Simon Jackson

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.

The Power of One

Time magazine’s Hero for the Planet, Simon Jackson, is the founder and chairman of the six million strong, Spirit Bear Youth Coalition and Executive Producer of the forth-coming Hollywood animated movie, The Spirit Bear. Through almost two decades of working to save BC’s endangered white Kermode or spirit bear, Simon has become a model of the power of one.

In the telling of his unique story – the focus of a recent made-for-TV movie – Simon illustrates how he overcame roadblocks, skeptics and even bullying in school to help make the spirit bear one of the world’s foremost environmental issues. The lessons he learned and the insight he gained is not just the recipe to save the spirit bear, but a blueprint for anyone – especially youth – to take a stand for a better world.

Simon’s message is inspirational, motivational, and educational: Not only will you want to catch the spirit to save the bear, but you’ll be a believer in the power of one.

Campaign Building

Simon Jackson offers future leaders – and those who work with them – the opportunity to gain insight into the high level strategic thinking that created the world’s largest youth-run environmental organization, the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition and the campaign that helped create North America’s largest, consensus land use plan.

Drawing from his experiences, Jackson presents his tool kit for action while providing perspective around what works and what doesn’t work when building a campaign.

And through an intimate dialogue, Jackson will work to trouble-shoot potential projects and help audience members create their own plan for action.

(This topic can be a speech, a training seminar, or an ongoing mentorship program)


Re-Thinking the Environmental Movement

Environmental awareness is at an all-time high, but meaningful progress at the decision making table is painfully absent.

Simon Jackson offers a compelling and thought-provoking vision for an environmental revolution: multi-partisan public engagement that pushes for business innovation.

Bridging nearly two decades of experience as an environmental advocate, Jackson pulls no punches in critiquing what has gone wrong with the environmental movement and what needs to happen to create a non-ideological, pro-environment consensus in Canada and internationally.

Jackson proposes a positive, tangible vision of balance that understands the human condition without negating the ecological bottom line and how that can be the key to mobilizing the public and creating an incubator for successful green business innovation.

Rather than campaign against a person or policy, Jackson will challenge you to take a fresh look at the environmental debate and create a new movement for change that makes sound economics the root of true sustainability.

Politics 101 for Advocacy Campaigns

Politics and advocacy campaigns rarely see eye-to-eye.

With a deep understanding of both the political world and the non-profit sector, Simon Jackson bridges his nearly two decades of experience in the realm of government relations to help non-profits and businesses better understand the dynamics at play in the policy making process.

Combined with the insight he has gained as a CBC public affairs commentator and from leadership roles in political campaigns, Jackson offers his opinion on how to shape the public agenda and create meaningful change without creating political enemies.

Simon’s views on navigating issues through complex political waters offer businesses and non-profits innovative ideas for collaboration and engagement that can be the receipt for any issue’s success.

Youth Mobilization

Youth are a fascinating and largely misunderstood demographic that provide major challenges for businesses, advocacy campaigns and voter turnout.

Through his efforts that created an international network of more than six million youth in the quest to save the spirit bear, Simon Jackson has become an expert at youth engagement.

Jackson has successfully applied his model for youth mobilization in the business, non-profit and political sectors and, in the doing, has developed a series of critical strategies that can help make youth meaningful participants in any vision.

By breaking down what works and what doesn’t work, Jackson offers audiences a step-by-step blueprint for increasing youth participation in any campaign.