Young people looking to the future

SHARE

QWhat is Generation Zero?
Generation Zero is a youthled organisation that cares about the big issues of our time.
It was founded with the central purpose of providing solutions for New Zealand to cut carbon pollution through smarter transport, liveable cities and independence from fossil fuels.
QWhat is your role in the organisation?
My role is as a campaigner on urban design issues.
I’m focused on making sure the shape of our cities in New Zealand stays compact and not sprawling out forever into our precious agricultural land. This means encouraging smaller, well-designed housing types and advocating for better public transport and cycling infrastructure like Auckland’s Skypath, so that people have better options for how they get around.
QHow did you get involved and how can others get involved?
Generation Zero is entirely run by volunteers, so I just rocked up to a meeting and left with a list of things to do. You can either volunteer or sign up online as a supporter. We now have over 30,000 supporters across New Zealand.
QWhat do you enjoy most about the group?
I enjoy the fact that Generation Zero is full of young passionate people who like to get things done and who understand how change happens.
Our process is simple. We figure out which issues politicians need a nudge on, then work out how to best persuade them and then we make it as easy as possible for ordinary young New Zealanders to engage, usually through powerful infographics and cutting-edge social media.
QWhat are some of the more challenging aspects of being in the organisation?
One of the more challenging aspects is that change takes time. We have to be patient and not get ‘‘protesty’’.
We have to bring people with us and make sure that what we advocate for is always based on evidence and holistic thinking. Solutions for the 21st century need to be more then just good for the planet. They have to enrich people’s lives and show a genuine compassion for the human spirit and our ability to change things for the better.