Big picture: There is a lot of activism on campus, but we need to evaluate how effective it is.
Why it matters: 89% of youth believe they can make a difference on climate change. Students at colleges and universities commit to making a positive impact on the planet and crafting a more promising future. There is, however, a stark disconnect between young people’s passion for helping the planet and their understanding of how to make effective change.
College activist best practices: Explore specific career paths for peers to find meaningful work in the renewable energy sector or in startups that are actively practicing sustainability. Show everyday people how small individual changes, such as reducing red meat consumption, can have an impact. Demands for divestments and recycling programs only go so far.
Bottom line: Activism focuses on short-term problems such as university endowments or common initiatives. These issues have a streamlined pathway for success, but their impact is statistically uncritical.