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The Global School Strike for Climate Action – a Societal Innovation?

In 125 countries students took to the streets on 15 March to call for urgent action on climate change. Supported by more than 12,000 scientists, the students did what governments, business and most of the adult population do not: taking action following the warning of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and call for “urgent and unprecedented changes” within the next 11 years to secure the future of our planet.

In Hong Kong, around 1000 school students, mostly from international schools, took part in the global movement. Unlike in most countries, the education authorities in Hong Kong did not welcome students engaging for their future and called the march “a disruption” to learning (SCMP 16 March 2019).

But isn’t “disruption” something entrepreneurs and innovators aim for? Transforming whole sectors of industries and business sectors indeed requires learning and un-learning, so shouldn’t school students learn about “disruption” as early as possible?

Greta Thunberg, the courageous student from Stockholm, inspired the “Fridays for Future” movement of students. Yes, strikes are disrupting normal school classes, but they are also an opportunity for real learning.

Some scientists believe that this movement could be the tipping point to make climate change action the number one priority for the whole of society. The collaboration between scientists and primary/secondary school students itself is a new form of partnership, a partnership undeterred by vested interests, complacency, and inertia of governments, business, and parents.

The School Strike for Climate Action aligns with Invotech’s mission to help students and youth to create a future in Hong Kong, and is an excellent opportunity to better align societal and technological innovation.

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