Bria Schraeder and Rayyan Hamza Chanda win the inaugural Climate Action Accelerator in Canada

(Canada, 01st February, 2023)— The Future Communicators Foundation (FCF) has announced Bria Schraeder and Rayyan Hamza Chanda of Quest University as winners of the inaugural Climate Action Accelerator (CAA). The national award funds Canadian undergraduate and graduate students pursuing research at the intersection of communications, climate science, and social justice, providing them with travel funding to present their work at a conference, event, or teach-in. The FCF scholarships are designed to communicate awareness of the climate crisis, its history, challenges, and solutions, with a focus on the intersection of climate science, democracy, and indigeneity.

Bria Schraeder (left) and Rayyan Hamza Chanda (right) of Quest University in Squamish, BC are the inaugural recipients of the 2022 Climate Action Accelerator.

Bria Schraeder won for her proposal, “Using Social Insights to Develop Strategies for Climate Action,” which emphasizes the emotional challenges of the climate crisis. Schraeder’s work provides a much-needed contribution to climate discourse by critiquing “fear” based communications strategies. Turning to social psychology, Schraeder points out that such “doomer” tactics alienate and polarize audiences, while diverting funds from those who suffer most, namely Indigenous peoples. She suggests instead communicating clear goals that can be achieved with collective effort and cooperation, rather than falling prey to a threat-based discourse. Her work emphasizes a growing concern with how the climate crisis is communicated, providing a much-needed critique that needs to be heard at all levels of governance and the sciences in respect to climate communications.

Rayyan Hamza Chanda won for his proposal, “Rethinking Supply Chain Management for a More Equitable Future,” which argues for communicating the necessity of “circular” strategies in supply chain management. Chanda emphasizes a multi-layered approach to sustainability, focusing upon all aspects of the supply chain to reduce waste and increase energy and materials efficiency. By focusing upon the reuse of “waste” materials in the production and extraction of material goods and resources, including the right to repair and product longevity, Chanda’s work highlights key economic drivers towards “full circle” sustainability. Chanda’s work calls for communicating the importance of circular supply chain management to global industry and government while, at the same time, emphasizing the need for ethical labour standards at all levels of extraction and production.

The awards are funded by a US$ 100,000 endowment from Allard W. van Veen, Founder of The PR Trust, the 501(c)(6) non-profit organization that administers the Future Communicators Foundation. The Foundation provides scholarships and bursaries that address climate science communications, social justice, and sustainability. The Foundation aims to inspire industry, academia, and the public sector to contribute towards a worldwide effort to support tomorrow’s future communicators. In the coming months, the Foundation will announce further scholarships for students in communications at select Universities in Ghana, Egypt, and the United States.

“The climate emergency is one of the most pressing topics in today’s society,” said Allard W. van Veen, Founder of The PR Trust and FCF. “I believe that communications professionals can play a prominent role in promoting sustainability and climate science. We hope that the scholarships will help to develop students’ awareness of the need for science-based climate communications in developing a sustainable and equitable world for all.”

All submitting students are admitted to the FCF Climate Action Cohort, and will receive access to the FCF Newsletter, providing information on scholarships, internships, mentorships, and conferences, with a focus on climate, sustainability, and social justice. Students will have opportunities to participate in outreach around climate issues by networking with our FCF cohorts of students, scholars, and partners around the globe. Our Newsletter is available for sign-up here:

About the FCF

The Future Communicators Foundation (FCF) provides aspiring young professionals with scholarships, learning opportunities, and outreach programs that foster communication skills around climate science, social justice, and sustainability. The FCF is an initiative of The PR Trust, a 501(c)(6) non-profit organisation that provides knowledge and networking opportunities, student scholarships and awards programs that elevate and empower aspiring professionals and young leaders in communications. Learn more at: |

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