Can we unlearn enough to change the world?
Nearly every scientific breakthrough has come from questioning the basic assumptions - the current knowledge base, so to speak. That is something we are in dire need of today, given the state of the planet. Climate change is now an undeniable, visible fact. Cities choked to the point where the govt has to close schools on account of bad air, heat waves and bush fires in Scandinavian countries, the near annual flooding of Kerala - it’s all happening right now.
It is clear that incremental solutions won’t work anymore - what we need is a radical shift in paradigms. Unfettered imagination, and unjaded, hungry, curious minds are the need of the hour. Last year, under Volvo’s Breathe Free campaign, a number of Clean Zone kiosks were set up around NCR to help traffic policemen better manage their health by providing relief from air pollution during the mask season in Delhi. The inspiration for this idea came from an innocent question from a child during Volvo’s school outreach program under the same campaign.
Which prompts the question - are we asking the right questions? Are we questioning what’s possible, or relying too heavily on our assumptions of what’s possible? Are we demanding enough from the businesses that rely on our patronage, and use the world’s shared resources? Clearly, if we were, Greta Thunberg wouldn’t move us the way she does.
Responsible businesses today are striving to get ahead of the climate challenge. Volvo Cars, for instance, has committed that by 2025, half of all cars sold by them will be electric. To that end, from 2018 onwards, each year will see the launch of a pure electric model; and by 2025, every Volvo car will have a 50% lower carbon footprint than it did in 2018. Other thought leaders are emerging in their own industries. The wheels of change are turning, but will they be fast enough to avert what’s coming?
Are we limited only by our imaginations? Can we unlearn enough, and do it quickly enough to bring about the sort of change the world needs right now? Possibly. But in the meantime, smart companies are reaching into new talent pools for their think tanks - one that already asks too many questions and doesn’t seem to understand what “no” means!
Inspired by the success of last year’s campaign, Volvo Cars brings us the Voice of Future contest for young innovators and ideators across the country. The challenge is open to all school children who would like to present solutions and ideas for any of the climate related problems we face today. And this isn’t just a contest - Volvo is putting together a framework that will allow these young inventors and ideators to take their ideas to fruition through internships with Volvo’s partners, as well as sponsorships.
With children and young adults leading the conversation on climate change on the global stage, this is an opportunity for our children to put their voices and their ideas out there. So go ahead, be a part of the conversation, and just maybe, even the solution.
This is a partnered post.