Generation Z: the savers or the destroyers of the planet?
“History is dependent on the new generation to write a new chapter.” LaMelo Ball
As a student of a business school, it’s normal to hear from family and friends things like: “Ah, you will be the future Minister of Finance, the one who will save our country”. This is something quite frequent to Economics and Management students. Should people have reasons to think like that? It’s true that we are not responsible for the mistakes made in the past. We weren’t responsible for the economic and value crisis. But will we be the solvers of these complex equations?
Generation Z, let’s assume people who born from 1996 onwards, is a generation made of people who were born with a mobile phone and a personal computer. People who grew up with Facebook and Instagram. But also, people that saw Harry Potter save the world and Ash adventures with Pikachu. Yes, we were born with a legacy. Like everything, some things are good, others not so much.
LaMelo Ball, the youngest of the Ball family, once said: “History is dependent on the new generation to write a new chapter”. Will be this a fairy tale or a horror movie?
Nowadays, it’s faster to go to London by plane than to go to Minho on a bus. We were born in a multicultural world. A world that almost has no borders. That’s why we should be the first ones to understand other cultures’ problems, right? But at the same time we, as a whole, don’t care about other people’s problems. We saw that on the last three to four Portuguese elections. The youngest didn’t care about the future of our country. So, do you believe we care about the world? We were the ones that missed the Brexit elections when the U.K. called us to voice our opinions. We are the generation that is capable of going the streets and fight for better environmental policies, but then trash the streets on a night out. Did you know what? I think that, deep down inside, we are just afraid to be as bad as the other generations.
We want to create a legacy, be the golden page of world history. A safe world that cares about the environment and education. We want to stop poverty. We want to erase dictatorship forever. We don’t want a first, a second and a third world! We want just one world, without war and with fairness. A world where corruption is a crime and not an award. A world where we can live safely with our friends and family, without fear.
It’s time to act and show that we want to change and what we can change. It’s time to be more demanding with our leaders. To be more present in the moments of decision. And do not forget that afterward there will come another generation, one deserves better conditions compared with the ones we got! It’s time to stop thinking individually and start thinking collectively.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world”.
It’s time to change history, it’s time to be the savers and not the destroyers of our planet!
Manuel Felgueiras is a Master’s in Management student at Nova School of Business & Economics (Nova SBE), where he also completed his bachelor’s degree in Economics. He is the former executive board president of the Nova SBE Students’ Union, the current chairman of the general assembly, and also the student representative at NOVA’s University General Council. As a Nova SBE student, he developed several projects, including managing more than 30 clubs and organizing numerous relevant social events. Being a former student of the Military Academy, loyalty and teamwork were always a part of his life. His biggest dream is one day to be the president of Sporting Clube de Portugal.