Jenna Phillips (she/her) recently graduated with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies from the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability at the University of Waterloo, with a Minor in Geography and Environmental Management and a Diploma in Environmental Assessment. During her undergrad, Jenna explored the socio-political dimensions of sustainability and how critical a systems lens is in the conversation around environmental governance. Her honours thesis, Addressing Systemic Barriers to Truth and Reconciliation in Higher Education, exemplifies this intersection and is being used by the University’s Indigenous Relations Office to help implement the Calls to Action in academic spaces. She used systems change theory in her thesis and throughout her degree to explore wicked problems and propose place-based, holistic solutions.
Jenna is a passionate systems thinker and communicator. As a Top 25 Environmentalist Under 25 in Canada, Jenna helps foster urban climate resilience through community engagement and building youth sustainability literacy. She has mobilized thousands of youth through her workplace experiences, including at university Sustainability Offices, non-profits, municipalities, and high school and elementary schools. She just finished supporting the Youth City Builders program offered by Evergreen Canada, which equips youth to lead innovative solutions that address the systemic barriers facing Canadian communities. Outside of school, Jenna inspires thousands of young people to take climate action through her virtual education platform, Clear the Air.
In the Masters of Global Governance program at the BSIA, Jenna aspires to diversify and deepen her knowledge of climate change governance. She is particularly interested in urban food system resilience and de-gentrifying cityscapes through the involvement of the youth population. She is interested in working with intergovernmental organizations like the United Nations, especially their Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Food and Agriculture Organization. Through her Graduate Fellowship, Jenna also looks forward to advancing her policy research and writing skills while working alongside her peers and Global Affairs Canada.
As she gains new skills and knowledge at the BSIA, she aspires to continue translating complex sustainability information into accessible, actionable content for her youth audience. When she’s not studying or translating knowledge, Jenna can be found trying new plant-based recipes, rollerblading along Waterloo’s many trails, salsa dancing, and teaching herself French.