Kehkashan Basu Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Kehkashan Basu      

Forbes 30 under 30, United Nations Human Rights Champion, National Geographic Young Explorer & Founder-President of Green Hope Foundation

Kehkashan Basu, M.S.M. is an iconic global influencer, educator, environmentalist, champion of women and children’s rights, TEDx speaker, Climate Reality Mentor, author, musician, peace and sustainability campaigner. She is the recipient of Canada's Meritorious Service Medal and the only Canadian to win the International Children’s Peace Prize. A Forbes 30 Under 30 and the first-ever Winner of the Voices Youth Gorbachev-Schultz Legacy Award for her work on nuclear disarmament, Kehkashan is a United Nations Human Rights Champion, a National Geographic Young Explorer, a UN Habitat Young City Champion, a UNCCD Land Hero, the Regional Organizing Partner for North America for the NGO Major Group and one of Canada's Top25 Women of Influence.

Kehkashan is the Founder-President of global social innovation enterprise Green Hope Foundation, that works at a grassroots level in 28 countries, empowering over half a million young people and women, especially those from vulnerable communities, in the sustainable development process through education.

She has spoken at over 500 United Nations and other global fora. She is the youngest Trustee of the Parliament of the World's Religions, Co-Lead of UN Women Generation Equality Forum's Action Coalition on Feminist Action for Climate Justice and a member of the World Humanitarian Forum Youth Council. She is the recipient of several awards that include the World Literacy Award for Significant Contribution to Literacy by a Young Person, Canada's Global Energy Show Emerging Leader Award and the Pax Christi Toronto Teacher of Peace Award. She continues to work tirelessly to amplify the voices of young people, women and girls in decision-making processes. She is currently an MBA Candidate at the Cornell University SC Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Speech Topics

The Role of Youth in the Sustainable Development Agenda

No part of our planet is left untouched or unaffected by the impacts of its 8 billion+ residents and by the general apathy of civil society. Climate change, loss of biodiversity, overconsumption and wastage are stretching our finite planetary resources to the limit and threatening our future survival. The current generation of youth is the last one that has the opportunity to take actions to mitigate these challenges before it is too late - yet the children and youth fraternity continue to be ignored, under-represented and left behind while policy-makers continue to debate and procrastinate about the future of our planet. For over a decade now, Kehkashan Basu has been working to change this narrative through her social innovation enterprise, Green Hope Foundation and through her talk she will share her inspirational journey of redefining the role of youth as changemakers in creating a sustainable, equitable world.

Peace and Sustainability

In these unprecedented times, where humanity is confronted with multiple challenges on several fronts, the well-being and prosperity of current and future generations hinge on the realization of peace and sustainability. This process of rebuilding better is fraught with several obstacles, foremost being the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution that are accentuating pre-existing inequalities and exacerbating the divide between nations and communities. Through this talk, Kehkashan Basu will share her decade long journey with Green Hope Foundation, highlighting her grassroots lived experiences, the challenges and successes in driving transformational change through the localization of the sustainable development goals and by leveraging the power and passion of young people in creating a new world order where no one is left behind.

Feminist Climate Justice

Climate change is “Code Red” for humanity. It is the greatest existential threat of our times and its impacts are now visible in every region of our planet. It is an inequality multiplier that exacerbates pre-existing vulnerabilities, disproportionately impacting those that are the least responsible for it, amongst them women and girls, who form half of humanity. For example, did you know that data gathered from successive climate change-fueled disasters reveal that women and children are 14 times more likely to die in a disaster and 80 percent more likely to be displaced by climate change? Addressing the climate gender nexus must therefore be a critical component of mitigation. Through this talk, Kehkashan Basu will share her decade-long journey with Green Hope Foundation, highlighting her grassroots lived experiences, the challenges and successes in building climate resilient communities by empowering women and girls, in all their diversity, as climate defenders.

Bridging the Digital Divide

Technology is rapidly improving how we live, work and learn. However, the implications of the technological transformations are vast and largely unknown, especially in the context of how it will play out in a world of 8 billion people confronted with systemic changes in our environment and economies. We live in a world where digital dividends co-exist with digital divides and the road to equitable progress is largely dependent on how governments, corporates, the public sector, civil society and all its stakeholders create and facilitate pathways of bridging this divide. Green Hope Foundation, a United Nations accredited, youth led global social innovation enterprise has been at the forefront of driving this change, leveraging innovative solutions built on the principles of sustainable development. Its Founder and President, 22-year-old Kehkashan Basu will share this journey of change that began over a decade ago, sharing best practices that serve as an inspirational template of action that is so relevant in the current scenario.

Women at the Forefront of Sustainable Development

Women and girls, in all their diversity constitute half of humanity, yet even now, in the 21st century, gender parity remains a distant dream. This inequality manifests itself in all societies, but is more pronounced in economically vulnerable nations and regions, where lack of access to education, freedom of expression as well as archaic societal norms, all act as barriers to equitable progress. As a young woman of colour whose life’s mission , through her social innovation enterprise, Green Hope Foundation, is to create a world where inequalities do not exist, Kehkashan Basu will share her lived experiences, the challenges she has overcome and the successes she has achieved, often under the most extenuating circumstances, by adopting an intersectional approach that calls for women in all their diversity to be at the forefront of the sustainable development process.



For young climate activists, the pandemic is the defining moment for ...
Kehkashan Basu, 20, quarantined with her parents in Toronto, found ways to keep the Green Hope Foundation, the nonprofit she founded, operating on the ...
Kehkashan Basu
In 2012, when she was 12 years old, Dubai-born Basu founded the Green Hope Foundation in Toronto, where she lives. The all-volunteer nonprofit has worked ...

Related Speakers View all

More like Kehkashan