Professor Amelia Clarke - Principal Investigator
Professor Amelia Clarke is the co-creator and principal investigator of the Youth & Innovation Project, associate dean of research for the Faculty of Environment and an associate professor at the University of Waterloo. At the age of 23, Amelia founded the Sierra Youth Coalition, a national youth environmental group. She holds a PhD in Management from McGill University, has an active research program on youth engagement with over 25 publications and has made hundreds of presentations to academic and non-academic audiences.
Ilona Dougherty - Managing Director
Ilona is the co-creator and managing director of the Youth & Innovation Project at the University of Waterloo. She is an award winning social innovator and a regular voice in the Canadian media advising business, civil society and government on how they can tap into the value and unique abilities of young people. She has extensive leadership and governance experience having co-founded several successful organizations. In 2004, she co-founded Apathy is Boring, a non-partisan social enterprise that educates Canadian youth about democracy and encourages them to vote. Ilona was named an Ashoka Fellow in 2009, was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 and one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network in 2015.
Aleks Spasevski - Youth Advisory Council Coordinator
Aleks is the Youth & Innovation Project’s Youth Advisory Council coordinator. She is a Masters student at the University of Waterloo’s School of Environment, Enterprise and Development. Her research will focus on youth engagement and challenges youth face in current corporate structure. Previously, Aleks has worked and volunteered for various non-for-profit and chartable organisations such as Ontario Environment Network and Sierra Club Canada. Aleks has also co-found the Canadian Youth Biodiversity Network in order to provide youth a national/international platform to protect biodiversity.
Cate May Burton ‒ Research Assistant
Cate is the Youth & Innovation Project’s research assistant. She is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia’s Gender, Race, Sexuality & Social Justice Institute. In her research, she looks at the challenges of integrating Indigenous histories and perspectives into elementary education. She has worked with numerous political & non-profit organizations, including as Teen Representative on the Young Greens’ of Canada Council, and as Sustainability Officer on the King’s Students’ Union.
Previous students & researchers: Miha Alam (MDP), Martina Buchal, How-sen Chong (MEM, Yale University), Elaine Ho (MES), Yingying (Scarlett) Sheng (BES), and Wen Tian (BES).
Special thanks to Christopher Paré for volunteering his time to support the project through communication advice and editing.