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Fatechanger Mobile App - empowering youth action

The free FateChanger app, co-developed by kids, was designed to help teachers and students learn about plastic ocean pollution, climate change and sustainability, and then link learning to global citizenship, environmental literacy and activism. It is currently on iOS, and will hopefully soon be on Android.

The app will test a variety of approaches to give kids the ability to have maximum impact for not just sharing their voices but influencing local and global environmental policy. These approaches include:

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  1. National letter-writing campaigns with the app tracking how many letters have been written and notifying users if policy changes result.

  2. Toolkits show youth how they can interact with and influence their local governments. We’ve surveyed 25 US city governments to both understand how open they are to youth involvement and what kinds of model programs and interactions they have with youth. We intend to use this feedback to enable kids to suggest best practice models to their own cities to facilitate meaningful high-impact interactions with kids. 

  3. Citizen initiatives are a powerful global mechanism enabling everyday people to circumvent traditional political processes to get ideas forwarded.  FateChanger will provide tools to enable kids to understand this process, sign up to participate, vote on potential initiatives they want to move forward, and track and coordinate their signature campaigns. In essence kids will request registered voters to add their support via their signatures to initiatives reflecting youth environmental goals, for example a city or country declaring a climate emergency or a series of anti-plastic pollution measures or a constitutional change that formally recognizes the human right to a sustainable world. 

  4. Using the sampling abilities of the app which will grow with the user base to statistically measure youth opinion with the end goal of rigorously measuring youth opinion on environmental issues so their voice can be reflectively represented at the UN. For we intend that youth have a formal voting seat in the United Nations and are working toward that goal.

We will measure the outcomes of these experiments and focus our future development efforts on those with the most impact. 

Key elements:

  • The app includes short films explaining to users how to use the app.  

  • And lots of resources including learning and teaching materials (and nothing boring) will enable students and educators to easily dig into the project.

  • Map screen: google-map-like navigation.  Shows number of letters written and from where, and any government-level progress resulting from Fatechanger.

  • ​Data entry screen: here kids, teachers and community find out where to write, and can enter their data after they’ve written letters. Users can also send us word of any government-level changes that have occurred.​

  • ​News & Media screen: share stories, read updates, stay engaged.

  • ​Top ten list: which countries have written the most? Will also include running tab of total letters written.

The icon simply comes from a painting I did of my son and I running out to surf - I'm the slower bald dude trying to keep up.

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