COVID-19 has brought our lives to a halt and dramatically shifted everything. We’re seeing the highest rates of youth unemployment in Canadian history. Young people are bearing the brunt of this crisis with the doubling of closed schools and precarious work environments, as well as massive interruptions to social connection and support services. Cities can feel like closed, isolated, dire and un-youthful places. Pivot 2020 comes in response to this current reality and was created to support young people in driving how we come back from it. We know the power of young people to generate momentous change, and we need that energy and capacity for innovation to pivot from isolation, fear and despair to hope, opportunity, renewal and connection.
Pivot 2020 is a deep urban exploration and information gathering project led by 1,200 young people in 27 cities across Canada. This network will collect data through surveying youth, interviewing community members, and collecting benchmark information on the issues that matter to them most. Through the project, the Pivot team will learn more about city-building and develop future employment skills, while connecting to a network of other young people invested in similar ideas. The findings will populate an open and accessible database grounded in priorities and opportunities determined by youth that can be used by planners, organizations, governments and more to make our cities bigger, brighter and better for all post-COVID.