On October 24, when Copenhagen Business School hosted the celebration of the UN’s 73rd birthday, the Sustainability Influencers, represented by Luna and Mikkel, gave an inspiring speech on the importance of bringing in youth when trying to solve the global challenges. Here are some of the key points from the speech.
Action for sustainability is strongly needed, and if not now – then when? And if not us, the young generation – then whom?
We aspire to help create a change – a change where we approach the challenges of today and tomorrow differently than we previously could have imagined. A change where students are mobilized and engaged to drive the change themselves, in each our their communities.
BUT, the fact is that our societies and our global economy are confronted with one of the greatest challenges that humanity has ever faced– how sustainable development can be obtained and achieved – and how sustainable development successfully can be implemented in all layers and in all corners of our society.
This challenge we face today is unprecedented – the steps ahead of us to transform our societies into economic, environmental and socially viable have to be taken now, which means that we will have to navigate and create a new path together as we move forward.
Because the ways we have been behaving and gone about our business – both in the literal and metaphorical sense – everything ranging from running businesses to organize our economy – has not been sustainable. This calls for rethinking how we want to structure our economy, run our businesses, public institutions and our society in general.
This is why we believe it is so critical that we dare to challenge the existing and unsustainable paradigm, which has prevailed for far too long, and that we dare to aspire to transform business-as-usual.
Around the world, we are already witnessing climate change. This summer was the warmest summer that Europe has experienced in more than 100 years. We have seen how climate change affected farmers’ yield and we continuously witness cities so polluted that is causes health issues and impeding economic growth. Climate change and the over-extracting of our planet’s resources is a reality.
The 1st of August was marked as Earth Overshoot Day, that is the day when all of humanity has used more from nature than our planet can renew in an entire year. This year, 2018, it was the earliest overshoot day ever.