The global turnout of young people for Fridays for Future was unbelievable. So was the enthusiasm.
Support from parents/teachers/doctors/grandparents/scientists and many more was overwhelming.
We had millions and millions of people in the streets with plenty of media coverage, both good and bad.
Do the results go hand in hand with the wishes and demands? No. So how about the other hot topics of recent years, like Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQ protests, equal pay day etc.? Also: No. Why not?
The climate issue is getting more worrying by the day, economic fairness is nowhere in sight, women's rights are still miles off track, racial injustice is a crying shame. Yet, most politicians carry on as usual. Political patterns are so firmly established and the systems are static, accommodating those in power.
But the next generation is about to join the game. On radically different terms. And in large numbers.
Our sons and daughters are about to go into politics.
Tens of thousands of them. And that's just the beginning.
They're full of wit. Driven by alliances.
They're also going into science, education, industry, finance and wherever it is time for more wit than bullshit.
The young are tired of taking to the streets and are ready to take action instead. Together with powerful allies.
Fresh thinking and more wit in building a future is not a question of age, it is a question of attitude. Right now,
there is too much "this is my moment of power" and way too little of "this will be our future". Parents and grand-
parents in all positions and roles are keen to support the young generation. All it takes is the right connection.
Guerilla politics. Building a new model to make the old one obsolete.
Young Global Natives between 15 and 25 have decided to take on a system that clearly does not work for them. Demonstrating in the streets gets them some headlines but little results. Better try something new! These kids have been raised with a global mindset. For them, the future can't be built on nationalistic thinking. They speak two or more languages, are keen to learn and work hard on acquiring the competences needed to do a good job. They have a superpower: Each other.
This is no job for lone warriors.
So many nationalities, political ideologies & walks of life
We pursue the same idea. In all parties, on all levels.
What we agree on: We want to think in generations, not in terms of office.
And we want to think in a global context with every decision on the agenda,
regional or international, pragmatic or ideological: What does it mean for others?
"Guerilla politics": We are individuals, we all do our own thing. Always.
The community is our secret sauce, our moral backbone. It's not a brand or movement.
From all walks of life. Literally.
We come from all walks of life. Many of us know hardship and even poverty from personal experience, there is nothing elitist about our community. We were raised as global citizens, to be open-minded and cooperative, with a genuine interest in other societies, cultures, beliefs, and in the history behind them. We've become really good at mutuality.
This mutuality gives us strength. Interdependence makes resilient.
We have each other. In our future professional and political lives, we will be able to ask for insider knowledge and for best practice solutions, we will learn from the mistakes others have already made. This means help when I need it from folks who think like me, it means crowdsourcing from peers I can trust.
Our code of ethics gives us .... confidence to bring back respect and appreciation to political work.
Them-and-us is toxic.
Bolsonaro, Duterte, Erdogan, Netanyahu, Trump, Johnson, Putin, Kaczyński, Orbán, Lukaschenko, Salvini and many, many more: Despite ever so much lip-service to the contrary, these men push the interests of the young aside. As a demographic group they carry too little weight anyway! Xenophobia helps to court the largest groups of voters, those who care most about preserving their status quo. For nationalists and populists, it's all about THEM and US.
Populists are bullies, promote simple answers and repeat their mantra over and over again. The most toxic component is their them-and-us ideology. Spotting and denouncing it is essential. A working democracy does not need authoritarian leaders and it does not build identity by defining enemies.
How we even got the idea? The lockdown started it all!
Until March, we all had bilateral relations. Learning languages and going places.
My family has partner-families in Scotland, in Brazil and in Singapore.
We love them dearly, they're our famillage.
Then came the lockdown. It meant a lot of spare time, and we wanted to use it well.
The "Liberating Lockdown Talks" were an eye-opener. They got us thinking politics.
(Link = The Blog. Scroll down to March 2020)
Peer dynamics is the best things since sliced bread!
We talked a lot about politicians. And what we don't like about the way they work.
The Lockdown Talks made us realize our own potential as a political community.
Would anyone have expected we could reach these numbers?
Is there a network anywhere else which gives you access to unbelievably motivated peers, on all continents and with such a diversity of backgrounds? We all believe in fair give-and-take. If we add up what we know and what we're capable of - it just blows my mind!
Why are Americans so scared of socialism?
In Sweden, we've often asked ourselves "What seems so horrifying about our way of life? Americans make it sound as if it were devil's work!"
But ever since I've been to the United States I have come to realize that their idea of socialism is galaxies away from the way we actually live. So I tell myself: Always question what you find worrying. Probably you just don't know enough about it yet. Well, I am ready to fill in the gaps ...
Everything is global. Climate, nature, humanity, our lives.
Fridays for Future has shown clearly that we need new political thinking.
The people who decide over our future are mainly concerned about the next election.
Know what? If we wait for them to act we won't live to see the results!
Hoping for them to take seriously what should rightfully frighten the shit out of them?
Don't. They have other priorities. Time to take things into our own hands, I say.
Old style politics need to go. They're not working for us.
Most of these folks just can't get out of their set-in-concrete ways.
Conservatives and liberals, socialists and nationalists ... in the end, only the party matters.
Can they honour a good idea that comes from the opposition? No. Whenever there is a problem to be solved they'd rather reinvent the wheel for the umpteenth time.
Every country under the sun has made mistakes others can learn from and has found solutions that will also work elsewhere. We're ready for community-sourcing best practice. Saves precious time and tax-payers money.
East and West. Two sides of the same coin.
When I was a kid I used to watch American and British series a lot. They seemed pretty cool to me and helped me to learn English. When I was fourteen I had the chance to go to Europe and two years later I went to the US. My disappointment was overwhelming. Most people don't know a thing about Asia, let alone the Far East.
But then, back home at school, I started asking people what they knew about "The West". My conclusion was: Complacent ignorance is truly universal. If we want to be real global citizens we still have a lot of work to do.
Pragmatic crowd-sourcing. Just the ticket for idealists!
We all have our own agenda. Every one of us.
We will be managers and mayors, run ministries and sit in parliaments.
For this we have decided to build the world's most powerful interface for the young.
An interface for eager-to-learn, keen-to-help, unorthodox new politicians with fresh thinking and the declared will to do an excellent job. An interface for bright minds who - totally independent of political orientation, creed or nationality - will give each other
a hand to make better politics. With plenty of critical feedback included.
Finally, a "we" that includes everyone who is like me
Being a woman does not come with the full package of chances in life anyway. Being a woman in Africa has a few additional challenges. That doesn't mean they can't be tackled. Until this spring my thinking was: African women have to show much more solidarity. They're already pretty good at it, you know.
But now I feel I've got active solidarity on a global scale! That makes me very happy.
That makes my mother very happy. It makes us all confident for the future.
Our circles grow so fast
I've already done a fair bit of research. My plan is a reform of our national education system, it is obsolete and unfair. Through my contacts and their families I can access information on the school systems of 58 countries worldwide! More than that, they will filter out the relevant bits and pieces and translate them into English for me. For free.
I wouldn't stand a chance on my own. And of course I'll do the same for other anytime.
Where I live, everyone takes insurance for granted
I have this thing in my mind. I've always had it. It's because of my mum and my grandma. About the Haves and the Have-nots. They both told me - really, ever since I can think - that people who have carry responsibility for those who don't. Noblesse oblige. Means: Privilege is a moral obligation. My grandma comes from a have-not country. We have, plenty of it. And yet, people are still very grumpy and whinge and whine. Frankly, it pisses me off.
I want to work for the UN and do my best that the have-nots get at least some health care and that the folks who have enough get to realize how lucky they are. Wish me luck.
We have a subject everyone cares about: Generations
We both study sociology and journalism. What we want to establish is a global data bank on intergenerational projects, how they've worked out and what can be learned from them. Before the pandemic we travelled a lot. Backpacking, on a budget. And we kept asking to talk to local council staff and to people in regional administration, we spoke to the old folks in senior citizens' homes, to people in care and to families with three or even more generations living under one roof. And we absolutely love what we're doing. Our minds are brimming with ideas. And we shall implement and share as much as we can.
I'm an environmentalist. And I know that people are pigs.
My brothers and I live in a house right next to a major highway. We get a lot of stuff thrown into our little back garden. Beer cans, cigarette boxes, leftovers from McDonalds, anything really. When I take the undergound I see rubbish dumped basically everywhere. And when I watch TV I see the unbelievable amounts of plastic waste in our oceans. Why?
Until this summer I was very depressed. Until this thing came up that so many of us want to become politicians. This is it. Now I know exactly what to do with my life! I shall take environmental studies and learn all about waste management so that I know exactly what I'm talking about. Knowing that I am not alone motivates me every day now!