Next Up is growing. 2013-2014 marks the seventh year since it was started in BC, its fifth year in Alberta, its fourth year in Saskatchewan and second year in Ontario. The people organizing it come from a wide range of backgrounds: public policy, community activism, labour, the non-profit sector, and research. We are all involved in social and environmental justice work. We’ve created this program because we believe that a better world is not just possible, but an imperative.

We believe that good solutions to the biggest issues are out there, and can be realized. We have different approaches to teaching and learning, but we all believe that a new generation of progressive leaders is needed and should be supported.

A Different Take on Leadership

Everyone has a different take on the word “leadership.” For us, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a big talker, or that you’re the popular person, or the funniest person, or the person who speaks in public a lot. You may have those qualities — or you may not. It does mean that you think about the world around you and take action to make it a better place.

In this program you’ll learn more about yourself and your values, and about how to turn ideas into actions. You’ll be challenged with new ways of thinking, provocative speakers, inspiring mentors and fascinating guests. You’ll discuss solutions to problems like poverty and climate change. You’ll learn skills in areas like media relations, issue framing, project development, fundraising and facilitation.

You will meet people working in different areas of public policy and social change. And you’ll connect and work with people in BC doing innovative social and environmental change work. Our goal is to equip you with the skills and tools needed to become an effective leader in movements for social and environmental change.


The Next Up Partnership

Next Up is a growing network of social change leaders across western Canada. The program is a partnership between several organizations with region specific partnerships that help make the program happen  in each region.

Each region has its own Advisory Committee made up of great people in that community who are working to make a better world. Advisory committee members come from community organizations, the public and private sectors, not-for-profits and trade unions. The amazing people on the advisory committee’s volunteer their time to help with program design and delivery in their region and to help make community connections between participants and leaders in the community.

The Network

One of the goals of NU is to build and support a network of young social change leaders across Western Canada. NU grads are off working on inspiring and amazing projects all over Canada and other parts of the world. The network is a way for the alumni to stay in touch and to work with each other and a way for them to support the current program participants. The network consists of over 100 grads from the first 4 years of NU.

The network is just coming together now – we will have more information on the network in the future.


The host and founding organization for Next Up is genius (the global youth education network society). genius is a not-for-profit that works with young people on projects connected to democracy, social and environmental justice and social change leadership.


In BC, Next Up partners with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)– BC Office. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is an independent, non-partisan research institute focused on social and economic justice. It is one of Canada’s leading progressive voices in public policy debates.


In Alberta, we partner with The Parkland Institute. Parkland Institute is an Alberta-wide, non-partisan research centre situated within the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta. Parkland Institute studies economic, social, cultural and political issues facing Albertans and Canadians, using the perspective of political economy.


In Saskatchewan, we partner with the CCPA – Saskatchewan office.


In Ontario, we partner with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – National Office and the Broadbent Institute.

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We are grateful for the support of many organizations, including:




Next Up Gathering, June 2010