What does the CEO of one of the world’s most successful software companies have in common with an Aussie Gen Z?
When it comes to tech billionaire and Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes, it’s all about the rage.
And boy, did the environmental philanthropist have some advice for Gen Zs about how to win the fight against climate change.
“I don’t think anyone’s voiceless,” he told us during our recent online Year13 Expo.
“There are avenues young people can find in their community, in their family, in terms of voting. There are a lot of ways you can find to use your voice.”
The guidance comes amid heightened anxiety among Gen Zs about the catastrophic environmental impacts of climate change and frustrations about the politicisation of climate action.
But it’s that exact relationship Gen Zs can learn to weaponise, says Cannon-Brookes.
“As much as young people don’t want to think about it – I certainly didn’t when I was young – economics and finance drive so much of this fight against climate change,” he said.
“As you get older you realise that economics, politics, and climate change are all interconnected. And the more you understand about those fields, the more you can make an impact and make a change.”
Cannon-Brooks said understanding the intersection between climate change, politics and the economy would be critical to fuelling the “huge transformation” required to solve the problem of climate change.
“We’re gonna need to understand the technology disruption and change, we’re gonna need to understand the economics and finance of it, we’re gonna need to understand the business and strategy, and do a fair bit of risk and guts in making changes,” he said.
In the meantime, Cannon-Brookes encouraged Gen Zs to be loud.
“Gen Zs are thinking about their future. They’re fighting for their future. And I think that’s incredibly important,” he said.
“Don’t lose that as you get older. Rage against the dying of the light!”
Roger that, Mike!