To regenerate the system, we have to regenerate how we work together. What if we brought the experience of elders and the courage of the next generation together with the brand leaders tasked with shifting paradigms and making essential decisions?
“When he speaks on the [corporate board] from the perspective of a young person, an indigenous person, and a climate justice activist, we think completely differently in that conversation,” says B Corporation consultant and business leader Lorna Davis of her work alongside a 20-year-old. “Having him in the room made us realize that we need to be thinking much more radically. The more broadly and creatively you can look at the world, the more holistic, complete and interesting your solutions are.”
The rising generation is expressing urgency and skepticism on pressing issues like never before, and they want to work with brands to take action and create positive change in society. At the same time, brand leaders are recognizing that what got us here won’t get us where we need to go.
To regenerate the system, we have to regenerate how we work together. And regeneration requires us to re-pattern how we think about the problems we face and how we work together to solve them.
BBMG is excited to champion intergenerational design as a way of uniting the wisdom, passion, creativity and influence across generations to challenge assumptions and turn brave truths into leadership opportunities. What might it look like if we brought together the lived experience of elders and the courage of the next generation with brand leaders who are tasked with shifting paradigms and making essential decisions?
How to define and build a regenerative business
How can we start building truly regenerative systems? Download our new report, The Road to Regeneration, to understand the principles of regenerative business and learn how to put regeneration into practice.
To create a radically better future with — and not just for — the next generation, intergenerational design works to:
Unlearn: Creating the conditions to convene diverse voices, challenge assumptions, welcome brave truths and unlock new ways of thinking.
Re-pattern: Setting the highest bar for what’s needed and what’s possible by reimagining the path to regenerative leadership.
Forge ahead: Identifying meaningful and material actions for brands, business and society to thrive in change.
“The challenge is making the case for rethinking how to respond to rising [crises], and in a way that addresses the underlying problems within a community versus just chucking more money,” says Chris Miller, Head of Global Activism Strategy at Ben & Jerry’s.
Moment of urgency and possibility
The next generation is coming of age in a radically new world. They are facing an existential crisis and demanding more of themselves, more of society and more of business than any generation before them. Driven by a sense of urgency and passion, their voices and actions are demanding that brands and society co-create a radically better future rooted in deep listening, mutual respect and bold leadership.
According to BBMG partner GlobeScan’s 2021 global study of more than 30,000 people across 30 countries, the next generation is feeling increasing urgency on topics including climate change, social and racial justice, and mental health.
In the US, Gen Z is 5x more likely to strongly agree that they “feel guilty about my negative impact on the environment,” compared to Boomers (22 percent to 4 percent).
76 percent of Gen Z globally say they have been greatly or moderately affected by climate change (vs. 63 percent of Boomers).
Young people under 30 are more likely to consider global problems ‘very serious’ than those over 30:
Discrimination +14 percent (53 percent to 39 percent)
Unequal treatment of women +12 percent (49 percent to 37 percent)
Mental health problems +12 percent (47 percent to 35 percent)
New thinking and norms of collaboration
Addressing these challenges will require a significant restructuring of our society. From global corporations to civil society to local and national governments, leaders are recognizing that the current economic, social and political systems are broken. How might we shift from the mindsets, models and methods that got us here to new ways of collaborating so we can design the future we want and need?
Join BBMG next week at the Sustainable Brands ‘21 San Diego conference, as we host conversations with brand leaders and young activists around growing a circular economy and building a regenerative future.
Conversation 1 – Consumers as Suppliers: Democratizing the Circular Economy
Breakout Session: Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Circularity has had a dramatic evolution over the past 10 years with a shift in expectations, desires and behaviors from consumers. From marketplaces such as eBay and Craigslist to back-end solutions such as Loop and Renewal Workshop, we’re now at a tipping point where brands are democratizing the selling process.
This panel will examine new ways and means of activating consumers as the critical “missing link” in emerging circular models around clothing, footwear and other CPG supply chains. Panelists Shannon Bouton of Delterra and Wilson Griffin of Recurate will share their experiences redesigning systems with the participation of consumers and community members to take circularity to scale.
In fact, the opportunity for mainstream participation may be arriving. According to GlobeScan, 73 percent of all consumers in 2021 believe “we need to consume less to preserve the environment for future generations;” and Millennials are nearly twice as likely to say they are interested in buying secondhand or used items, compared to Boomers (48 percent to 29 percent respectively).
Conversation 2 – Radically Better Future: The Next Generation Reckoning for Brands
Main Stage Session: Thursday, October 21, 2021
For a rising generation, the confluence of a global health pandemic, economic crisis, racial justice uprising, divisive politics and existential environmental threats has sparked a reckoning and a realization that it’s time for bold leadership and a radically better future. In this session, BBMG will share emerging trends from this new global research and host a conversation with young activists as they share their experiences of the moment we’re in, their expectations of brands and their desires for the future they want. Joined by Joe Hobbs of Fridays for Future, Yulu Wek of International Indigenous Youth Council, and Aidan Liss of Extinction Rebellion.
Unlocking new solutions together
It’s time for learning and unlearning, insight and foresight, and bravery and humility. By co-creating solutions with a new generation of citizens, workers, designers, community leaders and culture creators, we find great reason for action and hope.
How we understand and act on the story of this moment will make all the difference in realizing who we are and what we can be together. For brands, this is a moment of truth and an opportunity for transformation.
Stay tuned to learn more about intergenerational design and reach out to explore ways of collaboration.
And, look out for BBMG’s forthcoming Regenerative Brands Report with complete 2021 insights, coming in January 2022.