How do we work together to turn a passion for sustainability into personal learning and action on campus? By building up your own skills, competencies, and experiences.

Overview

The Sustainability Ambassadors program is part of the new Sustainability Certification program, which strives to deliver an immersive sustainability leadership experience for UBC students by offering opportunities for critical and creative engagement in sustainability issues while practicing the skills and competencies needed for practical implementation.

Through training and peer-group learning, you’ll be ready to come up with new engagement opportunities, create innovative projects and events, and be role models of sustainability leadership on campus.  

We will work together with you in three key areas.

1. Engaging in personal and professional skill development

  • Develop sustainability competencies and professional development skills in areas including communication, teamwork, project and event management, social and community organization, systems thinking, initiative and motivation, and adaptability
  • Actively engage in opportunities that are a part of the curriculum of leadership development, such as facilitation and conflict management

2. Creating and offering sustainability programming to UBC students across campus 

  • Contribute to sustainability on campus by engaging students in educational activities and events

  • Help facilitate community learning workshops
  • Work closely with partners on a community project

3. Role modelling outstanding student leadership on campus

  • Embrace the role as an ambassador for student leadership at UBC – be a leader in sustainability on campus and within your department
 
  • Contribute to an environment at UBC that is dedicated to excellence, equity, and mutual respect
 
  • Learn and understand the Social Change Model of Leadership Development in terms of the individual, the group and the community, and how this cycle applies to the workings of the Ambassadors group, and sustainability in general
     

Commitments

Sustainability Ambassadors will engage the community in sustainability and climate related opportunities and work collaboratively with key groups/units to advance sustainability and climate goals. 

Through this experience students will develop the core competencies (self-awareness, systems thinking, strategic application, interpersonal and collaboration, interdisciplinary integration) in the context of the focused topic. Students will join one of the four themed teams: Climate, Resilient Communities, Ethical Civic Engagement, and Justice. Each team has 10 sustainability ambassadors. Each themed cohort will receive specialized programming and learning sessions, which will include workshops and discussions to support learning on the themed topic.

Each Sustainability Ambassador will work closely with their Sustainability Leader and as part of a team that will engage the community through:

  1. Outreach events. Each core area team will design and facilitate events on topics related to an impact area (Climate: climate justice and Resilient communities: SDGs). The Ambassadors will also assist their Sustainability Leader in facilitating community workshops. 
     
  2. Planning and implementing projects. Each team will work closely with a UBC team to support the core impact area goals. These are pre-conceived projects that are planned in collaboration with a UBC program partner.

Time

This is a volunteer position. Sustainability Ambassadors are responsible for an average contribution of 4 hours per week as follows:

  • 2 hours per week: Ambassador team meetings and on-going training
  • 2 hour per week: Development, facilitation, and delivery of workshops and events and support project logistics/planning

Position Term

Successful candidates will commit to an 8-month period (September 2022-April 2023).

Training

Students will develop key sustainability competencies and will be trained in leadership and professional development skills by their Leaders and supported by the UBC Sustainability Initiative’s (USI) Teaching, Learning & Student Engagement (TLSE) Office. Training sessions will be held during meeting times and on key training days. There will also be on-going discussions on sustainability issues and topics during the weekly meetings. This is to ensure baseline knowledge about different UBC Sustainability resources. 

Please note that these training sessions and meetings are mandatory – if you are a successful applicant, you will be asked to clear your schedule of classes or other commitments during these times; so please build your course schedule and other activities around these times.

  • Spring Welcome event— Monday, April 11, 2022 (please note that exams begin April 12)
  • Sustainability Ambassadors Orientation—September 17, 2021 (8:45am - 4:30pm)
  • Weekly team meetings (these meetings will be determined in consultation with the cohort teams and the Sustainability Team Leader). Weekly team meetings will occur every week throughout the academic year. 
  • 2023 Spring Welcome event— Date TBD (to welcome new Ambassadors)
     

Sustainability Ambassador FAQs

What can I expect to take away from being a Sustainability Ambassador?

The program provides UBC students with the ability to take a hands-on leadership approach to bringing greater sustainability to their communities. Students get to engage with likeminded peers in discussion and learning to enhance their understanding of themselves as leaders, community members, and young change makers.

What’s the weekly workload?

Ambassadors are expected to attend mandatory weekly meetings (facilitated by their Sustainability Leader), to meet with their project team to work on a major project and planning and facilitating various events and workshops for the community. Weeks may vary depending on the amount of work that an individual decides to commit to or the timeline of their projects and initiatives. Typically, you will spend 4 hours/week.

What do weekly team meetings consist of?

Weekly meetings allow Ambassadors to connect with their peers through workshops facilitated by experts on a range of topics, from understanding your own role as a leader in sustainability to acknowledging positionality. These meetings will also provide you with the tools to understand and support your community partners in their projects.

What kind of projects can we expect to be working on?

The projects for the Sustainability Ambassadors will be pre-determined in consultation with the community partners. This year, the projects are primarily driven by the cohort themes: Climate, Justice, Resilient Communities, Circular Economies, and Civic and Ethical Engagement -  and contribute to the overall sustinabaility and climate goals of the university.

Who should apply?

The UBC Sustainability Ambassadors program is open to UBC Vancouver students of all disciplines and degrees. Each program cohort will take 10 students and tends to include a competitive application process. We recommend interested and passionate students apply to the program; there is no specific skillset or criteria necessary to make a successful member of our team.

I am graduating in November 2022. Can I still apply and be eligible to participate in the program?

If you are graduating in November, 2022 you are not eligible to participate in the program for the 2022-23 year. If you are graduating in May 2023 then you are eligible to apply and participate in the 2022-23 cohorts.

Will the 2022 program take place virtually or in-person?

Given the uncertainties around the pandemic, we don’t know yet if the program will be in-person or virtual. We are anticipating and preparing to be in-person but are also mindful of the unprecedented times we are in. We will follow the directions of the public health officer and the university administration, and will be ready for the following three options: a completely online program, an in-person program, and a hybrid virtual and in-person.