Millions will soon walk out of their workplaces and homes to join young climate strikers on the streets – calling for an end to the age of fossil fuels. In its demand for climate justice, the Strike will attract global attention, emphasising the urgent need for all to respond.

As Greta Thunberg says, our house is on fire and the clock is ticking. Increasingly, people are waking up to this - taking a hard stance on climate in what is set to be a defining moment in the sustainability movement. But how can we capitalise on this momentum to ensure responses are of the scale and pace needed to create lasting change? While disruption to our way of living is now inevitable, how can we mitigate against the worst of the consequences?

Beyond its immense symbolic nature – literally demonstrating the resolute passion of millions across the global movement - and the undoubted pressure it will put upon business leaders, governments and more to take decisive and meaningful action, the Strike is a much-needed and unparalleled opportunity to engage global communities and fundamentally, change mindsets.

At Forum for the Future, we believe this is a vital first step in creating the wholesale systems change needed if we’re to avert catastrophe. Our vision is a rapid and just transition to a ‘carbon positive’ economy, one that limits global warming to 1.5C and provides clean energy, mobility and meaningful livelihoods. Business as usual is no longer an option – we need new ways of organising, new forms of investment, new types of business. We need to fundamentally re-imagine the way the world works.

Creating the right mindset – one that embraces rather than fears (or even ignores) the complexity of the challenges posed by the climate crisis – will be critical to driving this change. In addition to this, we need to work with those in key positions of power and influence to help them understand and leverage their unique role in making it happen.

That’s why Forum is focused on helping businesses, pioneering organisations and change-makers to diagnose and understand the challenges they face, their root causes and unintended consequences – and crucially, identify where to take action. Although limiting warming to 1.5C may now be impossible, we need to retain our ambition and are working with key stakeholders to demonstrate how to drive the change that’s needed.

As vital as the Strike will be in raising global awareness, alone, it will not change the world. Delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals depends on pulling multiple levers for change in multiple parts of our economy and society. Nothing short of catalytic change across the multiple systems we currently depend upon, with the scale of action matching that of the Strike, will do what’s needed.

As individuals, we all need to ask ourselves how we can use our own power and place in the systems in which we operate to create the most change in the shortest amount of time. Because time isn’t something we have – the Strike, among other things, will make that very clear.

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