In 2015 The Guardian named “basic” as the biggest insult of the year.
In 2021? It’s probably “out of touch”.
Out of touch. Adjective. Lacking up-to-date knowledge or information. Governments ‘out of touch’ on climate policy.
Today, if you want to connect with young people, you need to be in touch. And there are a new breed of Aussie tech business bosses doing just that: Canva’s Melanie Perkins and Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar.
These people aren’t unapproachable, backward billionaires (Canva is valued at $40 billion USD, Atlassian $100 billion USD). They’re eco-conscious humans using their fortunes and platforms for good.
They’re fighting the same fight as Gen Zs, as climate change and plastic pollution are the two biggest issues these young people want businesses to help tackle most, our Gen Z & Corporate Activism report found.
Gen Zs see a huge responsibility in the hands of big businesses as 96% believe in human-made climate change. For them, these two sustainability issues are even prioritised before mental health, poverty, animal cruelty, gender and racial equality, and data privacy.
Canva is vocal about their “crazy big sustainability goals”, already hitting their carbon neutral target in 2020 and on the way to becoming climate positive by 2023. From rooftop beehives to climate striking poster designs and planting trees for print orders placed, Melanie Perkins has nailed the kind of ‘in touch’ culture that sends young people gushing.
81% of Gen Zs also believe that big businesses should be involved in trying to solve issues unrelated to their industry, the report found.
Look at Mike who’s been making headlines. The co-founder behind the software company and his wife Annie have pledged to invest and donate $1.5b in climate initiatives by 2030 to help meet COP26 goals. As part of this, they’ve invested in what would be the world’s biggest solar farm in the Northern Territory.
This isn’t about getting more Gen Zs to spend more on these businesses. What’s happening is that during this environmental awakening, there’s a growing camaraderie and mobilisation between billionaires and passionate young people that the world just hasn’t seen before.
Earth is closer to being saved.