A new generation of young people is putting the planet first. Here’s everything you need to know

(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


  • A new generation of young people and ecopreneurs known as Generation Restoration are putting the planet’s health first.
  • This youth-led movement shows the power of an environmentally savvy generation to bring about real, concrete change towards a healthy planet.
  • To support their efforts, the World Economic Forum is launching the #GenerationRestoration Youth Challenge to support young ecopreneurs.

We are witnessing monumental changes to the balance of the natural world and how the human world, responsible for these changes, is responding. The impact from climate change is coinciding with the coming of age of a generation of young ecopreneurs – Generation Restoration – who are choosing to build their lives around restoring the planet and our relationship to it.

At the heart of their motivation and energy lies a powerful shift in mindset. They have grown up as the warnings about climate change and the depletion of Earth’s wonders have become increasingly dire. The consequences of unrestrained growth on the environment, wildlife, and ourselves are propelling increasing numbers of young people around the world to come up with creative, hopeful, transformative solutions that are built upon the principles of restoration.

These principles require moving away from an extractive mindset – that is, taking as much as you can from the Earth to turn a quick profit. Instead, the goal is what’s in the best, long-term interest of all of us, the human and non-human communities that share our planet. The regenerative approach respects nature and learns from nature. The regenerative approach is hopeful, inspired by nature’s capacity for renewal, when given the necessary freedom and opportunity.

Ecosystem restoration and regenerative actions are making their way into the mainstream with the drive for progress coming from Generation Restoration. Young people are thinking big and seizing upon opportunities for collaboration to fix what’s broken with our interactions with nature. New projects and start-ups are appearing all over the globe. Fierce dedication to the protection of our planet is the powerful guiding light, inspiring young people to seek meaningful opportunities and careers to do well by doing good.

The shape of these efforts is incredibly diverse. Some are restoring forests in the Sahel through seeding native trees and fighting back desertification. Others are helping rejuvenate our oceans through the construction of artificial reefs that act as a foundation for underwater ecosystems. And key to many are the emerging technologies that are being used to develop trust-enhancing tech to enable sustainable work for forest communities, or facilitate investment in natural capital to bring landowners, accredited investors, and corporations together.

Many excellent Generation Restoration ideas are initially implemented locally where they have an immediate, transformative effect. When others learn about these innovations, they can be replicated regionally and globally and exponentially increase positive outcomes. For example, the successful grassroots reforestation efforts among indigenous communities by Peruvian conservation non-profit Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos (ECOAN) was the inspiration for Acción Andina. This project is Global Forest Generation‘s Latin-led restoration initiative to safeguard water, biodiversity, and community livelihoods throughout the high Andes. It is a multi-generational restoration project, ultimately across 7 countries, and expected to take twenty-five years.

Restoring, regenerating, renewing, reusing, regreening, rewilding. These are the powerful mantras of this generation. And with this new mindset their dreams, lifestyles, and consumption patterns have changed, causing businesses, investors and policy makers to listen and slowly but increasingly change course with them.

The launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) on June 5 will be a global catalyst for a cascade of transformative actions that will result in significant worldwide restorative actions. Generation Restoration has a great opportunity to play an outsized role in this effort. What is clear is that it has never been more important to foster and support the energy, talent, and drive of the generation that will be most affected by climate change but is also best positioned to tackle the challenges of a lifetime.

For ecopreneurship to become the new norm we need to rethink training, education, policies, capacity-building, and promoting business and technical skills. We need to develop local cohorts of young entrepreneurs, mentors and investors. We at Global Forest Generation are proud to serve on the advisory board of the Forum’s 1t.org, which together with Uplink, is launching the #GenerationRestoration Youth Challenge. The Challenge is a global call for youth-led solutions to conserve and restore ecosystems and is seeking impactful and inspiring solutions from young ecopreneurs and change-makers. This Challenge wants to surface bold new ideas, support them, and celebrate youth-led ecopreneurship by fostering their growth.

Ultimately, the success of the upcoming UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration should not only be measured by the numbers of trees and forests grown, but by how many young people have been able to build successful professions, organizations and livelihoods around ecosystem restoration.

The task ahead is immense, but our collective future depends on it. If you have an idea to help empower the global youth restoration movement we encourage you to participate in the #GenerationRestoration Youth Challenge.

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

UN chief welcomes South Sudan’s Unity government, lauds parties for ‘significant achievement’

With lifelong learning, you too can join the digital workplace

Legendary Harlem Globetrotters slam-dunk at the UN, with message that brings families, nations together

German stock market is not affected by the Greek debt revolution while Athens is running out of time

A Europe that delivers: EU citizens expect more EU level action in future

Ukraine: Temperatures plunge amid rising humanitarian needs

How to talk about climate change: 5 tips from the front lines

This Canadian start-up turns millions of chopsticks into sustainable furniture

OECD Secretary-General Gurría welcomes announcement of new trade agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada

How tech is helping the agriculture sector curb carbon emissions

2019 data on official development aid & online discussion of ODA’s role in the Covid-19 crisis

Spanish vote – bad luck for Greece: Does Iphigenia need to be sacrificed for favourable winds to blow in Eurozone?

How three US cities are using data to end homelessness

MEPs want to ensure sufficient funding for Connecting Europe’s future

Post-Brexit muddled times: the resignation of UK’s top ambassador and Theresa May’s vague plans

Re-open EU: Commission launches a website to safely resume travelling and tourism in the EU

How to make primary healthcare a favourable career choice for medical students: strategies and reflections

Eastern Partnership: Commission proposes new policy objectives for beyond 2020

What if big-tech companies became non-profits?

South Sudan: UN rights experts see little headway on peace deal amid spike in local-level violence

UN official sees ‘unprecedented opportunities’ to make progress on peace in Afghanistan

Commission supports reform projects in Member States for more jobs and sustainable growth

Polish de facto ban on abortion puts women’s lives at risk, says Parliament

Mobile health technology: Advances, Facilitations and Promotion of Autonomy

Road injuries leading cause of death for the young, despite safety gains: UN report

State aid: Commission approves up to €4 billion French measure to recapitalise Air France

Iran: UN rights chief ‘deeply disturbed’ by continuing executions of juvenile offenders

This afternoon Britain will be once more isolated from mainland Europe

MEPs want ambitious funding for cross-border projects to connect people

EU’s guidelines on net neutrality see the light although grey areas do remain

Why South Africa is on a path of economic renewal

Built by a woman: supporting the dreams of mum entrepreneurs

Texting is a daily source of stress for 1/3 of people – are you one of them?

Pandemic versus fear

A breath of fresh air: How three disused industrial areas became beautiful parks

Will the French let Macron destroy their party political system?

Pro-EU forces won a 70% triumph in the European elections

Norway has successfully enforced its foreign bribery laws but faces potential obstacles

EU is not only obsessed with Facebook but also blaims now innocent websites using social plugins to serve democratic dialogues?

Right-wing “sovranism” harm national identity

EU revengefully shows no mercy to Cameron by demanding a fast and sloppy Brexit now

What wealth managers can learn from family dynamics

How global food safety protects the planet and begins on the farm

OECD: Mind the financial gap that lies ahead

Why collaboration will be key to creating the workforce of the future

Green Deal: How MEPs wish to channel EU investment to sustainable activities

VW emissions scandal: While U.S. car owners are vindicated, Europe still unable to change its laws and protect its consumers

If on a summer’s night: is UK businesses’ “new deal” the only key to the “best of all worlds”?

The needs, challenges and power dynamics of refugee resettlement

A jingoistic Spanish ‘war’ from the past

Euro celebrates its 20th birthday

Students & Allies Unite Globally To Launch #Students_Against_COVID

This team of Saudi women designed an award-winning app to make the Hajj safer

Here’s how we get businesses to harmonize on climate change

Forty-two countries adopt new OECD Principles on Artificial Intelligence

No more lead in PVC to protect public health, say MEPs

‘Multiplicity’ of rights violations in Ukraine as fifth winter of conflict bites

5G: How a ‘legion of robots’ could help save the rhino

It’s Trump’s anti-globalization and inward-looking rhetoric that perturbs GOP and US

‘No shortcuts to a healthier world’: WHO chief sets out health priorities for the decade

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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