The creative industry is collectively responding to an industry wide call for support, ahead of the Global Climate Strike taking place in the UK on 20th September, organised by Greta Thunberg and the UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN).
CEOs and Founders from a range of creative organisations have signed an open letter asking the industry to pledge their commitment to support the global climate crisis, by giving their employees the opportunity to take time from their working day to join the strike.
The letter has been written by individuals from competing creative companies, who have united to help address the climate emergency. It asks the creative industry to not only attend the strike, but also to use their creativity to amplify the climate emergency message at the strikes.
An open brief, entitled ‘Create and Strike’, calls upon creatives from all backgrounds to use their creative talents and resources to ‘create a sign, a blimp, something.’ to support the strikes. It states “If you truly believe that our industry has the power to enact change, then walk away from your desk and use your creativity to get their [millions of young people striking] message heard.”
As an incentive to participate, UKSCN and a panel of creative luminaries will shortlist and award the most impactful ideas.
The letter has already attracted co-signatures from leaders across the industry, including Iris, Droga5, Weiden & Kennedy, Lucky Generals, BBH, Uncommon, 7Stars, TBWA and MullenLowe. The organisers of ‘Create And Strike’ are calling for more CEOs and Founders from creatively-led organisations to commit to supporting the strike by signing the letter here
Ben Essen, Chief Strategy Officer, Iris said: "The time will come when we have to look our children in the eyes and tell them what we did to protect their future from climate armageddon. Young people have asked us, the adults, to support them at the Global Climate Strike and we have generated ‘Create And Strike’ in response. It’s time for us as leaders to stop sitting on the fence and start making ourselves accountable. I will be there on the streets on September 20th and I hope many others will be too."
Jonathan Wise, co-founder of the Comms Lab and member of the Purpose Disruptors said: “There is a tremendous, emerging energy within the creative industries to want to help address our climate and ecological emergency. The Global Climate Strike represents a clear opportunity to use our special powers to amplify young people's message. We hope the energy and work generated in support of the strike helps deepen the industry's engagement and commitment to climate change so we what is needed in the coming months and years."
Katie Lee, CEO, Lucky Generals, said: "The Generals are a committed and active bunch who vote with their feet. In signing this letter, we're merely showing them that we support whatever role they want to play in such an important conversation. I am sure we'll be joined by many more across the creative industries in light of this climate emergency."
In addition to the Create and Strike competition, the group will be hosting creative workshops in London during the week leading up the Friday 20th strike. Details of workshops will be available online.
‘Create And Strike’ is connected to a growing collaboration of creative initiatives catalysed by the challenge from Good for Nothing x UKSCN x Glimpse (to mobilise 1 million to strike with the youth). The Climate Crisis Summit was organised in response to an open letter written by Extinction Rebellion to the advertising industry urging action on climate.
The Open Letter
Dear Creative Industries
We are in a climate emergency. What are we going to do to help?
We, the signatories of this letter, support the Global Climate Strike that is happening on Friday 20th September, organised by Greta Thunberg and thousands of youth organisations around the world.
The Global Climate Strike will see millions of young people out on the street, demanding an end to the age of fossil fuels and climate justice for all.
These are the most important voices in the world today, and they have asked the adults to support them. We believe that our industry has the power to enact positive change, and we believe it is our duty to use our creative talents and resources to support the young people’s message.
As a signatory, I commit to giving my employees the opportunity to take the time to:
1. Join the strike on September 20th
2. Make something that amplifies the climate emergency message at the strikes
Young people have asked for our help, and this is a clear opportunity to take advantage of what we are great at and to make a significant difference to the defining issue of our time.
Iris Ian Millner, CEO
Lucky Generals Katie Lee, CEO
Uncommon Natalie Graeme, Nils Leonard, Lucy Jameson, Co-Founders
Droga5 Bill Scott, CEO London
MullenLowe Jeremy Hine, CEO
Anomaly Camilla Harrison, CEO and Partner
St Luke's Neil Henderson, CEO
Mr President Claire Hynes, CEO
BBH Karen Martin, MD
Cheil Peter Zillig, London CEO
And Rising Jonathan Trimble, CEO
BMB Jason Cobbold, CEO
The Gate Kit Altin, CSO
Krow Communications John Quarrey, Founder
Revolt Alex Lewis, Pete Bardell, Co-Founders
Livity Alex Goat, CEO
ODD Simon Glover, CEO
Futerra Solitaire Townsend, Co-Founder
Media Bounty Emma Tozer, Jake Dubbins, Co-Founders
The 7Stars Jenny Biggam, Owner
Thinkhouse Jane McDaid, Founder
Jelly / Three Blind Mice Chris Page, Founder
The Unmistakables Asad Dhunna, Founder
Wieden and Kennedy Neil Christie, CEO London
Nice and Serious Tom Tapper, Founder
Just So Jonny Madderson, Jono Stevens, Founders
Pretty Bird Juliette Larthe, Co-Founding Partner
TBWA Sara Tate, CEO
LIEF Margo Mars, Founder
Fortnight Collective Aimee Luther, Managing Director, Europe
Leith Ed Brooke, Head of Leith
Goodstuff Andrew Stephens, Co-Founder