Founder of the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition
If ever there is doubt that one person can make a difference, Simon Jackson—and his incredible story of the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition—puts that doubt to rest. Simon’s quest, at the young age of 13, to save the white Kermode bear gave rise to the world’s first and biggest youth-run environmental movement and the largest land protection measure in North American history. Discussing his personal story, as well as the intricacies of founding a non-profit and navigating both business and politics, Simon inspires audiences to realize the “power of one” to encourage change and challenges citizens to re-think how we tackle complex environmental challenges.
Simon has received several honours for his work to save the Spirit Bear, including being selected among the “Top 25 Up and Comers” by Maclean’s magazine. He is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers and was recently named as one of the “100 Guardian Angels of the Planet” at UNESCO’s Founding Congress for the World Green Games. Most notably, he was honoured as one of Time magazine’s “60 Heroes for the Planet,” one of only six young people selected from around the world, and honoured with a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work on behalf of the spirit bear.
Simon’s life story was the inspiration for CTV’s award-winning program Spirit Bear: The Simon Jackson Story. He is also executive producer for the upcoming Spirit Bear CGI movie.
Sitting on several boards of directors and acting as a public-affairs commentator with CBC and Huffington Post, Simon is also an award-winning photographer, is a widely published writer, and is an environmental communications and youth mobilization strategist.