The Alberta Council for Global Cooperation (ACGC) celebrates the incredible 13th year of the Top 30 Under 30 award. This represents a community of almost 400 inspiring young people that we have had the privilege to honour with this award, and the more than one thousand amazing youth that we have connected with that have been nominated by their communities over the years. We are continuously inspired by the power, strength, and dedication of these young individuals connected to Alberta who are making the world more just, fair, and sustainable for all.
The theme of the 13th Top 30 Under 30 campaign and event is a nod to the 13th Sustainable Development Goal: Climate Action–taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. More specifically, we are focused on climate justice, which recognizes that the effect of climate change is unequally distributed, and that those that have contributed to climate change the least are the ones that are most devastatingly impacted by it.
In January 2024, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) officially confirmed that 2023 was the world’s warmest year on record. Climate change has not only led to an uptick in extreme weather and climate events around the world, such as wildfires and flooding, but has also exacerbated socio-economic issues such as food insecurity and displacement. According to the WMO Provisional State of the Global Climate 2023 report, millions of people globally, including those already displaced have been forced from their homes due to extreme climate change-related disasters. These crises then lead to other challenges, such as hunger, limited access to quality education, lack of access to clean water, and more, in a cascading relationship that further exacerbates global inequality.
In alignment with our theme, we have asked each of the 2024 ACGC Top 30 youth, who are all working in a wide range of areas from gender equality to accessibility to technology, to diversity in healthcare to conservation, and so much more, to reflect on what climate change and justice mean to them and their work. Because no matter who we are or the work that we do, the fight against climate change is everyone’s fight.
Learn about how the 2024 ACGC Top 30 Under 30 cohort is making a difference by exploring their profiles below!
Top 30 Artwork
ACGC is so excited to have partnered with Jimmy Ugray, an Ojicree artist based in Banff, Alberta, for our 2024 Top 30 Under 30 campaign. We were drawn to his nature-inspired work, which highlights the importance of respecting our relationship with our natural surroundings, especially in the face of climate change. The fantasy-influenced elements of his designs remind us of the ability of youth to dream big.
For the logo, Jimmy incorporated the natural elements of wood, leaves, and monarch butterflies. Inspired by the monarch’s vast migration pattern, his art speaks to the notion of boundlessness, which aptly describes the contributions of the Top 30 youth. The linework is a nod to woodland art, which is distinct to the Anishinabek territory that Jimmy hails from. As well, each Top 30 honouree profile photo is backdropped with Jimmy’s artwork, many of which feature species from around Turtle Island and beyond.
“I’ve spent nearly my entire adult life in the Canadian Rockies. After taking a very long break from drawing when I first moved to Banff from Ontario, I picked up my pencils and discovered that the mountains had planted a seed crystal in my imagination. This new inspiration expressed itself in fantasy illustrations featuring foxes, bears, wolverines, herons, turtles, etc. Some familiar and some rare. As an Indigenous person, there’s an element of story in these drawings that helps me connect to my culture. With this opportunity, I’m honoured to share some of these visions in the hopes they connect with you, too.” ~ Jimmy Ugray