2020: Year of Action, Decade of Change

January 16, 2020

It’s here! 2020: our year of action to spearhead a decade of change.

 

There’s no doubt that the next 12 months will be pivotally important for the human race. The decisions we make will be defining for the future of our world and will likely stay with us for the rest of our lives.

 

If that feels a bit daunting, we’re right there with you with the big feels, but it’s also hugely exciting to be on the precipice of what could be a reimagining of humanity.

 

Sure, we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us: changing how we farm, travel, consume, engage with politics – but imagine raising your head up from the hard work, dreaming and campaigning you’ve done in ten years’ time to see a world where everyone has a chance to thrive, where our planet is healing and where nature is flourishing alongside us.

 

If that isn’t a goal worth aiming for, if that isn’t a reason to fight, then what is the point of being human? Our world is beautiful and humanity and its place in it will always be worth fighting for. 

 

Here at If Not Now, we’re firm in the belief that we are living through a climate crisis, and that every action we take as a business has the power to impact the trajectory that we’re on. That is why every project we work on must align with our values on leaving the world in a better place than we found it. 

 

So, we’re starting off 2020 with a celebration of the things we are most proud of from 2019. 

 

It’s Our Time

What it was

Ahead of the General Election in December, it seemed likely that climate would be ignored as a key issue by the main parties, despite being such a high priority for young people in the UK. 

 

Together with The Comms Lab, Julie’s Bicycle and an amazing team of other orgs and individuals, our challenge was to reach and engage as many 18-30 year olds online in key areas across the UK as possible, focussing on the climate emergency and encouraging them to register to vote with it in mind.

 

Why it was important

The Climate and Ecological Emergency is the defining issue of our times. It’s already disrupting lives around the globe and its solutions lie squarely in a place that empowers and protects our most vulnerable.

 

In 2019, young people put climate on the agenda via global strikes, marches and activism. Yet almost a third of 18-30 year olds in the UK were not registered to vote. With the risk of these young people not having their voices heard, #ItsOurTime sought to galvanise as many people as possible to use their influence, creativity and networks to reach young, unregistered voters wherever they were.

 

What it achieved

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 target of 2 million and breaking youth voter registration records. 

 

Between the 1st and 26th November, we gained over 12 million social media impressions, more than half a million engagements on the campaign, and drove over 150,000 people to the government registration site from campaign channels alone. 

 

You can read more about it here.

 

#SHEvotes

What it was

#SHEvotes was a campaign solely dedicated to encouraging women under the age of 30 to vote, using a brandless platform to inspire and share creative acts, artwork and words of encouragement with young women all around the UK. 

 

Together with Collectively and The Comms Lab, we helped #SHEvotes return from its 2017 debut for a 2019 showdown against the status-quo.

 

Why it’s important

When it comes to age and gender, young women are one of the least likely groups to use their vote. This is bad, not only because it means a whole section of society has a muted political voice, but also because young women tend to be the most progressive, most inclusive voters.

 

From social change to climate change, women lead the way on decisive, powerful action towards a better future. Ensuring that the voices of young women were heard in the 2019 General Election was vital.

 

What it achieved

In just two weeks #SHEvotes racked up over 2 million organic impressions on its channels alone. Not to mention it was shared by the likes of Emma Watson, Gemma Styles and Daisy Lowe.

 

It will take a few months for the final reports and data analysis of the last general election to come out so we’re still in the dark on how turnout went regarding the number of young women who went to the polls. However, what we do have is some pretty good data on how young women voted, and it was exactly what we were hoping for.

 

In the end we saw young women vote overwhelmingly for parties with more progressive policies; visibly rejecting the conservative ideologies that have been responsible for so much suffering over the past decade and beyond. 

 

Air Team

What it was

Last year we and Glimpse had the pleasure of working with the amazing Air Team, a group of parents and children across the UK who are campaigning for a fresh air future. 

 

With air pollution being such a huge issue in our towns and cities, this group of brilliant activists are hammering home the dangers of polluted air and the solutions that we can all engage with to build a better, healthier future for us all. 

 

Our role in supporting them was to help orchestrate, film and promote two key days of activism to highlight the problems and solutions around polluted air. You can view two of the films here and here.

 

Why it’s important

Air pollution is one of the biggest health risks facing the UK today. It’s been linked to asthma, lung cancer, and even dementia. It is a silent killer, but we firmly believe in The Air Team’s message that families working together can make all the difference. They have a plan to reduce air pollution in their local areas and put pressure on people right at the top. 

 

Working on this campaign was an absolute privilege for us at If Not Now, and The Air Team’s mission is something we have huge admiration for.

 

What it achieved

Whilst working on this project, we produced five short videos and managed two short, impactful digital campaigns to boost reach and generate engagement of the action days across Air Team’s social channels. 

 

First was for Clean Air Day, where we helped to film a playstreet; co-organised by The Air Team and Great Ormond Street Hospital to claim back polluted roads for children to play in. 

 

The second creative stunt involved gas masks, bus stops and groups of school-aged activists sharing information and advice with passers-by. Both days were a huge amount of fun and you can see the highlights from both through The Air Team’s Instagram.

 

Stay tuned to their channels to see more of our ongoing work with them!

 

Galop

What it was

Galop is the UK’s only specialist LGBT+ anti-violence charity, and has a mission to make life just, fair and safe for LGBT+ people. In 2019 they spent time researching attitudes towards gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people and found that clear prejudice still exists in the UK.

 

During 2019, we worked with the amazing guys at Trago Studio to produce two short films and then run two engaging social campaigns off the back of the research to help tackle the prejudice identified by Galop. You can view one of them here.

 

Why it’s important

The LGBT+ community continue to face challenges in the UK. According to Galop’s own Hate Crime report for 2019, one in ten people still think that LGBT people are ‘dangerous’ to other people and that they can be ‘cured’, highlighting a need for campaigns to tackle prejudice both inside and outside the LGBT+ community. 

 

For us at If Not Now, the rights of LGBT+ individuals are integral to the future we are working to build. It’s simple really - without tackling prejudice, we won’t be able to build a society that is tolerant and inclusive of all types of people. 

 

What it achieved

Between them, the campaigns gained 1.5 million impressions, with over 100,000 views on the videos shared.

 

Working on campaigns like this can be complex and difficult to get right, but with the positive responses to the videos we produced, this campaign was a resounding success and a powerful step into the world of digital campaigning for Galop which we were honoured to be a part of.

 

What Does the Future Hold?

We’re not keen on making predictions, but if the last few years are anything to go by, we're looking at a hell of a decade ahead. Brace ya’selves! 

 

After decades of technological, social and medical advancement, the costs of capitalism are steadily come home to roost, leaving us to question why a system that had brought so much good now seems unfit for purpose.

 

Many of us began the 2010’s wondering what could be done to right the wrongs of a few people who sought profit and power over the lives of others and the wellbeing of the planet we live on. 

 

Steadily, the realisation has dawned: It’s easy to make a deal with the devil when you’re not the one paying the price. 

 

But, over the past ten years, we have seen an incredible shift in the way that people think, how they organise, and what they ask for. Our path towards a better future has been steadily paved for many years by thousands of brilliant groups and individuals who have come before us. But now we’re finally at a crossroads where we must choose which path to take: one of business as usual, or one of radical change in the fight for a better future. 

 

We ended 2019 with storms, wildfires and rebellion in the face of adversity. We begin 2020 fiercely intent on making sure the leviathan of our global society keeps turning so we can stay the course to a 2030 we’re excited to live in.

 

This is our year of action because, if not now, when?

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