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Communication & Youth Mobilization

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Marquee Theater
10:15 – 11:30 a.m.  |  Breakout Session 1A

Youth activists, journalists, scientists, and other communicators are playing a major role in bringing the climate crisis to the forefront of policy discussions. This panel discussed climate communication strategies and their role in tackling the climate crisis.

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Key Takeaways

  • Government and policymakers can gate-keep information. Direct communication is necessary between decision-makers and impacted communities. These communities need to feel represented and their climate-related struggles addressed. 
  • Climate change is a complex and global problem that impacts communities in different ways — accessible  information and storytelling are key for effective communication with all communities and with youth. This is especially important when addressing equity issues. 
  • While conferences can lead to large pledges and proposed action on climate change, oftentimes, there is no follow-up action or concrete policy and little tangible progress — effective communication and credible action must ensue. 
  • Grassroots activists, BIPOC, and impacted community members need an official seat at the table. Their experiences and ideas are needed for a diverse, equitable, and inclusive fight against climate change.


Benji Backer

President & Founder, American Conservation Coalition

Nada Elmikashfi

Chief of Staff, Wisconsin State Representative Francesca Hong

Stephanie Salgado

Student, University of Wisconsin-Madison



James Mills

Course Instructor, University of Wisconsin/Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies