The rise of Generation Restoration and youth ecopreneurship

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Florent Kaiser, Executive Director, Global Forest Generation

  • Sparked by a formidable sense of purpose, urgency and need for action, a new generation of young people are putting the planet’s health at the heart of their businesses.
  • These young ecopreneurs are collectively known as Generation Restoration and are coming together to restore our natural world.
  • This youth-led movement shows the power and ability of an environmentally-savvy generation to bring about real, concrete change towards a healthy planet.

Our team at Global Forest Generation are on a mission to scale up the restoration of ecosystems worldwide. We are a new group with an old soul: seasoned and experienced conservationists teaming up with young ecopreneurs to demonstrate what a youth movement can become when supported and nurtured.

As part of this Generation Restoration, we believe a large part of the solution to our devastated global environment is regeneration, unlimited possibilities for which surround us. Regeneration – characterised by resilience – describes the ability of a cell, a system, a society, even an entire planet, to heal, renew and thrive anew.

Regeneration is increasingly making its way into the mainstream with new projects appearing all over the globe. Young people are developing regenerative businesses – purpose-driven ventures with social, economic and environmental justice missions at the centre of their business models. Other young ecopreneurs are learning, adopting and teaching regenerative agriculture, which reintroduces carbon, nutrients and species diversity into soils while increasing organic food production. Regenerative development – a particularly far-reaching and inclusive framework to foster collaboration for restorative and regenerative action – provides guidance to gradually transform a community, city, or an entire region and country from degraded ecosystems to abundance.

Local leadership and intergenerational collaboration

At Global Forest Generation, we regard local leaders and their communities as the ultimate ecopreneurs. We see consequential acts of local leadership – and the positive response to grassroots leadership at the global level – all the time within the rural and indigenous communities that comprise Accion Andina, our flagship initiative to restore forests in South America’s high Andes. This initiative is a partnership of local grassroots restoration leaders and communities throughout six countries, with the goal of protecting and restoring 1 million hectares and grow 100 million trees to restore native forests across the high Andes in the next 25 years.

It is profoundly inspiring to see entire communities across several countries collectively involved in reforestation: hundreds of multi-generational families committed to restoring their forests for water security. In the Andes, the Inca descendants continue to practice their ancestral principles of the Ayni, the Minka and the Mita. Ecopreneurs can learn from adopting their indigenous philosophy of common purpose – a profound commitment to work together for the greater good. Today I help you and tomorrow you help me, and the sum of our actions will be far greater. Not just person to person or community to community, but for the benefit of all the people, for the land they live on, with its long history.

A deep belief in the power of the collective, on-the-ground actions of many individuals is making ecosystem restoration a reality in the Andes and beyond, as thousands of youth-led projects take root all over the world.

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about deforestation?

Halting deforestation is essential to avoiding the worst effects of global climate change.

The destruction of forests creates almost as much greenhouse gas emissions as global road travel, and yet it continues at an alarming rate.

In 2012, we brought together more than 150 partners working in Latin America, West Africa, Central Africa and South-East Asia – to establish the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020: a global public-private partnership to facilitate investment in systemic change.

The Alliance, made up of businesses, governments, civil society, indigenous people, communities and international organizations, helps producers, traders and buyers of commodities often blamed for causing deforestation to achieve deforestation-free supply chains.

The Commodities and Forests Agenda 2020, summarizes the areas in which the most urgent action is needed to eliminate deforestation from global agricultural supply chains.

The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020is gaining ground on tackling deforestation linked to the production of four commodities: palm oil, beef, soy, and pulp and paper.

Get in touch to join our mission to halt to deforestation.

The process of growing trees and forests can serve as a metaphor for the experience of an ecopreneur. It is a progression requiring patience and long-term commitment: collecting seeds, nurturing their growth, planting young trees and then gathering more seeds to continue the process of creating healthy forest ecosystems.

And just as young trees receive sustenance from older established trees, the nurturing of a young ecopreneur can benefit from older generations of leaders sharing their wisdom and experience as mentors and guides. At Global Forest Generation we have discovered that young ecopreneurs grow by leaps and bounds by working side-by-side with their seniors.

Scaling up ecosystem restoration by supporting a new generation of ecopreneurs

To restore ecosystems on a large, transformative scale, local leadership and entrepreneurship are truly indispensable. The United Nations has declared 2021-2030 as the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration – a formidable framework to spark commitment and action, and to build a large collaborative movement of young and old to restore our planet. The World Economic Forum’s acts in support of the UN Decade and brings together world leaders, businesses and young entrepreneurs to push forward on ecosystem restoration. We at Global Forest Generation are proud to serve on the advisory board, and there are clear next steps for engaging the world’s youth movement:

For ecopreneurship to become the new norm we need to rethink training, education, capacity-building, and promoting business and technical skills. We need to develop local cohorts of young entrepreneurs, mentors and investors. The Forum’s, together with Uplink, is working with youth leaders to identify and address needs and run ecopreneurship challenges on global and regionally relevant issues. These actions work to surface bold new ideas, support them, and celebrate ecopreneurship.

As these local ecopreneurs and leaders are engaged, we must make sure to foster strong ties to culture and communities. At Global Forest Generation, we are engaged in an ongoing effort to identify and support a new generation of these young leaders with the energy, passion, endurance and skills to regenerate ecosystems in the long term.

We must recognize and invest in young ecopreneurs in early-stage projects, building a robust support system for these young people to engage in ecosystem restoration over the long term. Ultimately, the success of the upcoming UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration should not only be measured by numbers of trees and forests, but by how many young people have been able to build successful professions, organizations and livelihoods around ecosystem restoration.

Never has it been more urgent – and more possible and promising – for our younger generations to tap into their inner ecopreneur spirit and drive practical action in the world. The task ahead is immense, but our collective future depends on it.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

In the future of work it’s jobs, not people, that will become redundant

‘Right to disconnect’ should be an EU-wide fundamental right, MEPs say

The refugee crisis brings to light EU’s most horrible flaws and nightmares

Myanmar Government side-lining democratic reform, resorting to military era repression: UN expert

Around 52 million in Near East, North Africa, suffering chronic undernourishment, new UN food agency report reveals

Missile strike kills at least 12 civilians, including children, in Syria’s Idlib: UN humanitarians

INTERVIEW: ‘Defend the people, not the States’, says outgoing UN human rights chief

Why law enforcement and businesses need to join forces to fight global cybercrime

Reasons to hope and reasons to keep perspective on a vaccine

UK’s Cameron takes the field to speed up TTIP talks. Will “rocket boosters” work?

Five cities short-listed to become the European Youth Capital 2017

Fostering global citizenship in medicine

250+ senior claims leaders under one roof, exchanging transformation strategy

Over 80 per cent of schools in anglophone Cameroon shut down, as conflict worsens

Draghi: A bridge from Brussels to Berlin

Sudan: New political transition, bolstered by peacebuilding, could bring long-term stability to Darfur, Security Council told

State aid: Commission approves €24.7 million of Italian support to compensate Alitalia for further damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak

European Development Days 2013

What lies ahead for the Korean Peninsula?

“France will be there, it will always be there!”, French President Hollande says in a rather disorganised speech; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Seaweed, enzymes and compostable cups: Can ‘Big Food’ take on plastic and win?

UK’s May stresses global cooperation at UN General Assembly

Sustainable finance: Commission publishes guidelines to improve how firms report climate-related information and welcomes three new important reports on climate finance by leading experts

Why is black plastic packaging so hard to recycle?

Gender-Based Violence and HIV/SRHR – The commonly ignored linkages we need to open our eyes for

Strengthening the rule of law through increased awareness, an annual monitoring cycle and more effective enforcement

Venezuela: MEPs call for free and fair elections in the crisis-torn country

How impact finance can alleviate COVID-19’s economic symptoms

Ghana will grow faster than any other economy this year, the IMF says why

ITU Telecom World 2016: it’s all about working together

We have solutions to crime. We just need to scale them

In New Zealand it takes less than a day to start a business

To win combat against HIV worldwide, ‘knowledge is power’, says UNAIDS report

‘Starvation’ now a reality for displaced Syrians stranded in camp near Jordanian border

White Coat, Stained red

The Sahel is engulfed by violence. Climate change, food insecurity and extremists are largely to blame

In the future, no one should be excluded from healthcare

The scary EU elections result and the delayed Council’s repentance

Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants kick off a global migration search movement

Mental health in the pandemic: how to stay emotionally stable?

On sidelines of UN climate summit, US President calls for protection of religious freedom

Science is ‘key’ to pushing forward the 2030 Agenda, UN development forum told

End Syria fighting to avoid ‘even greater humanitarian catastrophe’

Terrorist content online should be removed within one hour, says EP

The Junior Enterprise concept: Business & Education

Summer 2018 Interim Economic Forecast: Resilient Growth amid increased uncertainty

Business management: how can you introduce new ideas?

New ECB boss quizzed for the first time by Economic Affairs Committee

Fit for Future platform selects EU initiatives for simplification and modernisation

To recruit younger people, you have to understand them. Here’s a guide

New technologies, artificial intelligence aid fight against global terrorism

Elections in Britain may reserve a surprise for May’s Tories

A good night’s sleep ‘washes’ your brain, scientists say

Health professionals: the frontline in the fight against the Covid-19

Mexico must increase foreign bribery enforcement: full implementation of anti-corruption reforms could help

Draghi hands over to banks €77.7 billion more

Fail fast, fail better: 3 ways companies can master innovation

EU to Turkey: No other ties than €3+3bn to upkeep refugees

Venezuela: UN human rights office calls for ‘maximum restraint’ by authorities in face of new demonstrations

Why Italy will not follow the Greek road; Eurozone to change or unravel

More Stings?


  1. […] The rise of Generation Restoration and youth ecopreneurship  The European Sting […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s