There’s something incredible about a young child having to take to vehement protests to get our attention on climate change. In just over a year, Greta has gone from striking alone outside the Swedish government to being a force to reckon with in the climate change conversation. Not a day goes by that she isn’t trending on social media, in the news over another politician making a personal attack, or live streaming another speech.
What makes Greta Thunberg so effective, isn’t that her message is new, but that she is giving voice to the billions of children around the globe who are scared about what is happening to the world they live in. Eco anxiety is a real thing, and not surprisingly so. There’s something incredibly compelling about a young girl fighting for her right to safety in a world that is deteriorating visibly. It is very hard to ignore. That is “The Greta Effect” - that people in power listen, react, and act.
Most children in India echo her message. What our children have going for them, is our “waste not, want not” philosophy, and traditional practices that result in a much lower carbon footprint per capita than other developing countries. Another point in favor is that they don’t have to fight the govt - ours isn’t denying climate change! Quite the opposite. All we have to do is look at our NDCs at the Paris Climate Agreement for proof of that.
So what stops our ideators and innovators from coming forward? Are we creating enough platforms for the thinkers and doers of tomorrow to explore their creativity and their unfettered imaginations to come up with the solutions the world needs? Last year Volvo launched it’s Breathe Free campaign with a school outreach program. The idea was to educate and empower children to make more ecologically sustainable choices. To say that Volvo were surprised by the outcome is an understatement.
They encountered a treasure trove of ideas and suggestions, some of which were even implemented. The Volvo Breathe Free kiosks we see in several parts of NCR were the outcome of a suggestion from schoolchildren who were worried about traffic policemen and others like them whose work keeps them outdoors, in the bad air of Delhi.
Volvo Voices of Future campaign stems from the success of this program; only this year, Volvo is opening up the conversation for the whole country. With children and young adults leading the conversation on climate change on the global stage, this is an opportunity for our children to put their voices and their ideas out there. And this isn’t just a contest - Volvo is putting together a framework that will allow these young inventors and ideators to take their ideas to fruition through internships with Volvo’s partners, as well as sponsorships.
So let’s participate, and encourage our friends and their kids to participate too. It’s time to go beyond awareness, and into real world action.
This is a partnered post.