Imagining Canada’s Future

Imagining Canada’s Future aimed to identify knowledge about the ways in which energy production and consumption may affect children and youth, and recommendations for future research and action.

This project aimed to create a synthesis of research regarding children, youth and energy systems. Existing social sciences research about children and youth was examined, including the:

  • biological
  • psychological
  • social/biopsychosocial, and
  • economic affects 

of oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind, and solar activities. The data was analysed to recommend avenues for continued research.

An interpretative synthesis of the literature was performed, using existing research taken from two leading social science databases, EBSCO and ProQuest.  

Each of the two databases met the requirements for conducting a systematic search (search functionality) and relevance to social science questions. 

The initial search drew upon 924 articles, which were reduced to 211. The articles were then reviewed for the impacts of specific energy activities on children and youth.

The knowledge synthesis used a social-ecological lens to organize the research, which was then used to explore how energy production and consumption impacts the lives of children and youth. The results included links and gaps across social, human health, geographic, psychological, cultural, spiritual, political and economic disciplines.

The project illuminated trends in existing social science research on energy production,  consumption and youth, and examined strategies for engaging and empowering children and youth as leaders, innovators, and changemakers in the global transition to low-carbon energy systems. Also included were recommendations and avenues for future research. 

Outcomes from this project included:

  • a detailed report;
  • peer-reviewed articles;
  • lay summaries;
  • digital narratives. 

These results were used to promote dialogue among youth, government, industry, and other stakeholders.