and know that our future is at risk, so we’re taking action now, not waiting to make a difference,” Ruby Horton, an Archer School for Girls student in Los Angeles and founder of the Youth Council, said in a statement. “I’ve attended the Sun Valley Forum in the past, and I am excited to meet others who are as passionate about sustainability as I am and see what we can all accomplish together at the youth forum.”
“Today’s youth will be the most affected by climate change in history. We are the ones who will live with the harsh reality that today’s leading climate scientists have warned us is coming,” writes Kate Roney, a junior from Sonoma Academy in California and also a member of the Youth Council. “Climate change will not discriminate between a high school student and a grandmother. Climate change doesn’t know the difference between a Republican and a Democrat. We should be united by this huge problem, but instead we are bickering over it. I have never been more proud or more terrified in my life. I am proud of how loudly my generation is speaking up against this problem.”
“Young people are fearlessly owning their future with urgency and effectiveness as models for all of us. Just this past March, the courageous Nobel Prize-nominee, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, led 1.4 million young people on a global climate strike,” Aimée Christensen, founder and executive director of the Sun Valley Institute, said in a statement. “The youth council asked for the opportunity to convene like-minded student leaders and change-makers, and have co-designed the three-day summit. We are honored that the Sun Valley Forum will support these young leaders by connecting them to global experts and innovators with whom they can take their work forward.”
Participants will learn from and collaborate with Sun Valley Forum speakers including the secretary-general of the Inter-Parliamentary Union — the Geneva-based network of parliaments worldwide; Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation executive director Justin Winters; filmmaker Louis Psihoyos — “Racing Extinction” and “The Cove”; Meagan Fallone — CEO of Barefoot College International that teaches women to install solar across southeast Asia; Laura Liswood of Women World Leaders whose members are current and former heads of state; Admiral Paul Zukunft, the 25th commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard; award-winning author and contributing editor to Rolling Stone Jeff Goodell; impact investors from BlackRock, BNP Paribas/Bank of the West; and IBM/the Weather Company’s Paul Walsh and Steve Wysmuller.
The forum is open to the public. For tickets or more information, go to sunvalleyforum.com. Nonprofit discounts and scholarships are also available.