It’s Our Time – Why Democracy is Important When Facing Up to the Climate Crisis

WHAT WAS ITS OUR TIME?

Even if it might not feel like it sometimes, we’re currently living through a climate emergency.

For some of us it may feel blindingly obvious that we’re not doing enough to meaningfully tackle it, but with an issue as huge, systemic and complex as climate change it’s no surprise that those just coming to terms with everything get stuck on where to start. 

For us, in the lead up to the recent general election, it was the perfect time to run one of our biggest campaigns yet: #ItsOurTime. Together with The Comms LabJulie’s Bicycle and an amazing team of incredible individuals, we set an open challenge to the creative industries to mobilise young people who care about climate to register to vote in the 2019 UK General Election.

In the fight for our future, democracy is a key component for survival, and the response we got showed a hunger for change and a drive to work for it.

 

WHAT WE DID AT IF NOT NOW 

For us at If Not Now, this meant taking the lead on everything digital, including running the advertising campaign, influencer marketing, content creation and publishing on social media channels. 

In short, we made sure that engaging #ItsOurTime content got seen by the right people.

This meant a lot of frantic designing, messaging, posting and scouring of the internet for the gatekeepers to communities of young people who care about climate change, but (up until that point) may not have felt empowered enough to register and make their voices heard in the general election.

Brandless campaigns like this one leave a space open for people to get creative in their own ways, helping to spread the message further and more effectively than other campaigns with a strict brand to adhere to. 

TOP LEVEL RESULTS

We’re incredibly proud to have been part of such an amazing team effort, not just as part of #ItsOurTime but also in terms of the wider campaign efforts around getting young people to vote.

In the end, nearly 2.5 million people aged between 18 and 34 registered, smashing our personal campaign target of 2 million. 

Between the 1st and 26th November, we had over 12 million impressions and more than half a million engagements, driving nearly 150,000 people to the government registration site. 

Over six thousand tweets used the #ItsOurTime hashtag on Twitter, and 1.4k posts were shared on Instagram It goes without saying that we’re chuffed with the results of this far reaching and engaging campaign, and there’s something to be said for allowing people the space to get creative in their own ways around the issues close to their heart.

WHAT’S NEXT?

There’s been a huge mobilisation of young people over the last two years – rising up to call out inaction on climate change amongst those in power and the structures that hold us at bay. With everything at stake, we are re-defining what’s acceptable when it comes to fighting for our future, and rallying around what we’re asking for.

In order to tackle climate change long-term, we need governments to be on board, and democracy only works when people take part in it.

Campaigns like #ItsOurTime are essential in making sure this happens. The more people that get involved the more change we’ll see and the dream is that one day, eventually, we will be celebrating more successes than setbacks. It’s up to us to hold our government to account for the decisions they make around climate change.

Now, more than ever and especially with this new government in power, it remains our time to make sure that climate counts.

 

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