What is Power Shift?
The Power Shift Network (formerly known as Energy Action Coalition) has organized Power Shift convergences for the youth climate movement since 2007.
Tens of thousands of people have come to Power Shifts over the years to learn about organizing, connect with friends and fellow activists, and build momentum for critical strategic campaign efforts in their communities. But Power Shift is more than a conference—it's part of a movement.
We are the generation that occupied Wall Street, Sandy, and Tahrir Square. We dyed Facebook red in support of marriage equality. We’ve turned out in record numbers to every election we’ve been allowed to vote in, and been the deciding factor in presidential elections – twice.
We are leading the fight to solve the climate crisis and build a clean, just and thriving economy by standing up on our campuses and in our communities to demand real solutions. We have put our fists in the air and our bodies on the line to fight Keystone XL, fracking, and mountaintop removal — and we’re willing to keep fighting as long as it takes.
We are not afraid to speak truth to power, to sacrifice and to demonstrate our commitment to changes that seemed impossible to previous generations. We are the most diverse generation in history, united with one voice, demanding justice for all.
From the first national Power Shift convergence in 2007, the mission of Power Shift has been to recruit thousands of youth leaders from every walk of life to be on the front lines in the fight for a clean energy future.
Why? We still have an uphill battle ahead. Youth have been at the forefront of organizing major victories, from shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline to the rising tide of universities pulling their money out of fossil fuels. But there are still many more pipelines to fight, billions more dollars in university endowments tied up in shares of Exxon and BP, and countless fracking wells, coal mines, and oil refineries still poisoning communities, workers, and especially people of color. Catastrophic climate change threatens our future unlike any other generation.
Meanwhile, the same corporate interests who pollute our climate have hijacked our democracy with billions of dollars in campaign contributions, ads, and outright bribes. They are behind efforts to restrict our right to vote, eliminate workers’ rights to organize, and other attacks on our generation that are as numerous as they are shameful.
If our generation comes together to shift the power in our society, we can build a strong, vibrant climate movement to fight fracking and extreme energy, divest from fossil fuels, demand climate justice, and build a clean energy economy that works for everyone.
Between 2007-2013, the Power Shift Network (then known as Enegy Action Coalition) hosted four national Power Shift convergences. In 2016, we took Power Shift on the road, hosting four regional convergences. We have also supported several other regional gatherings over the last several years, from Oregon to Ohio to North Carolina.
Power Shift has never been just about building a crowd for a weekend conference. The people who have come to Power Shifts over the years – young faith leaders, entrepreneurs, student government leaders, social justice advocates, blue-collar workers, and representatives from places at the many frontlines of climate injustice – come to build momentum for the launch of critical, focused, and strategic campaign efforts in their communities.
Power Shift 2007
Thousands came together for the first time to raise the urgency on climate change, and champion the ideas of a clean energy economy and green jobs as we headed into the 2008 elections.
Power Shift 2009
We reconvened in the first 100 days of the new Obama Administration to demand the President and Congress take bold action on climate. Thousands flooded Capitol Hill for the single largest lobby day in history, and marched to shut down the coal-fired Capitol Power Plant as part of the Capitol Climate Action.
Power Shift 2011
Facing a stalled national political climate, we refocused our movement on local politics, stopping dirty energy, and local green economy solutions. Power Shift 2011 was the largest grassroots organizing training in history, with thousands of youth activists sharing their experiences and learning how to grow our power as a movement.
Our bold organizing got the attention of the White House. In an unprecedented gathering, 11 grassroots youth leaders met with President Obama to discuss his climate and energy policies. The meeting ended with President Obama saying “My job is to govern; and your job is to push me.” And we listened; since then our movement has stepped up to push President Obama to stop the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and more.
Power Shift 2013
Power Shift 2013 was the first ever national Power Shift hosted outside of Washington, DC so we could focus on grassroots strategies to address the climate crisis and building a clean and just energy economy in our own communities.
More than 7,000 activists converged on Pittsburgh — the first city in the country to enact a ban on fracking, and at the heart of building a clean energy economy, but still in the crosshairs of the coal and gas industry. See the highlights from Power Shift 2013 in Pittsburgh here!
Power Shift 2016
In 2016, ahead of a critical election cycle in the US, we took Power Shift on the road, with regional convergences designed to empower, support, and mobilize youth climate justice leaders all across the United States — starting in their own communities. Click here to learn more & see highlights from Power Shift 2016!