Half of the world population is under 30, did you know? I recently had a lot of discussion around this generation: with and about them. Interesting thing is, when I talk 'with' them (those young people, under 30), I am mostly very inspired. To me, it seems they really care about the state of the earth, they live a lot more conscious life than I did at that age (when my main goal at that point was to learn how to dance salsa and enjoy life to the max). They don't seem to care so much about status, cars and earning lots of money (which I never did by the way ;-)). It seems to me they are quite good in sharing, pursuing their original purpose in life. On the other hand, when I talk 'about' them, the tone of voice is so different! Then I hear I am too optimistic, that it is a lazy generation, that they want to earn fast money and many of it. Where does this go wrong? I don't think I only meet 'indigo children', am I? (I only learned about this last week: children born after 1990, that are said to have come to help us transform the world and they don't have to get rid of all unnecessary human limitations, because they just don't have them ;-)). To me it is so obvious we should include the next generation a lot more in everything we do! Is this such a crazy idea, too much pioneering, dangerous or far-fetched, that I am not getting the support needed to truly empower this generation?
I recently joined a Meetuptospeedup. A meeting organised by MVO Nederland: sustainable entrepreneurship. These were meant to be THE pioneers in sustainable business. And they were...a few of them.. Those on stage, with cool commercial successful business models, like 'Kromkommer'. By the way, nothing wrong with that, nothing. I am very much in favour of opportunistic behaviour when it comes to integrating sustainability in your business in a profitable way. What a bull shit that we should all be a mother Teresa! The sad thing is, that many of the others, those not on stage with success stories, were so sour during the breakouts...yuk! I almost got sick of all the 'what they don't understand's, pessimism, all the obstructions listed. If these are the pioneers in an uber-pioneering country like Holland, then what do we expect of the rest of the world!!??
Yesterday I met John Liu, a filmmaker and ecologist on a mission: organising ecosystem restoration camps. So cool! If we quickly (like in the next 10 to 20 years) organise these camps everywhere in the world, we turn back the degradation of earth, thus humanity. He is convinced about it. I brought a master student in ecology with me, under 30, who studies in Capetown. And while we were discussing, I suddenly saw it: this is about her future! In 20 years I will be around 70. She will probably have young kids. I will reflect on my life, trying to share my lessons learned. She will work somewhere, somehow, perhaps live in a community, with scarcity of water, sharing transport, living on a totally different diet without meat, sugar and soya.
Next week I will visit the Greenschool in Bali. Their mission is: a community of learners, making our world sustainable. My stepdaughter is in international school, where they learn to be a global citizen. In Greenschool they learn to take responsibility for a sustainable world. Our world. How lovely would it be if half the population of the world (under 30) would take a global responsibility to restore earth in her natural state. Because the other half (over 30) messed up our beautiful home in the past, since we started agriculture about 10,000 years ago.
I certainly feel responsible personally, and listening to John Liu, I got confirmed I should. I live in one of the most wealthy places on earth. And one, that is a small country, but has had a biiiiiiiiiiiiig footprint in many ways in the world. I feel that responsibility and try to do something about it, in my own way. That is the only thing I can do. That I feel obliged to, called to.
The future is now. We should all behave like global citizens, showing responsibility for our world. From my grandmother of 98 to all the teenagers starting their holidays next week.
The future is now.