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Young People Think Natural Capitalism Is the Next Trend

They define themselves as strategic optimists. The challenges are enormous, but they have no choice but to face it.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

You can have an extended (and free) audio version of the conversation we had with Julie Colibeau, Lina Baumstark, and Izzy Ahrbeck, available at our podcast A MOMENT WITH:

1. Not part of any generation

They don’t like to be stereotyped in a generation, maybe because they are in between Millennials and Centennials, maybe because they are truly unique. Maybe because they know this new reality is so complex and diverse, that stereotypes are only useful for unsubstantial generalizations. But the truth is they feel they do not share much with an average perspective of their coetaneous. Julie Colibeau is French but raised in Italy. Lina Baumstark is German but lived in the UK for quite a long time, and Izzy Ahrbeck is German-Canadian, but she lived in many countries around the world. The three of them, now living in Barcelona and completing their highly-educated profile, have a global perspective of the world, and very clear ideas about what they would change when they get into relevant positions in business, government, or society.

Grouping people only according to their age wouldn’t probably say much today. You are categorizing different countries, different backgrounds, and the truth is that we’ve not ever been more divided, polarized, even in our own communities. They also admit they are not sure to which generation they would belong, attached to some of the traits of both, but not being part of any. They feel much closer to a definition based on passions, actions, or ideology.

However, they know all people of the same age are going to share some common challenges as their life develops, climate crisis being one of the outstanding.

2. Big challenges, global solutions

Environmental issues are among the top priorities for them, when depicting current reality, but also some other important matters needs our urgent attention, like privacy and surveillance, increasing class and social divide, or even the concepts of trust and truth. Covid and its consequences are also going to emphasize many others, like inequality, social problems, wars, or hunger.
As daunting as this outlook may seem, optimism has become a strategy for them, turning it almost into a tool for protection, resilience, and grit. For example, coronavirus has given us a sense of urgency that is going to be very useful to promote radical change in much-needed spheres of our lives.

Believing in certain things can make your life easier and keep you motivated during hard times, though at times, skepticism and frustration may eventually appear. But global perspective, global governance, and accountability, also for businesses, would be a must to successfully cope with the current situation, as people are trusting less in governments, and even turning to celebrities as a reference for beliefs and behaviors.

Photo by Bruno Aguirre on Unsplash

3. Capitalism is dead, long live capitalism

According to their views, we should eradicate the obsession for endless economic growth. Capitalism is a tool which has been useful for two centuries, but now we have to put people and nature at the center, instead of profit. We might be approaching a new definition of capitalism, Natural Capitalism. The tool is working very efficiently, but it would probably need to be refocused because it has put money over people’s lives. Either we keep competing, but with other goals, or we finally cooperate to achieve our global objectives. Competition is getting harder, as productivity has increased so much that maybe there’s not much room ahead for improvement, so we’ll need to find new ways to make capitalism still viable. The Triple Bottom Line (Planet, People, Profit) should be the minimum requirement for a framework in the new reality we’re facing. Or even changing Profit for some other priority, like Technology and Innovation.

4. The keywords of a new world

Looking towards the future, they want to live in a world where diversity is the norm and the bedrock for everything. There are some concepts and keywords which will frame the next decades:

#education, #empathy, #cohesion and global governance, #accountability, #solidarity, #participation and representation, #clean technology and innovation.

They want to remove the idea that “I can’t make changes,” probably because they feel responsible, entitled, and they force themselves to be strategic optimists by choice. They conceive the world as a single and integrated reality, intertwined though very diverse, so it seems this the idea around they will try to build our future.



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