#ClimateStrike: Motivations, behaviours and media habits of environmental activist youth

#ClimateStrike: Motivations, behaviours and media habits of environmental activist youth

Author: Hannah Feldman – The Australian National University, Australia


  • Andrea Geipel – Technical University of Munich and Deutsches Museum Munich, Germany
  • Lê Nguyên Hoang – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Craig Rosa – KQED, United States
  • Gianna Savoie – University of Otago, New Zealand

Political expression, the environment, and the way we communicate about these two topics is changing dramatically with the warming planet, particularly among teenage citizens. No event in history captures this better than the global School Strike for Climate, a protest movement for environmental action that has seen millions of school aged youth mobilising across events in over 150 countries since 2018.

But how and why have youth assembled in these numbers for such a politicised scientific topic? Who’s not attending, and why?

Through focus groups and surveys, this research documents the experiences of 16-18 year olds in urban and regional Australia, discussing with them motivations, behaviours and media habits surrounding their attendance at a local School Strike for Climate event. Where do they hear and talk about climate change and environmental activism? What enablers and barriers do they encounter before participating in a rally? And what motivates them to actually attend or boycott an event in the first place?

Drawing from social psychology, sociology and science communication methods, this talk gives the preliminary findings on factors that influence youth participation in School Strike for Climate. The results presented here are part of an ongoing project which seeks to understand the experiences of young people as they engage with environmental activism, and contributes insight into the shifting way youth make decisions on their political and environmental autonomy in an increasingly digital, warming age.

The author has not yet submitted a copy of the full paper.

Presentation type: Individual paper
Theme: Transformation