The Co Lab helped the Smithsonian-led Earth Optimism Summit engage youth in 2017 and now they have formally partnered to build a local and global teen eco-network in preparation for the next Summit and 50th Anniversary of Earth Day in Spring 2020!  The Co Lab and Smithsonian Conservation Commons are organizing design salons to identify teen leaders to build a local teen network and help populate a series of salons on eco topics that will result in teen led virtual rooms called Dream Hubs aligned with Teens Dream!

The first salon to build a local teen eco-network was hosted on Sunday, November 4th at the Anacostia Watershed Society’s clubhouse, Eastern Power Boat Club.  Teens from Arlington and Fairfax VA, DC and MD were joined by teachers from Prince George’s County in MD and Fairfax VA, the Plastic Pollution Coalition and Earth Echo.  The group brainstormed the landscape, vision, challenges and opportunities for designing a local network of Maryland, Virginia and DC teens to collaborate more intentionally together with the Smithsonian and environmental organizations.  The group agreed to create a network and serve on an advisory council with another meeting planned for early 2019.

The first topic-specific salon on plastics engaging teens and adults will be co hosted by the Co Lab, Smithsonian Conservation Commons, and Plastic Pollution Coalition on Saturday, December 1.  If you are interested in joining this effort, you can be involved from anywhere as the salons will be building virtual rooms for teens globally to engage and act!  Stay tuned for future salons on sustainable agriculture, water, climate change, and more!

If you have questions, contact the Co Lab at