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How teen climate strike changes perceptions of climate activism

We humans like a good story. From the first caveman who told a yarn while roasting some mastodon to Biblical lessons passed down through generations to Shakespeare and Spielberg, stories are how we understand our world.

How do you tell your brand’s story? How do you tell it in an elevator? How do you tell it in a tweet? How do you tell it over time? Each place you tell your story has a different audience.

On Friday, all across the world, teenagers are stepping up to say they’ve had enough with adults’ inaction on climate change. What started with one, then two, then three teens ditching school to protest policies that have done little to move the needle, they are organizing a global climate strike. They are changing the conversation, shifting the storyline away from science journals and the halls Congress, giving their story a face: the youth of today. Swedish teen Greta Thunberg, who started the climate strike, has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

This does a simple thing, which the survivors of the Parkland, Fla., massacre achieved, as well. It changes how people see activists, not as hemp-glad hippies or angry folks yelling into megaphones, but as children. Your children. Any parent who reads a story, sees a photo or watches a video of these brave kids is likely to see their own child. It creates a discussion point for family dinner tables. It forces parents to ask the question, what kind of world will my children inherit? Hopefully it creates momentum across the United States and the world.

Teen activism, which often takes the form of a hashtag or a bracelet – remember Livestrong? – is taking the form of something real, not just a fashion statement. These kids are changing the paradigm through we which we understand climate change.

They’re telling a story, and nothing makes a story seem more real than seeing yourself or someone you love as part of it.

What’s your story? Green Collar Communications is a digital marketing and PR agency serving companies in the green economy. We help bring your eco-friendly story to more people, helping you get more leads and clients. Interested in working with us? Contact us today.

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