Simon Jackson

Simon Jackson

Movement Builder | Founder of the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition

Simon Jackson is a storyteller and movement builder who has dedicated his life to finding a better balance between the needs of people and nature. At just 13 years old, Jackson founded the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition, leading a network of six million people in over 85 countries to save Canada’s endangered white Kermode, or spirit bear. Through sharing his personal story, Jackson inspires audiences to realize the “power of one” to bring real change, and challenges people to re-think how we tackle complex environmental challenges.

For two decades, Jackson led the campaign to save the spirit bear through his youth coalition, building the organization into the world’s largest youth-led environmental movement. It resulted in the creation of one of the largest land protection measures in North American history, with the last intact habitat of the spirit bear being set aside from development.

In recognition of his work, Jackson was awarded Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, named as one of the “100 Angels of the Earth by UNESCO”, and, most notably, honoured as one of Time magazine’s “Heroes of the Planet” — one of only six young people selected from around the world. His life’s work was the focus of an internationally televised movie, Spirit Bear: The Simon Jackson Story.

Today, Jackson is focused on advancing environmental literacy as the co-founder of Nature Labs — a virtual, storytelling-driven high school textbook. Nature Labs aims to build the critical thinking skills necessary to create a more thoughtful citizenry and a more creative workforce — one that strives to find a better balance between the needs of people and nature.

Jackson has contributed to the success of numerous non-profit organizations, having served as a board member of the Jane Goodall Institute, DreamNow, the International Institute for Child Rights and Development, and The WILD Foundation, amongst others. He is also an award-winning photographer and a widely published writer, who has contributed images and chapters to eight books, including A Geography of Hope: Saving Primary Forests, and has served as a columnist for CBC and The Huffington Post.


The Accidental Leader: The Power of One to Make a Difference

At just 13 years old, Simon Jackson founded the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition to save Canada’s endangered white Kermode, or spirit bear. Over the next two decades, Jackson became the accidental leader of a global movement with a network of six million people across 85 countries. His efforts led to the creation of the largest land protection measure in North American history, with the last intact habitat of the spirit bear being set aside from development.

Through sharing his personal story, Jackson inspires audiences to realize the “power of one” — how it only takes one person to make a difference and bring real change. He shares lessons learned from his leadership journey to show audiences how they can empower themselves and those around them to create a better world.

Environmental Balance: Building a Better Future

For two decades, Simon Jackson led the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition in an effort to save Canada’s endangered Kermode, or spirit bear. It resulted in the last intact habitat of the spirit bear being set aside from development through one of the largest land protection measures in North American history. Today, Jackson is the co-founder of Nature Labs, a virtual storytelling-driven high school textbook with the aim of advancing nature literacy across Canada.

Through dynamic storytelling, Jackson brings audiences on a journey through the inter-connected ecosystem we call home to explore how we can achieve a better balance between humans and nature. He draws on his experiences and lessons learned from working on the frontlines of complex environmental issues, to show how, through gaining a greater understanding of the world around us and our place within it, we can tackle the environmental issues we face today and build a more harmonious future.

 

Community Building

Simon Jackson was able to build a global community of six million people across 85 countries to support and amplify his quest to save Canada’s endangered white Kermode, or spirit bear — a little-known animal native to British Columbia.

Jackson shares how through compelling storytelling he was able to contextualize the bear’s story and make it and his quest relatable, resulting in a powerful movement that saw the creation of one of the largest land protection measures in North American history. Through sharing his experience, Jackson shows audiences how they too can use storytelling to empower others and organically rally people together to see powerful results.

Nature Labs: Environmental Literacy

From climate change to the biodiversity crisis, the environmental discourse is polarized and overly simplistic, with too little effort being made to tackle the root problem — a society that lacks an understanding of nature.

As the co-founder of Nature Labs — a virtual storytelling-based high school textbook — Simon Jackson is on a mission to foster environmental literacy across Canada. In this keynote, Simon walks educators through how they can help future generations have a better understanding of the world and their place within it, while providing students with the tools they need to create a better balance between people and nature.