YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS - Volume 01 - The Global Solutions Initiative

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YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS - Volume 01 - The Global Solutions Initiative
Volume 01
YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS - Volume 01 - The Global Solutions Initiative

                                                      FOREWORD .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 8
                                                      ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 10

                                                      YOUNG VOICES // GLOBAL ISSUES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 14

                                                      Giulia Carsaniga:
                                                      Policymaking knows no age limit:
                                                      What decision-makers can learn from Millennials and Generation Z  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 19

                                                      Yasmin Morais:
                                                      The importance of youth to reach the Sustainable Development Goals:
                                                      The roles young people may take toward realizing the SDGs  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 25

                                                      Johanna Bärnreuther:
                                                      Warm hearts and cool heads:
                                            CONTENT   How we fundamentally need to change our approach
                                                      to major problems in the world  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 31

                                                      TECHNOLOGY, DIGITALIZATION & CIVIL SOCIETY  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 36

                                                      Viliana Dzhartova:
                                                      Can technology and innovation help us with social and
                                                      environmental priorities?  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 41

                                                      Beck Hayes:
                                                      It just makes “cents”:
                                                      Innovation and technology align economic activity with social
                                                      and environmental goals  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 47

                                                      Gina Marcela Cortés Valderrama:
                                                      Technology and innovation fall short without an intersectional
                                                      feminist approach:
                                                      The key towards a more equitable, healthier,
                                                      and just system for all  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 53

                                                      Yelena Novikova:
                                                      ESG investing and disability integration:
                                                      Could the pandemic move us through a civil rights approach
                                                      to a data-driven practice? .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 61

© GSI: Ruthe Zuntz | 2019 Young Global Changers                                                                                                       5
       during Summer School activities at FES
YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS - Volume 01 - The Global Solutions Initiative
YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS ∙ VOLUME 1                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        CONTENT

Cindy Adem:                                                                                                                                                                         Dea Wehrli, Deepali Khetriwal & Michael Gasser:
Before the coffee machine goes haywire:                                                                                                                                             E[co]work: An inclusive circular economy
Thoughts on key questions                                                                                                                                                           A solution for the legal, physical and digital inclusion of the informal sector  .  .  .  .  . 143
to ask when legislating emerging tech becomes an oxymoron  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 69
                                                                                                                                                                                    Anaswara Kovithal, Ji Yoon Han & Renan Magalhães:
Alan Ichilevici de Oliveira, Kateryna Heseleva & Vincent Jerald Ramos:                                                                                                              Localization for an inclusive growth:
Towards a multilateral consensus on data governance – A Policy Brief  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 75                                                                         A Social and Solidarity Economic (SSE) approach – A Policy Brief .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 153

CLIMATE CRISIS & CLIMATE ACTION  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 84                          ABOUT THE YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 161

Alex Clark:                                                                                                                                                                         IMPRINT  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 163
‘Wake up and change’ is only the first step
Why technologies and individuals aren't enough to solve the climate crisis  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 89

Karin Baba, et al:
Putting a price on carbon in a post-pandemic world  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 97

Ken Fullerton & Sivendra Michael:
A Pacific Young Global Changer fighting climate change
How people and nations from the Pacific are standing tall
to fight climate change  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 103

Hang Dang:
Standing on giants’ shoulders:
The role of multinational companies (MNCs) in climate change action  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 111

Mohamed Hegazy:
Decarbonizing Africa is about the smallest guy:
As global capital shifts towards climate friendly investments,
we need to innovate how we make it reach the poorest  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 117

TOWARDS SOLUTIONS: PROJECTS & PRACTICES  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 122

Joyce Treptow:
Homegrown solutions for ‘problems without passports’:
An essay of people-powered change towards a future full of hope  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 127

Ken Fullerton & Brianna Kerr:
How can a cup of coffee change the world?
Why consumers should give more thought to the food and drinks they consume  .  . 135

                                                                                       6                                                                                                                                                                                             7
YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS - Volume 01 - The Global Solutions Initiative
I am thrilled to write this foreword for the          ity . I’m keen to learn new ideas for creating
                                                                first publication of the Young Global Chang-          a better and more sustainable world from
                                                                ers (YGC) . The YGC are extremely important           a generation that grew up in the digital age .
                                                                in the network of the Global Solutions Ini-                 It is also this generation which will be
                                                                tiative, which aims to integrate global civil         mostly affected by disturbing environmental
                                                                society into multilateral processes and to re-        changes . Climate change, the loss of biodi-
                                                                couple social, environmental and economic             versity and the exploitation of resources are
                                                                progress . The YGC bring their experience             fundamental threats to all of us . It is now
                                                                and new perspectives into this international          incumbent upon the young generation to put
                                                                network and thereby pollinate decision-               right the terrible mistakes of their parents
                                                                making processes on a global level . They             and grandparents . For too long we followed
                                                                are the voices of the generation that has to          a global narrative of ever more growth and
                                                                live in the world created by the decisions we         expansion . Cruelly, it is mainly those who
                                                                are making today .                                    were not the initiators of this ideology or its
                                                                    It is obvious that international coopera-         damage who are paying the price for this
                                                                tion is the task of people; in cities, schools,       failure . This will also be true for the younger
                                                                universities, sports and cultural associa-            and unborn generations who will certainly
                             FOREWORD                           tions – in short: multilateralism is the re-
                                                                sponsibility of everybody, because in a con-
                                                                                                                      pay a high price as well . In the debate about
                                                                                                                      resilience and sustainability we cannot for-
                                                                nected world everyone is affected by the              get the social dimension . The distribution of
                                                                actions of anyone . While former genera-              vaccines to fight COVID-19 has once again
                                                                tions had to learn this lesson step by step           highlighted the incredible gap between rich
                                                                and began this adventure by building bridges          and poor . But the pandemic showed also
                                                                through city partnerships or school and uni-          that nobody will be safe until everybody is
                                                                versity exchange programs, my impression              safe . This makes me optimistic that we will
                                                                is that these days international exchange             soon see a new international narrative that
                                                                and cooperation has become an established             strives for a recoupled world and the over-
                                                                practice . No wonder, because the digital age         coming of conflicts and inequalities .
                                                                enables most of us to easily follow and en-                 I’m convinced that the Young Global
                                                                gage in events and discussions around the             Changers can contribute significantly to this
                                                                world . The world has become smaller and              debate and its implementation . I am proud
                                                                more vulnerable because many actions have             that the Global Solutions Initiative is help-
                                                                a global impact . Growing together is a fasci-        ing the YGC to make their network as pow-
                                                                nating process, but at the same time we wit-          erful as possible as they humble their pre-
                                                                ness how clashes between groups of people             decessors with great ideas and enthusiasm .
                                                                can quickly escalate due to this more readily
                                                                available, yet more anonymous, access to
                                                                one another . We see this daily in appalling
                                                                hate speech amplified by social media . This

         Dr Markus Engels
         Secretary General of the Global Solutions Initiative
                                                                exposes the need for an international set of
                                                                rules for the digital age that uphold our basic
                                                                human values of solidarity, justice and equal-

YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS - Volume 01 - The Global Solutions Initiative
At a time of polarized views and conflictual           pandemic and other recent trends may have
                                                     debates on many issues of public interest,             led to a revival of multilateral approaches in
                                                     one issue seems to receive broad consen-               some areas, the absence of a coordinated
                                                     sus . Most spectators and commentators of              response – especially regarding the global
                                                     our global political and economic situation            distribution of vaccines – has demonstrated
                                                     seem to agree that our current economic                once more the current boundaries of inter-
                                                     system needs fundamental changes . Even                national solidarity and collaboration .
                                                     flagship publications of global market lib-                 It is against the background of these
                                                     eralism like the Financial Times and The               observations that the Young Global Chang-
                                                     Economist regularly question and critique              ers program aims to identify ideas, projects
                                                     capitalism in its current form, globally and           and people from around the world that help
                                                     internationally, but also nationally, includ-          to shed light on these developments, but
                                                     ing in economies of the West .                         also to move beyond simply acknowledg-
                                                         We have come to realize that our extrac-           ing that things cannot continue to go on as
                                                     tive, fossil-fueled economies are destroying           they are . Instead, the YGC program aims to

                            ABOUT THIS               our natural resources and are bringing us
                                                     to the brink of a global climate catastro-
                                                                                                            provide approaches and avenues for moving
                                                                                                            forward and making the necessary shifts .
                                                     phe . At the same time, economic prosper-                   At the core lies the idea that we need
                            PUBLICATION              ity and economic growth seem to be more
                                                     and more decoupled from broader societal
                                                                                                            to fundamentally rethink our economic ac-
                                                                                                            tivities, towards a better alignment – a re-
                                                     benefits . In simple terms, only very few are          coupling – of our economic and political
                                                     benefiting from economic growth while                  activities with social prosperity and envi-
                                                     most are left behind . Even within economic            ronmental sustainability . To this end, the
                                                     orthodoxy it has become hard to defend the             Young Global Changers program is bring-
                                                     promise of a rising tide that lifts all boats .        ing young voices into debates around global

                                                     The opposite seems to be true; the econom-             problem solving, not least because it is the
         Ole Spies
         Program Lead: Young Global Changers         ic success of a few is coming at ever greater          younger generation that is most affected by
                                                     costs for the many, socially and ecologically .        today’s actions or inactions on these issues .
                                                         These trends are by no means recent                Furthermore, the program draws specifi-
                                                     developments . They have been develop-                 cally on young researchers, social entrepre-
                                                     ing for some time . They were exacerbated              neurs, intrapreneurs, activists and organ-
                                                     and highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic,              izers to find concrete examples, projects

         Laura Herde                                 which has laid bare and heightened many                and initiatives of “recoupling in practice,”
         Program Assistance: Young Global Changers   of the underlying economic developments .              to identify and learn from best practices but
                                                         Inequality is growing, globally as well            also to understand which organizational,
                                                     as within many societies, the destruction              structural and systemic factors foster re-
                                                     of the environment is continuing, and the              coupling and which stand in its way .
                                                     climate crisis is worsening – despite the                   Over the past five years, the Young
                                                     many recent pledges from political and                 Global Changers program has worked with

         Rémy Weber
         Editorial Assistance
                                                     business leaders . At the same time, trust             almost 400 young people from around the
                                                     in democratic institutions has declined in             world . It has identified voices, ideas and
                                                     many countries . And while the COVID-19                initiatives that address the intersection of

YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS - Volume 01 - The Global Solutions Initiative
YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS ∙ VOLUME 1                                                                       ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION

economic and political activities with social         We would like to express our gratitude
prosperity and ecological sustainability .        to the Volkswagen Foundation, who helped
    In this volume we have complied as-           us realize the latest series of Global So-
sessments, recommendations, proposals,            lutions Summer Schools (2019–2021) and
and specific approaches aimed at address-         made this publication possible .
ing the decoupling processes described                We also want to thank our additional
above . All contributions to this volume have     program supporters, without whom the
been written by Young Global Changers or          Young Global Changers program would not
members of the program’s Extended Circle .        be possible; among them the Friedrich-
    The publication is structured into four       Ebert-Stiftung, PwC and The German Fed-
sections . In the first section, our authors      eral Environmental Foundation (Deutsche
argue for a better inclusion of youth and         Bundesstiftung Umwelt DBU) .
upcoming generations in decision-making               The articles in this publication have
processes . In the next two sections, articles    been written by the authors themselves
are clustered around two central themes:          and do not necessarily reflect the positions
digitalization, data and technological in-        of the Global Solutions Initiative, the Young
novation and how these affect and interact        Global Changers program, or our partners .
with civil societies; and our natural envi-           This publication aims to present diverse
ronment, in particular, climate change and        and sometimes differing voices, viewpoints
climate action . These two areas – how our        and ideas of young researchers, academ-
societies manage and use technologies and         ics, social entrepreneurs, activists and or-
how we tackle the climate crisis – are top-       ganizers from around the world who add
ics at the top of the agenda for most of the      their perspectives, share practices and
program participants . The final section of       describe avenues towards much-needed
this publication is dedicated to the ques-        transformation .
tion, “Where to go from here?” and high-
lights approaches for tackling some of the
challenges and issues raised in the preced-
ing chapters . The authors present concrete
projects and initiatives that aim for more
and better recoupling .
    The contributions to this volume have
been developed as part of, or in relation to,
a series of summer schools held between
2019 and 2021 . These international summer
schools took place onsite and online . At
these meetings, program participants from
around the world familiarized themselves
with recoupling approaches and discussed
how their own activities, research projects
and initiatives fit within larger processes of
societal and economic transformation .

                                             12                                                   13
YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS - Volume 01 - The Global Solutions Initiative
Giulia Carsaniga:
                  –   Policymaking knows no age limit:
                      What decision-makers can learn
                      from Millennials and Generation Z  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .                              19

                      Yasmin Morais:
                  –   The importance of youth to reach the
                      Sustainable Development Goals:
                      The roles young people may take toward
                      realizing the SDGs  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   25
GLOBAL ISSUES         Johanna Bärnreuther:
                  –   Warm hearts and cool heads:
                      How we fundamentally need to change our
                      approach to major problems in the world .  .  .  .  .  .  .                                        31

YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS - Volume 01 - The Global Solutions Initiative
YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS ∙ VOLUME 1                                                                                                  YOUNG VOICES // GLOBAL ISSUES

                                                                                                    »Despite the increased presence of young
                                                                                                     voices and faces at conferences and
                                                                                                     in the media, young people themselves
Young Voices //                                                                                      are still seldom involved in any of the
Global Issues:                                                                                       decision-making processes, nor do they
                                                                                                     feel sufficiently represented .«
Young people have become distinguishable              In the following section, our authors ar-
voices on issues like social justice, diversi-    gue that young activists and youth move-
ty, global inequality – and more recently the     ments deserve much more attention and
climate crisis . Pictures of global leaders       actual consideration by senior political
with young activists, keynote speeches and        leaders and decision makers .
heartfelt appeals by young leaders from               In her contribution, our author Giulia
around the world have become standard             Carsaniga identifies specific sets of topics
features of many international meetings           that are particularly relevant in this regard .
and conferences .                                 Yasmin Morais argues that with the right
     But despite the increased presence of        skills and opportunities, youth can become
young voices and faces at conferences and         a true driving force for social transforma-
in the media, young people themselves are         tion . Finally, Johanna Bärnreuther calls for
still seldom involved in any of the decision-     a fundamental reorientation towards more
making processes, nor do they feel suffi-         evidence-based approaches in our individ-
ciently represented .                             ual as well as collective activism – drawing
     While decision makers give regular lip       on a demand that has been front and center
service to the importance of youth inclu-         to the youth-led climate movement since
sion, this is rarely followed up with actual      its very beginning .
inclusion or even proper representation
and consideration of their positions and
demands . This of course is by no means
unique to voices and positions of the
youth but reflects a larger deficit of inclu-
sion and representation across the board .
This representation is, however, especially
pressing when it comes to topics and de-
cisions that directly affect our future on
this planet .

                                             16                                                                         17
YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS - Volume 01 - The Global Solutions Initiative

                                                                                                               Policymaking knows
                                                                                                               no age limit:
                                                                                                               What decision-makers
                                                                                                               can learn from Millennials
                                                                                                               and Generation Z
                                                                                                               “You are too young to understand .” Every-        ent approach to wicked problems . A good
                                                                                                               one in their youth has been told this at least    example is the fight against climate change,
                                                                                                               once . Yet, today more than ever, this way        which international policymakers danger-
                                                                                                               of speaking to young people has become            ously postponed – some even denied – in
                                                                                                               obsolete . Indeed, Millennials and repre-
                                                                                                               sentatives of the Generation Z – i . e . people
                                                                                                               born between 1981–1996 and 1996–2019,             »Younger genera-
                                                                                                               respectively – have been active shapers of
                                                                                                               solutions to this world’s greatest challeng-       tions seem today
                                                                                                               es: from climate change to the COVID-19
                                                                                                               pandemic . Hence, while wisdom may in-
                                                                                                                                                                  able to teach
                                                                                                               crease with age and experience come with           useful lessons to
                                                                                                               time, younger generations seem today able
                                                                                                               to teach useful lessons to decision-makers .       decisionmakers .
                                                                                                               In particular, five sets of values, character-
                                                                                                               izing young activists and movements world-
                                                                                                                                                                  In particular,
                                                                                                               wide, are worth the consideration of senior        five sets of values
                                                                                                               political leaders .
                                Giulia Carsaniga                                                                                                                  are worth the con-

                                2020/21 Young Global Changer & Consultant, Capgemini
                                Social Media: LinkedIn: https://linkedin .com/in/giulia-carsaniga-5b1887154/
                                                                                                               1. Determination and pragmatism
                                                                                                               One of the most common reasons for inef-
                                                                                                                                                                  sideration of senior
                                Keywords: Young generations; policymaking; global challenges; learning
                                                                                                               fective policymaking is a slow and inconsist-      political leaders .«
     © GSI: Ruthe Zuntz | Young Global Changers during the Global Solutions Summer School 2019 at the FES
YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS - Volume 01 - The Global Solutions Initiative
YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS ∙ VOLUME 1                                                                                                                                   YOUNG VOICES // GLOBAL ISSUES

favor of economic globalization . Now that       ment in early 2020 in Italy (Horowitz 2019) .   and changes to global governance rules to        5. Social media and effective
rising sea levels, destructive floods and        Tight as sardines in a can, the young found-    ensure a more inclusive, cooperative and         communication
wildfires call for prompt global action (Ox-     ers of this anti-fascist and inclusive group    balanced globalization .                         While policies will always remain to some
fam International, 2019), politicians world-     reminded everyone in Italy and beyond                                                            extent controversial, especially when it
wide appear still unable to adequately set       (demonstrations happened in Austria as          4. Courage and consistency                       comes to military interventions in another
their agendas, losing themselves in never-       well) of the importance of staying united in    Bringing about change is risky because           state- communication of problems and
ending national and supranational debates .      times of crisis, avoiding hate speech and       it always involves a certain degree of un-       their proposed solutions should be trans-
In this sense, policy decision-makers eve-       the spread of xenophobic sentiments, while      certainty in terms of the effects and con-       parent and straightforward . In the midst
rywhere should show the same determina-          fighting together against global threats        sequences of the actions taken . This is         of the digital revolution, social media have
tion as Greta Thunberg did in 2018, when         (Jones, 2019) .                                 even more true when the aspired change           certainly become essential communica-
she began protesting every Friday in front                                                       is against the will of strong members of so-     tion channels for global politics . Yet, these
of the Swedish Parliament, and the same          3. Open-mindedness and                          ciety or opposed by cultural, religious and/     powerful instruments should not serve the
pragmatism that she – and now millions           progressive thinking                            or historical norms of a country . Examples      self-interests of politicians, dis-informing
of #FridaysForFuture (Fridays For Future         What is evident from the examples of cli-       here abound: From the idea of taxing the         or mis-informing entire populations . Rath-
2020) young activists on all continents –        mate change and populism is that the an-        top 1% of earners to reallocate resources        er, they should bring people closer to each
show today in asking leaders worldwide for       swer to these global challenges is not to       against economic inequality, which is high-      other and to decision-making by providing
a straightforward and immediate reduction        step back from globalization and embrace        ly contested in several developed nations,       understandable news and encouraging soli-
of CO2 emissions .                               more protectionism . Instead, global leaders    (Robinson, 2019; Looney, 2019) to fighting       darity . The need for such a use of commu-
                                                 should be open to new possible solutions        for gender balance in the MENA region . To       nication has emerged during the COVID-19
2. Cooperation and team spirit                   and think progressively instead of regres-      tackle certain problems –first and foremost       pandemic at least in two ways . First, the
Another backlash to globalization – in par-      sively . This conclusion seems obvious to       inequality in all its forms – today’s policy-    spread of conspiracy theories about the
ticular to the increased inflow of migrants       the students who, for example, in 2019 pro-     makers should be able to take risks and dis-     virus could only be defeated by a proper
in advanced economies – has been the             tested against the Citizenship Amendment        play the courage required to break taboos        share of accurate information . Hence, ini-
vehement emergence of extremist nation-          Act (CAA) in India, which threatens the pres-   and move towards change, especially when         tiatives such as the mass literacy program
alist voices . In this regard, the decision of   ence of Muslim immigrants in the country,       fundamental rights and social injustices are     (#AgirContreCOVID19) launched by a young
Great Britain to leave the EU, the election      actively discriminating and violating the       involved . Young sources of inspiration in       medical doctor from Benin and a consor-
of the protectionist Trump, and the rise of      secular principles at the basis of the Indian   this regard currently come from Afghani-         tium of health-related content producers
a populist government in Italy can be seen       constitution (Biswas, 2019) . To some extent,   stan, where, with the retreat of all foreign     has been essential to inform a cautious
as consequences of the dissatisfaction of        the same open-mindedness and progressive        forces, the Taliban recently proclaimed the      conduct among citizens in francophone Af-
certain social groups who feel “left-behind”     thinking demonstrated by these young Indi-      founding of an “Islamic Emirate,” exclud-        rica (Women Deliver, 2020) .
by the process of global integration (Rodrik,    ans is an example for international decision-   ing women from political positions and               Secondly, the recent hesitancy of Gen-
2018, 2020) . Profiting from this sentiment,      makers to make much-needed adjustments          abolishing the Ministry of Women’s Affairs       eration Z to undergo vaccination clearly
these newly elected decision-makers have                                                         (Doucet, 2021) . The courage of dozens of        indicates a lack of targeted vaccination
taken a “my-nation-first“ approach, claim-                                                        women refusing to abandon their land to          campaigns (Crist, 2021) . In this respect,
ing the need to regain control over areas
that had become too internationalized, in-
                                                 »Decision-makers are                            find shelter abroad and risking their lives in
                                                                                                 Kabul to protect their right to study, work,
                                                                                                                                                  the decision of the US government to en-
                                                                                                                                                  list Instagram and TikTok influencers to
cluding labor, security and trade . However,      beginning to listen                            and lead an independent life is undeniable       raise awareness about the risks of the vi-
to deal with the present wave of globaliza-                                                      (Limaye and Thapar, 2021) . Most important-      rus for young people and to boost vaccina-
tion and its implications, cooperation and        to (and learn from)                            ly, it shows a persistence and a consistency     tion rates (Chatelain, 2021) is a sign that
team spirit are needed, not only between,
but also within nations . Policymakers could
                                                  young people’s ideas                           hardly recognizable in the conduct of those
                                                                                                 Western countries bragging for years about
                                                                                                                                                  decision-makers are beginning to listen to
                                                                                                                                                  (and learn from) young people’s ideas and
take inspiration from the Sardines move-          and needs .«                                   restoring peace and building up democracy .      needs .

                                             20                                                                                               21
YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS ∙ VOLUME 1                                                                                           YOUNG VOICES // GLOBAL ISSUES

Biswas, S . (2019, December 18) . “Citizenship Amendment Act: The Students versus the Regime .” Retrieved
from https://www .bbc .com/news/world-asia-india-50820412 .
Chatelain, R . (2021, August 2) . “White House Enlists Social Media Influencers to Promote COVID-19 Vaccines .”
Retrieved from https://www .ny1 .com/nyc/all-boroughs/health/2021/08/02/white-house-enlists-army-of-social-
media-influencers-to-promote-covid-19-vaccines .
Crist, C . (2021, April 22) . “Vaccine Hesitancy Increases among Gen Z Adults .” Retrieved from https://www .
webmd .com/vaccines/covid-19-vaccine/news/20210421/vaccine-hesitancy-increases-among-gen-z-adults .
Doucet, L . (2021, September 7) . “Hardliners Get Key Posts in New Taliban Government .” Retrieved from
https://www .bbc .com/news/world-asia-58479750 .
Fridays For Future . (2020) . “Fridays for Future Is an International Climate Movement Active in Most Countries
and Our Website Offers Information on Who We Are and What You Can Do .” Retrieved from
https://fridaysforfuture .org/ .
Horowitz, J . (2019, December 14) . “Italy’s New ‘Sardines’ Movement Packs Piazzas to Protest Far-Right
Leader .” Retrieved from https://www .nytimes .com/2019/12/14/world/europe/italy-sardines-salvini .html .
Jones, G . (2019, December 14) . “Italy’s Anti-Salvini ‘Sardines’ Take Protest to Rome .” Retrieved from
https://www .insider .com/italys-anti-salvini-sardines-take-protest-to-rome-2019-12 .
Limaye, Y . and Thapar, A . (2021, September 8) . “Afghanistan: Women Beaten for Demanding Their Rights .”
Retrieved from https://www .bbc .com/news/world-asia-58491747 .
Looney, A . (2019, January 29) . “Ocasio-Cortez Wants to Raise the Tax Rate on High Earners . The Tax Cuts and
Jobs Act Already Did .” Retrieved from https://www .brookings .edu/blog/up-front/2019/01/29/ocasio-cortez-
wants-to-raise-the-tax-rate-on-high-earners-the-tax-cuts-and-jobs-act-already-did/ .
Oxfam International . (2019, August 23) . “5 Natural Disasters That Beg for Climate Action | Oxfam International .”
Retrieved from https://www .oxfam .org/en/5-natural-disasters-beg-climate-action .
Robinson, N . (2019, January 8) . “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Right . A 70% Tax on the Rich Makes Sense |
Nathan Robinson .” Retrieved from https://www .theguardian .com/commentisfree/2019/jan/08/alexandria-
ocasio-cortez-70-percent-tax-rich .
Rodrik, D . (2018) . “Populism and the Economics of Globalization .” Journal of International Business Policy 1
(1-2): 12 33 . https://doi .org/10 .1057/s42214-018-0001-4 .
https://www .nber .org/system/files/working_papers/w27526/w27526 .pdf .
Women Deliver . (2020, April 3) . “10 Ways Young People Are Leading the Way against COVID-19 .” Retrieved from
https://womendeliver .org/2020/10-ways-young-people-are-leading-the-way-against-covid-19/ .

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YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS ∙ VOLUME 1                                                                                                                                       YOUNG VOICES // GLOBAL ISSUES

                                                                                                              The importance of youth
                                                                                                              to reach the Sustainable
                                                                                                              Development Goals:
                                                                                                              The roles young people
                                                                                                              may take toward realizing
                                                                                                              the SDGs
                                                                                                              The expression “sustainable development”            Against the backdrop of the 2030 Agen-
                                                                                                              is defined by the United Nations (UN) as        da, the world sees an increasing number
                                                                                                              “development that satisfies current needs       of young people . In fact, we have the larg-
                                                                                                              without compromising the ability of future      est generation of young people in history .
                                                                                                              generations to satisfy their needs” (UN,        With 1 .8 billion people currently between
                                                                                                              1987, p . 41) . During the United Nations       the ages of 10 and 24 years old and with
                                                                                                              Conference for Sustainable Development in       roughly 90% of these young people living
                                                                                                              2012 (also known as “Rio +20”), where the       in developing countries, young people are
                                                                                                              sustainable development agenda for the next     key to the success of the global goals . With
                                                                                                              decade was developed, 17 comprehensive          the right skills and opportunities, youth can
                                                                                                              goals were defined and adopted by the UN        become the driving force behind sustain-
                                                                                                              member states . The goals are called Sus-       able development, world peace, and secu-
                                                                                                              tainable Development Goals (SDGs) and en-       rity (UN, 2018) .
                                                                                                              compass the social, environmental, and po-
                                Yasmin Almeida Lobato Morais                                                  litical spheres . Their objectives range from   Five key roles for youth
                                                                                                              eradicating poverty and promoting economic      There are five key roles that they can play:

                                YGC Extended Circle Member & Programmes Manager, Global Changermakers
                                Social Media: LinkedIn: https://linkedin .com/in/yasminlmorais/               growth to investing in clean energy sources     (1) As critical thinkers, identifying and chal-
                                Keywords: Youth; Sustainable Development Goals; United Nations; sustainable   and quality education . Altogether, the SDGs    lenging the current power structures; (2)
                                development; sustainability                                                   are also called the “2030 Agenda .”             As changemakers, acting and mobilizing

                                                                     24                                                                                   25
     © GSI: Ruthe Zuntz | Young Global Changers at the Global Solutions Summer School 2019
YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS ∙ VOLUME 1                                                                                                                                 YOUNG VOICES // GLOBAL ISSUES

people through new social technologies; (3)     quality of opportunities for youth participa-   Five priority areas for Youth 2030             5 . Peace and Resilience Building – Support
As innovators, bringing new perspectives        tion, especially on issues that directly im-    This youth perspective seeks to increase           young people as catalysts for Peace and
and developing new solutions for current        pact young people, and invites all member       the regional, national and global impact of        Security & Humanitarian Action . (UN,
problems; (4) As communicators, dissemi-        states to include young representatives in      social actors to meet the needs and pro-           2018, p . 10–12) .
nating knowledge about the 2030 Agenda          their UN delegations (UN, 1995, p .1) .         mote the rights of young people in their            This resolution has had a very important
                                                    Between the adoption of WPAY and the        diversity around the world, ensuring their     symbolic and institutional character for the
                                                creation of the SDGs, the UN has expressed                                                     international community to recognize and
»With the right skills                          several times that it is necessary to include                                                  promote the integration of youth into soci-
                                                youth in the efforts to reach the goals . In    »By representing the                           ety at large, as a focal group for the realiza-
 and opportunities,                             2013, right after the adoption of the 2030                                                     tion of the 2030 Agenda .
                                                Agenda, one of the General Assembly Reso-        transition between                                 The definition of sustainable develop-
 youth can become                               lutions stated:
                                                                                                 the past generation                           ment, developing a certain region without
 the driving force                                  “[This resolution] recognizes that youth                                                   compromising the ability of future genera-
                                                participation is important for development,      and the generation                            tions to meet their needs, already serves to
 behind sustainable                             and urges the Member States and entities                                                       express the importance of youth engage-
                                                of the United Nations system, in consulta-       to come, youth have                           ment for the inclusive and lasting growth of
 development,                                   tion with youth-led organizations, to explore
                                                                                                 a fundamental role                            their communities (UN, 1987, p .41) . By rep-
 world peace,                                   new avenues to promote full, effective,                                                        resenting the transition between the past
                                                structured and sustainable participation of      in deciding the fu-                           generation and the generation to come,
 and security .«                                young people and youth-led organizations                                                       youth have a fundamental role in deciding
                                                in relevant decision-making processes, in-       ture path of global                           the future path of global development . The

and monitoring its indicators and, lastly,
                                                cluding in the design and implementation
                                                of policies, programmes and initiatives and
                                                                                                 development .«                                role of young people, as acknowledged by
                                                                                                                                               the United Nations, is increasingly relevant,
(5) As leaders, leading their communities       in the elaboration of the post-2015 develop-                                                   considering that we face numerous unprec-
and countries through organizations, net-       ment agenda; […]” (UN, 2013,1-4)                participation and engagement in the im-        edented challenges that need to be ad-
works, civic engagement, and other means            In addition, the current Secretary-         plementation, review and monitoring of         dressed in an innovative and collaborative
and extending opportunities to marginal-        General of the United Nations, António Gu-      the 2030 Agenda . The strategy Youth 2030      way . These include rapid urbanization, the
ized youth (UN, 2018) . When equipped with      terres, recently made the focus of actions      is organized into five priority areas:         development of new technologies, and new
the abilities and opportunities they need to    involving youth a priority of the UN system .   1 . Engagement, Participation and Advoca-      scientific discoveries (SDSN, 2015) . These
develop their potential, this generation will   To this end, the strategy “Youth 2030: Work-        cy – Amplify youth voices for the promo-   changes have been, for the most part, led
fulfill their role in advancing the Sustain-    ing with and for Youth” was launched at the         tion of a peaceful, just and sustainable   by young people, who naturally become the
able Development Goals .                        General Debate of the 73rd General Assem-           world                                      best actors to transform them into tools for
    Recognizing the key role that youth will    bly, which took place between September         2 . Informed and Healthy Foundations –         social impact . Thus, instead of waiting for
play in this process, the UN has encour-        and October 2018 (UN, 2018) .                       Support young people’s greater access      governments and other institutions to offer
aged and facilitated youth participation            Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, Presi-          to quality health and education services   opportunities and support for young people
and engagement in UN processes and ne-          dent of the 73rd UN General Assembly,           3 . Economic Empowerment through Decent        to get involved in causes related to the 2030
gotiations . In 1995, the General Assembly      recognized youth as important drivers of            Work – Support young people’s access to    Agenda, it is important that young people
adopted the World Program of Action for         change . She stated that young people are           decent work and productive employment      themselves believe in their capacity to mo-
Youth (WPAY) that acknowledges youth as         “amongst our best educated, most innova-        4 . Youth and Human Rights – Protect and       bilize, engage and strengthen their commu-
meaningful human resources in promoting         tive and most creative resources” when it           promote the rights of young people         nities . In this way, the future will become
development and social change . The pro-        comes to addressing health, education, and          and support their civic and political      more transparent, inclusive, sustainable,
gram seeks to increase the quantity and         economic prosperity (IISD, 2017) .                  engagement                                 and fair – without leaving anyone behind .

                                            26                                                                                             27
YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS ∙ VOLUME 1                                                                                                 YOUNG VOICES // GLOBAL ISSUES

Khosla, A . (1987) . Alternative Strategies in Achieving Sustainable Development . In P . Jacobs & D . A . Munro, D . A .
(Eds .), Conservation with equity: Strategies for sustainable development, proceedings of the Conference on
Conservation and Development: Implementing the world conservation strategy, Ottawa, Canada, 31 May–5 June
1986 (p . 191) . IUCN Cambridge .
IISD – International Institute for Sustainable Development . (2018) .
UN launches 2030 strategy and global partnership initiative for youth . SDG Knowledge Hub . Available at:
http://sdg .iisd .org/news/un-launches-2030-strategy-and-global-partnership-initiative-for-youth/ .
UN . General Assembly (2013, December 18) . Resolution 68/130 . AG Index: A/RES/68/130 . Available at:
https://undocs .org/A/RES/68/130 .
UN ECOSOC – United Nations Economic and Social Council (1995) .
World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond . Resolution 1995/64 . Available at:
https://digitallibrary .un .org/record/202231 .
UN – United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (2015, December 14) .
Getting to know the Sustainable Development Goals . SDG Guide . Available at:
https://sdg .guide/chapter-1-getting-to-know-the-sustainable-development-goals-e05b9d17801 .
UN – United Nations (2018) . Youth and the SDGs . Sustainable Development Goals . Available at:
https://www .un .org/sustainabledevelopment/youth/ .
UN – United Nations (2018) . United Nations Youth Strategy . Youth 2030: Working With and For Young People .
Available at: https://www .un .org/youthenvoy/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/18-00080_UN-Youth-Strategy_Web .pdf .
UNFPA Brasil – United Nations Populations Fund Brasil (2013) . Resoluções da Assembleia Geral da ONU sobre
Juventude . Available at: http://www .unfpa .org .br/novo/index .php/biblioteca/publicacoes/onu/878-resolucoes-
da-assembleia-geral-da-onu-sobre-juventude .
UN – United Nations (2012) . The Future We Want . Available at:
https://sustainabledevelopment .un .org/content/documents/733FutureWeWant .pdf .

                                                             28                                                             29
YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS ∙ VOLUME 1                                                                                                                                       YOUNG VOICES // GLOBAL ISSUES

                                                                                                           Warm hearts
                                                                                                           and cool heads:
                                                                                                           How we fundamentally
                                                                                                           need to change our
                                                                                                           approach to major
                                                                                                           problems in the world
                                                                                                           As I sit in a warm Berlin library typing           a more sustainable lifestyle, praising reus-
                                                                                                           this essay, global problems seem both              able straws and bamboo toothbrushes .
                                                                                                           remote and close at hand – just one click              Our time and resources are limited, and
                                                                                                           away on my screen . Wildfires rage in Tur-         yet we opt for behaviors that seem to ignore
                                                                                                           key and Greece . The Taliban takes control         this fact . No plastic straw saved will pre-
                                                                                                           of Afghanistan . A fuel tank explodes and          vent people from dumping so much waste
                                                                                                           life-saving medicine is in short supply – just     into the oceans that there will be “more
                                                                                                           two of many events lining the path of Leb-         plastic than fish in the sea by 2050 .”3 At the
                                                                                                           anon’s economic and financial implosion .          same time, we continue to pile up packaging
                                                                                                           Belgium and Germany experience grave
                                                                                                           floods, bringing climate change closer to
                                                                                                           my doorstep . But people are also taking
                                                                                                           action . German activists celebrate a small,
                                                                                                                                                              »Our time and re-
                                                                                                           late victory in their battle against the utility    sources are limited,
                                                                                                           RWE, as a court rules the clearing of their
                                 Johanna D. Bärnreuther
                                                                                                           Hambach forest camps in 2018 to make                and yet we opt for

                                 2020/21 Young Global Changer & MPhil in Environmental Policy Candidate,
                                 University of Cambridge
                                 Social Media: LinkedIn: https://linkedin .com/in/johanna-baernreuther/
                                                                                                           way for coal mining was unlawful .1 A law-
                                                                                                           yer volunteers at a soup kitchen to help the
                                                                                                                                                               behaviors that seem
                                 Keywords: Activism; impact; efficiency                                    poor .2 Influencers on social media embrace         to ignore this fact .«
                                                                  30                                                                                      31
     © Kua | Misty slopes of Mount Elgon in the north of Uganda
YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS ∙ VOLUME 1                                                                                                                                       YOUNG VOICES // GLOBAL ISSUES

waste and ignore the role that the fishing        democratic regimes have enabled peace in           many companies’ profit interests are mutu-           Regarding egoistic motives, there is
industry plays .4 A thousand felled Hambach       Europe for the past 75 years . A dollar giv-       ally reinforced by providing ersatz solutions    nothing is wrong as such with trying to as-
forests will not come close to the destruc-       en to the right organization will on average       to actual problems (Giridharadas, 2019) .        suage feelings of guilt, wanting to be seen
tion caused by the 2019 Amazon fires or by        contribute substantially to saving a life from         Third, many people hold the false be-        as a good person, or other self-focused
(illegal) logging in Romania and Ukraine,5        disease .8 Research enables quantum leaps          lief that our intuitive emotional response       drivers . Nevertheless, we should approach
nor would the additional coal mined contrib-      in reducing world problems – like the ex-          to problems is the best possible response,       suggested solutions with a more critical
ute substantially to the 2,000 gigawatts of       perimental approach to alleviating global          since facts seem too complex to grasp and        attitude than is the norm today, eager to
global coal capacity .6 Instead of volunteering   poverty pioneered by the 2019 Nobel Lau-           too insensitive to be combined with emo-         investigate the evidence indicating how
at the soup kitchen, the lawyer could have        reates in Economics .9 Finally, government         tion . Drawing from personal experience,         much impact an effort can actually pro-
donated his billable legal fees . Many choices    intervention can be expedient, for example,        they associate predominantly evidence-           duce . Mainstreaming such commitment is
we make in goodwill are inefficient .             when markets fail to price in externalities,       based decisions with cold-heartedness,           crucial to global change, since many people
     To a certain degree, those actions have      as is the case with plastic production and         which seems to stand in contrast with            are motived by self-interest .
symbolic value: low-scale, prosocial, com-        disposal .10                                       emotion . We attribute an authenticity to            Moreover, evidence-based action as
munity-building behavior has the power to                                                            the intuitive response which fact-peddling       opposed to an intuitive response must be
motivate everybody to combat the same             Why do we prioritize inefficient action            lacks . Unfortunately, our belief in taking      destigmatized . We should do good accord-
problem on a bigger scale . In this sense,        over evidence-based behavior?                      an emotional approach to problem solv-           ing to our best knowledge, not according
local activism serves as an outlet for will-      First of all, a feeling of powerlessness leads     ing is mistaken . As Kahneman and Tversky        to our biased emotional viewpoint . This is
power and a role model for change . Fur-          us to believe that our individual actions are      (1974) elaborate, our mind is incapable of       not to say emotions should be suppressed:
thermore, concrete examples are essential         unimportant . The world’s problems are too         grasping large numbers, draws from what-         In fact, they are the engine of all change .
for policy development . Even though the          complex, intertwined and remote for us to          ever sources are available at the moment,        Nevertheless, we require more trust in
Hambach forest might be entirely negligible       feel like it matters which particular course of    avoids ambiguous solutions and is unable         global research to adequately respond to
on a supraregional level, the activism pro-       action we choose . While it is in fact true that   to put events into contexts of scope, among      common challenges . This involves recon-
testing its destruction garnered media at-        one person will hardly change the world, the       others . Their research points towards the       sidering moral attitudes when they conflict
tention that helped seal a government deal        aggregate of all individuals is potent – but       conclusion that our choices are biased by        with the proposed solution . Government,
to end coal power as part of the German           only if enough people on the individual level      such cognitive failures . This explains why
Energiewende .7 The recent court ruling also      abandon this belief . Unfortunately, the be-       some popular solutions are inept at funda-
sets a precedent .                                lief is reinforced by a vicious cycle caused by    mentally mitigating major global problems .      »Giving resources
     Despite such initial justifications, we      disengagement: Regarding democracy, for                Taking the feeling of powerlessness, the
can do better overall . If we sincerely want to   example, consider citizens who do not feel         phenomenon of ersatz solutions and cog-           to the powerless
have an impact, we should focus on promot-
ing what has proven to be a success . Stable,
                                                  represented . Dissatisfied with their politi-
                                                  cians, they stop engaging in politics, which
                                                                                                     nitive failures into account, it is clear that
                                                                                                     we fundamentally need to change the way
                                                                                                                                                       so they can enable
                                                  in turn becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of      we try to solve global problems . Actively        change, while rigor-
                                                  not being represented, and so on .                 reinforcing the belief that a single person’s
»If we sincerely want                                  Second, some actors who pretend to be         actions matter is a good starting point . In      ously evaluating
 to have an impact,                               tackling global challenges actually make
                                                  egocentric choices . Altruistic action and
                                                                                                     order not to feel overwhelmed by the excess
                                                                                                     of information and wide variety of causes,
                                                                                                                                                       effectiveness every
 we should focus on                               solidarity are widely regarded as noble,           we should embrace priority-setting: A cer-        step of the way
                                                  which might spur people to choose an al-           tain degree of ignorance about the rest of
 promoting what has                               legedly sustainable lifestyle à la zero waste      the world can actually help us focus on “do-      might be among
 proven to be                                     or to give to fundraisers . On top of that, ac-
                                                  tivism helps to morally free the informed
                                                                                                     ing good better .”11 Once we are sure about
                                                                                                     a certain pressing issue, why not become
                                                                                                                                                       the best decisions
 a success .«                                     egoist of their bad conscience . Their and         an ambassador for radical change?                 we could take .«
                                              32                                                                                                  33
YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS ∙ VOLUME 1                                                                                                                                                         YOUNG VOICES // GLOBAL ISSUES

as one of the main administrators of aid,        directly affected can make far better de-
should engage in evidence-based action . It      cisions than even the most well-meaning
should only commit to choosing effective         who are unaffected, as Perez (2019) sug-
programs and evaluating their implemen-          gests . She warns that data collection is in   1
                                                                                                     The corresponding press release can be found at
tation and success according to the highest      the hands of the powerful, biasing evidence         https://www .vg-koeln .nrw .de/behoerde/presse/Pressemitteilungen/25_2021_09_08/index .php
academic standards, and should serve as          towards what they deem worthy . Giving re-     2
                                                                                                     Original example from Yudkowsky (2009), probably in allusion to Grisham (1998) .
a role model for change .                        sources to the powerless so they can en-       3
                                                                                                     Wearden (2018) .
    Lastly, let us acknowledge the immense       able change, while rigorously evaluating       4
                                                                                                     Marine sources, predominantly the fishing industry, make up 20 to 30 percent of global ocean plastics
privilege we hold to be able to afford to even   effectiveness every step of the way might           according to Ritchie and Roser (2018) .
read this article and engage in policy de-       be among the best decisions we could take .    5
                                                                                                     In Romania, activists risk their lives to protect forests from the ‘Timber Mafia’,
                                                                                                     https://www .aljazeera .com/features/2020/11/26/romania-disappearing-forests .
bate . It is unjust that those who must shoul-       With warm hearts and cool heads, we             In Ukraine, illegal logging remains at high levels,
der some of the gravest consequences have        can achieve so much more than what we               https://ec .europa .eu/environment/forests/pdf/Country%20overview%20Ukraine%20_17 .05 .2020 .pdf  .
no say . I am convinced that people who are      can imagine .                                  6
                                                                                                     Number retrieved from Evans and Pearce (2019) .
                                                                                                     Mohr (2019) .
                                                                                                     Weller (2015) declares that currently, less than 3 .400 USD save one life .
                                                                                                     Duflo (2010) .
                                                                                                     As of July 4 2021, a range of single use plastic items have been banned in the EU (Directive (EU) 2019/904) .
                                                                                                     Moreover, exports of all but easy-to-recycle plastics from the EU to non-OECD countries have been
                                                                                                     prohibited, taking effect on January 1 2021 (Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/2174) . If enforced,
                                                                                                     these steps should bring significant positive change .
                                                                                                     ‘Doing good better’ by MacAskill (2015) is a central piece to the literature about Effective Altruism, an
                                                                                                     “intellectual project, using evidence and reason to figure out how to benefit others as much as possible”
                                                                                                     and “a practical project to take action based on the research, and build a better world”,
                                                                                                     https://www .centreforeffectivealtruism .org/  .

                                                                                                Duflo, Esther (2010) . Social experiments to fight poverty . TED . Available online at
                                                                                                https://www .ted .com/talks/esther_duflo_social_experiments_to_fight_poverty .
                                                                                                Evans, Simon; Pearce, Rosamunde (2019) . Mapped: The world’s coal power plants . CarbonBrief .
                                                                                                Giridharadas, Anand (2019) . Winners take all: The elite charade of changing the world . Vintage .
                                                                                                Grisham, John (1998) . The Street Lawyer: A Novel: Dell Publishing Company .
                                                                                                MacAskill, William (2015) . Doing good better: Effective altruism and a radical new way to make a difference .
                                                                                                Guardian Faber Publishing .
                                                                                                Mohr, Almut (2019) . The Hambach Forest and the German Energiewende . The Influence of the Hambach Forest
                                                                                                Movement on the German Coal Phaseout . Unpublished manuscript .
                                                                                                Perez, Caroline Criado (2019) . Invisible women: Exposing data bias in a world designed for men . Random House .
                                                                                                Ritchie, Hannah, & Roser, Max (2018) . Plastic pollution . Our World in Data .
                                                                                                Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel (1974) . Judgment under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases .
                                                                                                Science 185 (4157), pp . 1124–1131 .
                                                                                                Wearden, Graeme (2018) . More plastic than fish in the sea by 2050, says Ellen MacArthur . In The Guardian.
                                                                                                https://www .theguardian .com/business/2016/jan/19/more-plastic-than-fish-in-the-sea-by-2050-warns-ellen-
                                                                                                macarthur. Accessed 26 .
                                                                                                Weller, Chris (2015) . The world’s best charity can save a life for $3,337 .06 . Business Insider .
                                                                                                Yudkowsky, Eliezer (2009) . Purchase Fuzzies and Utilons Separately . Lesswrong . Available online at
                                                                                                https://www .lesswrong .com/posts/3p3CYauiX8oLjmwRF/purchase-fuzzies-and-utilons-separately .

                                             34                                                                                                              35

                       Viliana Dzhartova:
                   –   Can technology and innovation help us with
                       social and environmental priorities? .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .                             41

                       Beck Hayes:
                   –   It just makes “cents”:
                       Innovation and technology align economic
                       activity with social and environmental goals  .  .  .  .                                         47

TECHNOLOGY,            Gina Marcela Cortés Valderrama:

DIGITALIZATION &   –   Technology and innovation fall short without
                       an intersectional feminist approach:
CIVIL SOCIETY          The key towards a more equitable, healthier,
                       and just system for all .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .   53

                       Yelena Novikova:
                   –   ESG investing and disability integration:
                       Could the pandemic move us through a civil-rights
                       approach to a data-driven practice?  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 61

                       Cindy Adem:
                   –   Before the coffee machine goes haywire:
                       Thoughts on key questions to ask when legislating
                       emerging tech becomes an oxymoron  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 69

                       Alan Ichilevici de Oliveira,
                       Kateryna Heseleva & Vincent Jerald Ramos:
                   –   Towards a multilateral consensus on data
                       governance — A Policy Brief  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .                   75
YOUNG GLOBAL CHANGERS ∙ VOLUME 1                                                                                                                    TECHNOLOGY, DIGITALIZATION & CIVIL SOCIETY

                                                                                                 »Technological innovation and entrepre-
                                                                                                  neurial spirit alone will not be enough
                                                                                                  to steer digitalization and new technolo-
Technology, Digitalization &                                                                      gies towards delivering for the many .«
Civil Society: Introduction
Digitalization and technological innovation      ware has led to a growing electronic waste          In the following section Young Global
are concepts that come to mind quickly           problem on the one end of the supply chain,     Changers and members of the program’s
when we think about societal transforma-         while fueling atrocious mining practices (in-   Extended Circle address and try to balance
tion . The technological changes of the past     cluding for conflict minerals) on the other     these phenomena, trying to make sense of
few decades (the internet, digitalization,       end . This is accompanied by exploitative       the potential as well as the potential pitfalls
smartphones, social media, artificial intelli-   working conditions from cobalt mines in         of technological progress and innovation .
gence, automation) perfectly epitomize our       the Congo to production lines in China, or
rapidly changing, ever accelerating socie-       the precarious working conditions of so-
ties . At the same time, technological inno-     called gig workers around the world, to
vation is presented and lauded as a poten-       name a few .
tial solution for many, if not all, challenges       Some of these developments are spe-
we are facing today – from the climate crisis    cific to the domain of technology and digi-
to city planning, from schools and education     talization, others are indicative of general
to pandemics, natural disasters and more .       deficiencies of globalized capitalism . All
     There is no doubt that technological in-    these developments are being enabled and
novation, including a better use of data, has    reinforced by permissive regulation, inad-
the potential to significantly improve lives .   equate democratic control and a lack of
New technologies are playing a major role        international coordination .
in making industries more sustainable .              No question: Tech companies have
Data-driven approaches are helping us to         created tremendous economic and social
address all sorts of societal and environ-       value . However, technological innovation
mental challenges .                              and entrepreneurial spirit alone will not
     At the same time, we have been wit-         be enough to steer digitalization and new
nessing the systematic marketization of          technologies towards delivering for the
personal data and a commodification of           many .
digital spaces . This is accompanied by              For digital technologies to deliver on
a disproportionate aggregation of market         their promise, concrete steps need to be
power as well as cultural and political influ-   taken towards more citizen-led control and
ence of big-tech companies .                     an empowerment of those affected – put-
     Furthermore, the continuous produc-         ting people and the environment back at the
tion of newer and newer electronic hard-         center of technological innovation .

                                             38                                                                                                39

                                                                                                               Can technology and
                                                                                                               innovation help us with
                                                                                                               social and environmental
                                                                                                               The world we live in today is subject to com-           tional Innovations continue to dominate the
                                                                                                               plex ecological and social challenges . The             innovation discourse, with economic con-
                                                                                                               most recent report by the Intergovernmen-               siderations and profit being the main driver .
                                                                                                               tal Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2021)                 Other types of innovations are growing but
                                                                                                               warns that increasing global temperatures               are still small in comparison .
                                                                                                               will most certainly lead to crises in biodiver-             In daily conversations, when people talk
                                                                                                               sity, water, and energy . The global impact             about innovation, they usually mean new
                                                                                                               of this is expected to grow exponentially as            or improved technology . Most of the time,
                                                                                                               we approach certain thresholds that put                 this falls into the category of Traditional
                                                                                                               our planet at risk (Steffen et al . 2015) . Fur-        Innovations . Technology on its own without
                                                                                                               thermore, social sustainability challenges              being driven by a strong social and/or en-
                                                                                                               interlinked with ecological disparities mani-           vironmental purpose is simply fueling the
                                                                                                               fest themselves as inequalities in wealth,              existing systems, which in many instances
                                                                                                               gender and race, violent conflict and forced            are the ones that have caused the huge
                                                                                                               migration, and create major challenges for              challenges we are facing today (Packham
                                                                                                               global development (OECD 2015) .                        2009) . For example, technology facilitat-
                                                                                                                   A growing number of academics, com-                 ing convenience – products and services
                                                                                                               panies and governments anchor their hopes               that are available at the push of a button,
                                                                                                               in innovation as the medium to effectively              anytime and anyplace – is both the result
                                                                                                               transition towards sustainability . In a recent         of and the driver for consumerism (Nykiel
                                                                                                               study, Silvestre and Ţîrcă (2019) introduced            2001) .
                                Viliana Dzhartova                                                              four categories of innovation based on the                  While the role of technology and inno-
                                                                                                               focus and motivations of innovators: Social             vation in our transition to social and envi-

                                2020/21 Young Global Changer & Co-Founder, ReImagined Futures
                                Social Media: LinkedIn: https://linkedin .com/in/viliana-dzhartova-77b40420/   Innovations, Sustainable Innovations, Tra-              ronmental sustainability is essential, it is
                                Twitter: @vili_dzhartova                                                       ditional Innovations and Green Innovations              important to acknowledge the significance
                                Keywords: Innovation; technology; sustainability                               (see Table 1) . The study notes that Tradi-             of the unintended consequences of Tradi-

     © pixabay: StartupStockPhotos | Young start-up employee works on software development .
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