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about us

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Youthful Cities was started to change the way cities around the world think about and work with young people. When COVID-19 hit, Youthful Cities launched #hireyouth and #youththesolution, focused on Canada setting an employment goal for youth by the summer of 2020. Youthful Cities hired youth with this goal in mind, but saw the opportunity for greater effect. What if the remote work models Youthful Cities had used around the world could create a pan-Canadian opportunity to hire youth and help cities recover from the pandemic?  


On April 1, 2020, Youthful Cities co-founder Robert Barnard became a fellow at Simon Fraser University Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, and started the conversation with Executive Director, Shauna Sylvester. With Shauna and SFU University Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue’s support, Executive Lead, Gladys Ahovi at the Canadian Council for Youth Prosperity (CCYP) was approached next. CCYP enthusiastically came on board as the third core member of the Pivot 2020 collaboration. Ancillary partners Canadian Urban Institute, Tamarack Institute and Institut du Nouveau Monde also joined to launch Pivot 2020. We’re grateful that Pivot 2020 is supported by this strong national collaboration.

Pivot team members will be supported by our virtual success coaches from CCYP through individual and group sessions, with a particular focus on virtual work skills (such as establishing communication norms, building social rapport with colleagues, etc.). Our coaches will provide wraparound support to ensure Pivot team members’ experiences during the project and beyond are meaningful, developmental, and successful. 


Ancillary partners Canadian Urban Institute, Tamarack Institute and Institut du Nouveau Monde also partnered with us. We’re grateful that Pivot 2020 is supported by this strong national collaboration.

a collaboration

One of Pivot 2020’s core partners, Youthful Cities, asked young people around the world to help define the word, “youthful”. We received an amazing set of descriptors - connected, dynamic, open, curious, inventive and playful. These words became the values Youthful Cities operates on, and also form the foundation for the values that Pivot 2020 will live by. Our values amplify the power of young people and advocate on their behalf as vital components of workplaces, organizations and cities. 


Male looking at screen, workin remotely

Provide young people across Canada with good work*. We understand that to mean: pay above minimum wage, an entirely virtual work opportunity to comply with social distancing, and developing new skills for a changing labour market- including data research and analysis, virtual work practices, social media marketing, analytics, leadership skills, coaching, network engagement, and more

Laptop with open statistics on the screen

Develop an open and accessible web-based information hub that centers youth informed data, priorities and opportunities with cities, organizations, leaders to inform Canada's post-pandemic urban recovery.

group of young adults leaning on the roof of a building. staring at the city skape and sunset

Build an actionable, connected and informed network of young change-makers across Canada that can continue to mobilize and innovate the Canadian urban landscape throughout and beyond Pivot 2020.


We’re making this happen here

This program is led by Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Youthful Cities and the Canadian Council for Youth Prosperity, and funded by the Government of Canada.

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