Active Citizens for Sustainable Societies

What can we learn from climate activists?

Marina Martinez
6 min readMar 22, 2019
Students hold up signs at COP24, the United Nations conference on climate change (Photo: Imperial College London)

“Some people say that I should be in school instead [of going on strike]. Some people say that I should study to become a climate scientist so that I can ‘solve’ the climate crisis…[But] what is the point of learning facts in the school system, when the most important facts, given by the finest science of that same school system, clearly means nothing to our politicians and our society?” — Greta Thunberg, TEDxStockholm

Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old from Sweden, decided to go on school strike due to her profound frustration with world leaders’ inaction on curbing climate change, which is a growing threat to human societies according to scientific studies. Since August 2018, she has been skipping school every Friday to go to the Swedish parliament remind politicians of their essential ‘homework’.

Greta Thunberg holding a placard that reads “School strike for the climate” in front of the Swedish parliament (Photo: Hanna Franzen/EPA)

Earlier this year, the teenager girl challenged government and business leaders at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, with a powerful message:

“Some people — some companies and some decision makers in particular — has known exactly what priceless values…



Marina Martinez

Global sustainability researcher. Writing about the controversial relationships among People, Nature, and Economy.