In March 2016, INKspire Youth Organization, a youth-led non-profit organization in Ontario, launched INKspire, an online publishing platform dedicated to youth. INKspire made it easy for young people to share their insights and perspectives on global issues, creating much needed discussions on topics relevant to youth today such as environmental sustainability, education, and mental health. Since its launch, youth across Canada have published more than 170 articles at INKspire, with the opportunity of exploring a different topic every month.
INKspire is a place where young people are empowered to share their stories and perspectives on various issues in Canada and around the world. This platform seeks to address the lack of youth voices in society and the underrepresentation of youth in online media. INKspire allows young people to share their stories, ideas and perspectives to a broad audience and to demonstrate their passion for various issues and causes. Our platform focuses on a different prevalent topic every month, giving our users the opportunity to address the different environmental, economic, social and cultural dimensions of various issues through the lenses of art, social issues, and science and technology. We seek to engage students by encouraging them to express themselves on our platform and to read what other youth are writing about. You do not need to be a professional writer to have your work published on INKspire – all you need is a passion for the topic and a willingness to put that passion into words.
The word “sustainability” can be broken down into the “ability” to “sustain” and we at INKspire believe that nothing can be fully sustained without the involvement of youth, as they will be the ones to carry on the torch and begin new initiatives for the future. In order to increase Canada’s sustainability, engaging and empowering our country’s future leaders needs to be a top priority.The vision that we have for a more sustainable Canada is the empowerment of youth to speak up for what they believe in and to invoke positive change in their communities and beyond.
Our plan was to create a curated publishing platform dedicated to today’s youth to realize our vision of empowering youth voices. To do this, we launched a Kickstarter campaign, successfully raising over $10,000 from 177 backers across the globe, and received grants from the Markham Mayor Youth Council and Allowing Children a Chance at Education (ACCESS) Inc., along with fundraising efforts from Commerce Without Borders. The generosity from our supporters allowed us to launch and maintain our platform since March 2016. We also partner with a different youth-focused organization every month based on that month’s topic, such as the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health for “Mental Health” Month and Sustainable Youth Canada for “Environmental Sustainability” Month.
This project is made possible through youth leadership as the entire team is made up of youth volunteers consisting of 38 volunteers. Our editorial team works with each person that submits content to sharpen their piece and make it ready for publication. Our writing team creates their own content for each of our monthly topics, in addition to public submissions. Our marketing team maintains communication with almost 4,000 social media followers and different youth-focused organizations across the country. Our co-founders and web design team keeps the boat afloat. We are all young, passionate people who are pushing the project forward in hopes of empowering and inspiring their other youth.