The Big Idea: Asia 

This 90 minute session brought together young people from Asia to ideate a strategy that could make world leaders sit up and listen on the climate and education crisis.

The Big Idea event was a fantastic place to connect with other Asians who are as passionate as me about climate education and youth-led transformation. It helped me understand the nuance of building youth power in an Asian context, especially while using climate education as a tool.

Srijani Data, Facilitator

As the second event of our Big Idea series, we heard young people’s perspective on changemaking and ideated what a strategy to make world leaders take action would look like.

Key points raised by young people during the conversation were:

  • Similarly to the outcome from the Africa event, participants expressed a huge concern on alignment of climate and education to countries’ other priorities.
  • Lack of strong climate and education policies. In many Asian countries, the education system focuses on urban problems, there is little  effort in tacking issues of climate change or educating the community and young people about the issues especially in the rural areas where the impacts of climate change are worse.
  • Climate change courses are seen as “extra” topics in the formal curriculum. Most of the participant hadn’t learned about climate change in school. They started acquiring knowledge about climate only after starting their activism work. 
  • Lack of enough ressources to support climate and education causes. 
  • Most of the government institutions don’t recognize young people as stakeholders and partners.

It was thrilling to interact with young people from across Asia on climate and education. The experiences that my co-participant brought made the discussion meaningful and robust. The Big Ideas event was a step towards young people’s involvement in solving this crisis. I am looking forward to the outcomes and more such conversations,

Prathit Singh, participant

The group had the opportunity to ideate on what a strategy to make world leaders take action would look like:

  • Building a public narrative. There is a need of leading more campaigns on intergenerational collaboration of young people and leaders. 
  • Enforce regular communication, support of  youth-led programs and community driven initiative to leaders either through social media or national activities with leaders etc. 
  • Leveraging the power of storytelling to communication the impact of climate change
  • Capacity building of young people. Most of the participants acknowledge that they don’t have enough skills in negotiation, storytelling, influencing and these skills are important in influencing decision making. The participants suggested the idea of  creating climate/education toolkits that are contextualised, youth-friendly with clear guidelines on reaching out to decision makers.
  • Organized movement of young people working in climate and education spaces. In many places, young people are radical but not well organised and these affects the impact they can have.
  • Young people should be active citizens and support government priorities.
  • Encourage diverse perspective, in most big influencing platform. The same faces of urban, well educated young people are the one being invited or receiving funds to attend and engage. Leaders are interested in a different perspective. Encouraging diverse perspective of young people could bring change. 
  • Encourage Innovation. Currently, solutions that are being developed are top down. The solutions are not contextualised at the community level and most of the problems are systematic.
  • Young people should know who makes decision, read policies and engage in local activities that connect them with leaders from the grassrooot level. Bottom up approach. 
  • Sharing knowledge and replicable solutions with local leaders could be a good strategy to make world leaders listen more. 

What’s your big idea

Do you have an idea for how we can get power-holders to sit up and listen about climate and education?

Send us your idea