Jeff Gibbs creates programs and organizations to further his goal of citizen empowerment. Recurring process elements in his work include experiential learning about the planet, communication training, the building of a durable community of cohort support, and fostering a sense of hope.
As a teenager Jeff visited a Canadian rainforest that was endangered by industrial logging. In response, he formed a student group that created awareness-raising campaigns about the forest. Eventually, the forest was officially protected. Because of these efforts, Jeff was invited to Brazil to witness the first-ever gathering indigenous groups from the northern-eastern Amazon, who had gathered to discuss the impact of proposed dams that would have flooded their villages, rivers and food gathering areas.
Upon his return, Jeff created a slide show about his Amazonian journey and presented it to over 75,000 young people in schools across Canada, USA, Australia and England, motivating many young people to create school-based environmental clubs. Jeff then founded the Environmental Youth Alliance (EYA), an organization that linked together hundreds these youth groups through conferences, publications and rainforest campaigns.
Jeff then created Leadership Initiative For Earth (LIFE), a charitable organization that involved over 1,400 young people in experiential, nature-based learning programs. Highlights include the largest marine-based education program of its kind in the world; several voyages of the LIFEboat Flotilla brought together hundreds of young people with esteemed educators on fleets of sailing ships for hands-on learning adventures.
For several years thereafter Jeff played a lead role in establishing the WWF Young Volunteers Program that sends outstanding young people from around the world to remote WWF field sites in Bhutan, India, Switzerland, Madagascar, Fiji and Brazil.