ResilienceByDesign Research Lab

By their very nature, disasters disrupt the places in which we live - our homes, communities, and the environments that surround us. This can have a profound impact on us, calling into question our sense of who we are in the world and generating distress and loss. This is equally true for children and youth. In this article, Banting Scholar Dr. Leila Scannell and members of the ResilienceByDesign research team explore the role of place attachment in the disaster recovery and resilience experiences of children and youth.

Check out this newly released report, Children and Youth’s Resilience in the context of energy resource production, climate change and the need to transition to low-carbon goods and services, a comprehensive knowledge synthesis report produced by the ResilienceByDesign Research Lab, under the direction of Dr. Robin Cox, School of Humanitarian Studies in collaboration with the Resilience Research Centre (RRC) at Dalhousie University. 

This systematic interdisciplinary review and synthesis uses a critical interpretive analysis to examine the current landscape of knowledge regarding the impacts of energy systems (extraction, production and consumption) on children and youth well-being and community resilience and explore  strategies for engaging and empowering children and youth as leaders, innovators, and change makers in the global energy transition.  

The future of energy resource extraction, especially carbon-intensive options such as natural gas and oil, present a major challenge for global economic and social sustainability. However,with the recognition that carbon-based resource extraction and use results in emissions that contribute to climate change, many economies – including Canada’s - are in the midst of transitioning to forms of low-carbon good and services based economies (LCGS). In the transition to a LCGS economy, children and youth emerge as a critical population group. Children, youth and the communities they are situated in, are impacted by energy resource extraction, production, and consumption and their resilience and that of their communities in the face of the transition to LCGS is a critical component of Canada’s future. Children and youth are also a largely untapped resource when it comes to leading and innovating Canada’s energy transformation. They are noticeably absent from energy planning and policy, and from energy systems impacts analysis and national and international sustainable energy development plans. There is no coherent analysis of the state of knowledge regarding the social dimensions of energy systems, their impact on children and youth, and the role (current and future) that children and youth might play in the transition to LCGS economies. As part of the gratin, the report makes concrete recommendations for policy makers and practitioners, and provides a platform for promoting dialogue among youth, government, industry, and other stakeholders about the future of energy production in Canada and globally. 

This report is one of 21 Knowledge Synthesis grants awarded across Canada by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council responding to the future challenges associated with natural resources and energy.