Citizens as consumers have a profound effect on how we shape society. The daily choices we make and how we design our lives are directly linked to how we use resources and impact ecosystems across the globe. Consumption is the main driver of economic growth while increasing consumption is also the main cause of global challenges we face today.
To address this, during spring 2021, the ReGeneration 2030 foundation created a three-episode documentary series with youth from the Nordic and Baltic Sea Regions called “Rethinking the System - Time To Act Now”. The series covers three fields, which are the main areas for necessary change, turning to a more sustainable way of living.
The first episode of the documentary is dedicated to economic sustainability. The speakers Annika Lepistö, Amanda Borneke, Liisa Aavik and Robert Peter claim that the linear economy is extremely harmful to both nature and the people. Because of that, there is an urgent need to change the whole understanding of economics and economic growth. Youth representatives argue that we, as a society, need to shift towards the circular economy, which not only fosters economic growth, but also functions without exploiting the environment.
“The circular economy enables us to change goods and services while also considering the borders of nature and designing this economy around it”, says Liisa Aavik, No Waste and Circular Lifestyle Coach from Estonia.
The following episode of the documentary series covers the topic of environmental sustainability. In this part, young people address that we, as a society, are responsible for rapid climate change, which is happening at the moment. Therefore we need to rethink the structure of our system and the ways it functions currently. The speakers Liam McGill, Jessica Brunnberg, Hanna Nyström, Wilma Johansson, Jack Hancock and Annika Lepistö encourage the society to bring themselves for a change and, most importantly, not to be afraid to make it imperfectly.
“We do not necessarily have to do it perfectly, but we need to change at least something”, explains Jack Hancock from Burå in Åland Islands.
The final episode of “Rethinking the System - Time To Act Now'' is about social sustainability. Youth representatives highlight social sustainability as one of the fundamental components of the system that we function in today. Contemporary society needs to address inequality and start making critical decisions in everyday life for the system to become socially sustainable. The speakers of the third episode of the documentary series - Clara Koch, Violetta Massala, Liv Kaya, Nora Hattar and Annika Lepistö urge the society to learn and spread the knowledge of modern slavery and initiate action as consumers.
“How are we going to step up to these bigger challenges if we aren’t ready to fight for anyone but ourselves?”, Annika Lepistö from ReGeneration 2030 in Åland Islands.
The vision of the ReGeneration 2030 movement is clear – changing how we live is essential to building a sustainable future. Since 2018 foundation has gathered youth across 18 countries to learn about, voice concerns and mobilize action around SDG 12 – responsible consumption and production. ReGeneration 2030’s network of hundreds of young change-makers are taking individual and collective actions to make sustainable living the norm. This documentary highlights just this - the youth’s vision about a more sustainable future addressing how individuals and organizations can advance sustainable living and act together to fast-track change.
Watch the documentaries to learn more about the role that youth can play as agents of change in the shift towards sustainable consumption and production.