We are not here to solve problems for young people. We come together with young people to transform the systems holding them back.


Our unique name

The youth social infrastructure (ysi) collaborative is a name that raises eyebrows, and that is exactly the point. Because it stands for a vision that also raises eyebrows: 

Youth: The pathways to social justice are paved with the energy and organizing practices of young people, especially those with the most so-called "problems".

Social Infrastructure: We can take these trailblazing efforts to the next level by creating local communities of support outside of traditional hierarchies.

Collaborative. When we deepen and transform the relationships between young organizers and adult allies across diverse communities and institutions, we are building a movement for youth-led social justice.

Check out our work in Algoma to get a flavour for what this type of work makes possible.


Our 'why?''What?' and 'How?'

After our provincial CollabCamp gathering, our coordinator Chris Lee sat down to clarify Why YSI matters, What we do, and How we do it. A great primer that anchors our work back on the ground level. 


Our Unique Practice

Our members experience something special when we come together to learn and collaborate. That's because we gather around a number of human-centred traditions:

  • Cross-cultural knowledge practices and ways of knowing: Under the stewardship of diverse cultural elders, we strive to honour our relationship to the land and all living things, our histories, each other, and the different ways our community honours Spirit. 
  • The Art of Hosting Conversations that Matter: We use a participatory, democratic leadership practice called the Art of Hosting. Rooted in dialogue and co-creation, this approach recognizes the connection between personal and systemic transformation. It supports the conversations that matter through storytelling, creativity and spiritual connection. 
  • Social innovation and social justice: We work to change the root causes of what hold our communities back. In these complex change processes, we engage fully with the things that are uncertain, conflicting and sometimes even unknowable.