Simon Jackson has spent 17 years advocating for the protection of British Columbia’s endangered white Kermode or spirit bear. At the age of 13, he founded the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition, the largest youth-led environmental network in the world, which has grown to 6 million members in over 75 countries. Through the SBYC, Jackson helped raise international awareness about the plight of the spirit bear – helping make the issue the most supported conservation initiative in Canadian history and having it recognized by Time Magazine as one of the most critical environmental issues facing our planet. In the process, he gained the support of many high profile figures such as Dr. Jane Goodall, J.K. Rowling, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the Backstreet Boys and Prince William. Jackson and the SBYC helped establish North America’s largest land protection measure in 2001 – a framework agreement that was the first consensus plan on this scale between business, First Nations and environmentalists. Jackson has received several honors for his work to save the spirit bear, including a being named the Top Green Leader by Explorer Magazine and most notably, being honored as one of Time Magazine’s sixty Heroes for the Planet – one of only six young people selected from around the world. His life’s work was also the inspiration for a movie of the week – CTV’s award-winning Spirit Bear: The Simon Jackson Story – which aired across Canada and internationally through film festivals, the Disney Channel and on Home Video.
Jackson has been featured on talk shows, in documentaries, news programs, radio shows, newspapers, magazines, and in academic journals including the National Geographic Channel & Magazine, Discovery Channel, New York Times, Today Show, Entertainment Tonight, Variety and Time Magazine. Jackson’s achievements include: Created outreach campaign that helped 500 million people learn about the plight of the spirit bear, leading the issue to be recognized by Time Magazine as one of the most critical environmental issues in the world; Delivered thousands of speeches to schools, conferences and special events around the world; Written hundreds of published articles, opinion editorials and book chapters; Named a fellow of the International League of Conservation Writers; Sits, or has sat, on nearly 50 boards, advisory committees and selection panels helping encourage environmental innovation and youth engagement in business, non-profit and government sectors; Recipient of numerous awards. Jackson is a public affairs commentator for CBC and the Huffington Post; is an award-winning photographer and a highly sought-after motivational speaker. He is currently writing his memoir.