Last week I encouraged our entire team to go on strike — I’m the CEO of a software business with employees distributed across 24 cities and 15 countries.
Passions shared across our team are a love of nature, and for ensuring sustainability of the environment. Last financial year, we donated more than 2% of profit to organisations working to support environmental sustainability. But donating some money to these great organisations is quiet and easy.
It’s been inspiring in the last year to see the groundswell of direct action by school children spurred by Greta Thunberg, leading to the global movement of school strikes for climate. But as Greta urged back in May: ‘We need everyone’ to join this movement, to urge governments worldwide to take real and urgent action to address the climate emergency that we all face.
‘The adults’ are joining the protest and on 20–27 September there will be Global Climate Strike protest events happening worldwide. All our staff, globally, with the support of the company and without needing to take time off from their own leave, are encouraged to participate in climate strikes in their area.
Now, to be clear, I’m quite uncomfortable about that, because the last thing that I want is to cause any problems or disruptions to our amazing clients. Surely, if 100% of our team went on strike, it would impact business. But that’s the point of a strike — to disrupt business as usual, because how can we simply go about business as usual in the face of environmental breakdown?
I was heartened to see yesterday an alliance of Australian businesses publicly announcing support for taking strike action. Businesses such as Atlassian, Bank Australia, Intrepid and Future Super. This is not business as usual. Our governments are not listening and not taking the serious and immediate action to address the emergency we face.
For the adults in the room, we can make our voices heard, and demonstrate our concern. The Global Climate Strike website lists events happening worldwide and ideas that anybody can put into action and encourage action in their workplace. If you run a business, please, join the alliance and publicly show your support.