Let the kids loose!
It’s a difficult balance staying positive about the future in the face of climate breakdown, being entrepreneurial and holding a belief that business can tackle some of the biggest challenges that face society today.
I was in Barcelona last week running a workshop with the talented and positive undergraduate students of ESADE (motto: Do Good! Do Better!) The session was for a sustainable marketing and business course that challenges students to think about what it means ‘to do the right thing’ in a commercial world.
Team plans were discussed about where to focus one’s energy, to what end - and building propositions that could attract investment and support to build more relevant and sustainable businesses. For a world that is changing fast.
It was inspiring. Less anxious about the future, more direct in their intent, less on-the-one-hand-and-on-the-other, this bunch of 22 year olds were ready to get practical and introduce new ways of doing things for a better world.
Putting this ‘intergenerational’ voice inside business discussions, debate and decision making I have no doubt would do more to accelerate a change agenda and challenge inertia than outsourcing to the usual management consultant suspects.
It reminded me of the need to ensure all this work, hustle, projects, advice, decisions, consultancy we do needs to have in mind the generation that is arriving now. Ready for work, ready to make change happen and looking for allies.
Thanks to Simon Paterson for inviting me, the ESADE students on the day for their energetic participation (and not sitting in sullen silence - every speaker/facilitator’s nightmare) and Tim Riedel for allowing us to adapt part of his amazingly useful climate game for large groups.
If anyone reading this is interested in getting their student voices into organisational debate and decision making please do get in touch.