Title of the case study: Greta Thunberg
Description of the case study: Greta Thunberg has become the face of youth climate activism. Although she is not the first or the only young person to take environmental awareness to a higher level, she is definitely a notable case, not only because of the impressive visibility she has achieved but mostly because of how she got so far.
Case Study: Greta is the perfect example that no matter who you are, you can make your voice heard and you can contribute in protecting the environment. To quote Time magazine, whose covered she appeared on as Person of the Year in 2019:
“Thunberg is not a leader of any political party or advocacy group. She is neither the first to sound the alarm about the climate crisis nor the most qualified to fix it. She is not a scientist or a politician. She has no access to traditional levers of influence: she’s not a billionaire or a princess, a pop star or even an adult. She is an ordinary teenage girl who, in summoning the courage to speak truth to power, became the icon of a generation.”
(Alter, Haynes, & Worland, 2019)
She started her activism first by convincing her family to change to more eco-friendly habits. In August 2018, at the age of 15 she started skipping school and sat in front of the Swedish parliament protesting to pressure the government to reduce the carbon emissions complying to the Paris Agreement. Soon more students followed her in the strike and under the hashtag #FridaysForFuture through social media, they invited students around the world to join their cause in similar strikes which led to the emergence of a global school strike for climate. (Fridays for Future, n.d.)
This global movement which grew and flourished with the help of social media, became so viral that very quickly it reached a political level. In 2018 Greta addressed the United Nations Climate Change Conference and a year later she travelled by a zero emissions boat to the United States to attend the UN Climate Action Summit where she gave a very powerful speech. She has since been named as Time Person of the Year 2019, has been included in the Forbes list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women for 2019, has received many honors and awards and has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize three consecutive times (2019-2021).
What makes Greta so inspiring is that she is just a young person with vision and who despite the popularity she has gotten, she continues her activism with admirable consistence and persistence. She practices what she preaches with her personal lifestyle choices inviting like-minded people to raise their voices and united take action with urgency and concrete measures instead of words.
Not all heroes wear capes and not all activists have degrees and references.
So dare to speak up!
Title of the case study: @hero_to_0 (Anna Masiello)
Description of the case study: If you think that the example of Greta Thunberg is far-fetched and made you think: “I’m never gonna give a speech in a UN Conference…” here’s another inspiring activist who although did not make headlines internationally, she has inspired thousands of people who follow her on social media and has started her own zero-waste based company: Anna Masiello or hero_to_0 as she is known on Instagram, is a young environmental activist and entrepreneur from Italy who lives in Portugal and who could be your next door neighbor.
Case Study: Anna started documenting her transition to a zero-waste lifestyle on social media a few years ago. She focuses on disposable plastic, sustainable fashion and food waste. She started off with dumpster diving and posting photos of consumable food she rescued from the trash. She promotes conscious consumption and a low impact lifestyle, sharing tips, recipes, and hacks for a more sustainable lifestyle. Her main project, R-coat, upcycles the broken umbrellas that can be found everywhere in the streets of Lisbon and turns them into unique raincoats. Soon after she got the idea, people who follow her on social media started collecting broken umbrellas and sending them to her to support her project. So far, more than 1000 umbrellas were saved from the trash.
Although she first studied languages, she now has a Masters in Studies of the Environment and Sustainability, she’s part of the Global Shapers Lisbon Hub of the World Economic Forum and she works in the circular economy and waste management field.
Anna’s story is optimistic and inspiring because she does not just promote a greener lifestyle but she is a real example that a problem can be turned into an opportunity and in her case into an innovative entrepreneurial idea.
Make sure to follow and support Anna on social media here: https://www.liinks.co/hero_to_0