Sustainability in action: how to make a real impact

August 22nd, 2019. Scrolling down the Facebook feed.

“Even out here in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, I hear about the record amount of devastating fires in the Amazon. My thoughts are with those affected. Our war against nature must end.”

This is what Greta Thunberg, the young Swedish climate activist, posted on her Facebook page. Within a matter of minutes, this post received more than 41.000 likes, comments and shares. Wow!

It feels right, huh? The word is spread. But is it enough?

We mean, 41.000 people resonated with Greta’s message and that is fantastic. But we feel it is not enough.

There is much more to be done than celebrating these amazing social media engagement stats.

The people who interacted with the post wanted to do something for climate change. To spread the word. Maybe they wanted to do even more. But how?

These are tantalizing questions. How can we really make an impact on our world? Do something more than simply like a Facebook post? Turn these 41.000 lost opportunities into impactful actions?

We needed some help from an expert to help us understand how to close this gap between willingness to act and real action. And Denmark seems the right place to start the search.

This is why we’ve teamed up with Lars Olesen, Community Development & Sustainability Group Leader at IMPACTR, a new platform that connects people with trusted sustainable solutions.

From Denmark to the world. And from passive concern about our world to active involvement.

Let’s follow their story, to find out how we can make an impact ourselves!

Vive la révolution!

Can sustainability and revolution come together? Absolutely!

As Lars explains “The sustainability revolution refers to the necessary change of our societies to reach the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)* in 2030. That’s a massive global transformation in just 10 years, which will affect all parts of our societies and our lives – hence the term revolution.”

* Myth-busting: the SDG’s are not about the environment only but also about reducing hunger, poverty and inequality and much more. Find out the truth.


So, what is IMPACTR all about?

Look, there has been too much talking, too much liking on social media, and too little action.

Talking about the necessity to change does create awareness, which is important, but it also creates a distance to the problems – it almost reduces them into an interesting theoretical discussion.

Enough with talking and inaction. Our world’s major problems are not subjects for discussion anymore. They are hard facts and reality.

We can see you nodding. But when it comes to action, we all sometimes feel helpless. We don’t really know how to help and not just create more awareness.

Lars believes that “since we are all part of the problem, we need to engage everybody. And it has to be easy for people to participate and become part of the solution”. Easy peasy? No!

But this is where IMPACTR comes in.

It works a little bit like a social media app like Facebook. You have a feed of posts highlighting all kinds of different challenges we’re facing in relation to the SDGs.

For each of these posts, you can slide to impact by activating a slide button. This will open a pop-up with links to suggested actions you can take.

It is as simple as that: Select a post, slide to impact, select the action you want to take, and carry out the action. Boom!

Is it a coincidence that it started in Denmark?

The Danes do not like bragging. But we can tell that the fundamental values of the Danish society played a role in making IMPACTR a reality.

Lars explains that it is a universal platform born as an international collaboration. But it is no coincidence that most of the people participating today are in Copenhagen.

And the reason they came to Denmark is exactly that: to study or work on sustainability, that is ingrained into the very fabric of the Danish society. Well done!


And what about trust?

Trust is the cornerstone of the Nordic societies. And it also lies at the core of IMPACTR.

Lars says that although the team has a pretty good deal of insight, they certainly don’t claim they know everything and can answer any sustainability-related question.

This is why they bring in experts from around the world.

So that people feel safe to trust the platform and its expert knowledge.

Think of it this way: people want to make a difference and experts have the knowledge about what to do and what not to do.

There is a gap here and we need to close it. IMPACTR can help with that.

Is there a hygge element too?

We know you love hygge so we couldn’t resist asking Lars this question.

Well, as he explains, hygge is about being present and enjoy the moment in a cosy environment. Either alone or together with people you care about – like your family, friends or colleagues.

This makes it pretty hard to distribute hygge through a platform. But he guesses they sneak a little hygge in when they make lunch for each other and enjoy it together at their headquarters in Copenhagen.


To the crazy, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers

Now you know, right? What you need to do and how.

So, let’s end this story with an extra dose of Nordic inspiration, by quoting Johannah Maher. She is IMPACTR’s CEO and Co-founder and has recently given a truly amazing speech at a sustainability event in Copenhagen.

She talked about her personal life-changing events, her transition from a corporate career in Australia to a fulfilling and impactful life and work in Denmark.

These are her words: “I am crazy enough to think that the world can change while others have fear. Fear of the future, fear of change, fear of failure”.

Johannah, Lars and the rest of the impacters are on it. Don’t you think?

Image 📍 Infinity Bridge, Aarhus by Kim Wyon / VisitDenmark

IMPACTR – A New World is Possible from IMPACTR TV on Vimeo.