Home Thursdays to Today – Fridays for Future
Thursday and Friday last week, I attended the 14th German Sustainability Day congress in Düsseldorf. Since its first edition in 2008, the two-day event regularly attracts about 2,000 representatives each year from civil society, companies, sustainability experts, governments, the media and research, making it the largest congress of its kind in Europe. It can also boast being a carbon-neutral event, naturally.
This year’s theme was “World – Climate – Change.” And change is what we need in order to save the climate and preserve a world that is worth living in for the next generations.
As every year, the congress’s aims are to encourage the public and private sectors to act sustainably. It also seeks to raise public awareness of the principles of sustainable development and demonstrate that responsible action not only helps solve social and environmental problems on a global or local scale, but can also increase profitability and competitiveness. But I believe every day of the week should be sustainability day, not just one day a year.
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Somewhere in the world every Friday, an international movement of school students known as Fridays for Future (FFF) skips class to protest and demand action from political leaders to prevent climate change and for the fossil fuel industry to transition to renewable energy.
Widespread organization of FFF began after Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg hit the world’s headlines. Thunberg staged a protest in August 2018 outside Sweden’s parliament, where she held a sign that read “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (“School strike for climate”).
Om March 15, 2019, nearly 1.8 million people followed Greta’s lead to form the first global FFF climate strike at 2,200 locations in 125 countries. Since that time I also like to abbreviate the movement rather as “F4F” than “FFF”, as protestors had four main demands:
1. Create a safe pathway under 1.5 degrees Celsius
2. Climate justice and equity for everyone
3. Follow the Paris Agreement
4. Unite behind the science
Later in 2019, F4F staged the Global Week for Future, which between September 20 and 27 comprised 4,500 strikes spread throughout more than 150 countries. The opening day was likely the largest climate strikes in world history, gathering 4 million people, including 1.4 million in Germany alone. So, Friday is now associated with the environment and sustainability by young people and F4F.
If Friday is for the future and young people, shouldn’t there be a sustainability day dedicated to today? It could be organized by the more – let’s say – mature strategy, technology and sustainability fighters who have the power and the positions right now in their companies and organizations to plant the seeds, make a difference and set the frameworks today so that the F4F movement becomes really meaningful and realistic?
If yes, let’s make this day Thursday. In this way, we would have Thursdays to Today (T2T) and Fridays for Future (F4F)! And as there are four objectives associated with F4F, let there be at least 2 objectives prioritized with T2T.
To link it with German Sustainability Day, one of these two Thursday sustainability objectives could be meaningful conferences or events, but also even small network or one-on-meetings within a company, where the sustainability leaders, technology innovators and strategic frontrunners meet, exchange ideas and come up with sustainable solutions to create new circular business models that help to reach the four demands of the F4F movement.
This becomes even more realistic when I look at some of the different global sustainability events, including a host of congresses, forums, conferences and summits, that take place, start or end exactly today – Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021. They include the World Congress on Sustainable Technologies, International Conference on Geological and Environmental Sustainability, C&IT Sustainability Forum, Future Europe Sustainable Europe, IEA Bioenergy Triennial Conference and Sustainable Business Summit
In addition to events, there should be another, second sustainability objective each Thursday. And this could be any individual business related sustainable action by us in charge today, which will have a positive measurable sustainable outcome in the future.
Fridays4Future and Thursdays2Today.
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