Canadian activist Hannah Alper, 11, gives inspirational Tedx Talk

Nadine Kalinauskas
Shine On

An 11-year-old Canadian girl wants to change the world.

When Hannah Alper was 9, she created her blog,, to share her growing knowledge and passion for "the environment, social action, and people and things that inspire me."

Citing her greatest role models as David Suzuki's daughter, Severn, and Free The Children's Craig Kielberger, both activists who started making a different before turning 13, Alper quickly became a powerful voice on- and offline.

The budding activist and environmentalist organized a shoreline cleanup in her community. She spoke at the WWF's Earth Hour event in Toronto. The prolific blogger offered back-to-school tips for kids with first-day jitters. She launched We Create Change at three local schools and helped collect 97,500 pennies for Free the Children's clean-water projects. And she's been a featured speaker on Free the Children's We Day circuit.

"When I went to We Day, it really shaped who I am today. I was so amazed at what was happening in the stadium. The energy of speakers, performers and students was so powerful," she told the Globe and Mail last September.

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Now, at the ripe old age of 11, Hannah, who has been named one of the 49 people who made Toronto a better place in 2013 by Toronto's The Grid, continues to make a name for herself as an "eco-warrior," "change maker," and "the future of social media."

Her "How to Find Your Spark" Tedx talk, which she gave in Toronto's Distillery District this past December, and which has already been viewed more than 2,400 times in less than a week, is challenging others to pursue their passions too, and to do so by harnessing the power of teamwork.

Watch her 11-minute talk in the video above.

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While social activism is "a family affair" at the Alper household — Hannah's mother, Candace, is involved in helping children in their community through social programs, summer camps and music therapy, while her father, Eric, helped create Hear Here Fun Fest, an annual fundraising event that helps provide hearing aids for children whose families can't afford them — Hannah's parents insist their daughter's passions are her own.

"Hannah comes by it naturally, but at her own pace and puts her own spin on it," Candace told the Globe and Mail. "She's an incredibly confident kid who's interested in so much and empathetic about so many things."

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"From when she started her blog, we've done so many things as a family that we wouldn't have and those have been wonderful experiences. We recycle better than we used to and we get to experience We Day together."

Eric added, "You have no idea how proud we are of Hannah – it's pure joy to see her like this."