During the opening of Brainwash Festival – with Naomi Klein, Joris Luyendijk and Srećko Horvat – we asked the audience to write on a card what they think is the most important action we need to take in the world today. After analysing more than 1000 cards, this is what we found:

1. Unite globally to fight our global problems

We need worldwide group therapy! How we can stop bubblification and start a strong transnational movement based on equality and environmental sustainability? How can we overcome our differences and work together rather than compete? Some practical suggestions were: 1. To start a world buddy system – randomly connecting people all over the world. 2. To make rich and poor people swap places for three months 3. To start a new religion… Are there non-religious ways to find a new narrative to replace the neoliberal story? One suggestion was to DECLARE WAR on climate change! Let’s make this the mutual enemy that unites everyone to take positive action.

2. Be locally active to initiate meaningful change

The enormity of the global problems can be paralyzing. Many people agree that we need to focus on what we can do locally, in our own communities, to take the first steps towards the change the world needs. It is only possible to make people feel responsible at a local level. So, support and join groups near you that are trying to enhance the environment you live in. At a local level, it is also possible to experiment and try out alternatives. If they are successful we have a clear YES to promote at the national or even the global level. Go local, but inspire each other globally.

3. Improve education

How can we change the mindset that has given us the issues that we are facing now? The answer that kept coming back is: education. In addition to making education available for everyone worldwide, it is important that we teach people the right lessons. We shouldn’t be teaching how to defeat others in competition, but instead how to care for others. We need to teach children empathy, raise awareness of social and environmental challenges and foster critical and constructive thinking.

4. Only reward what deserves to be rewarded

Our current financial system often rewards people for doing damage to others and the earth. We need to create a new financial system based on human and planetary rights. A system in which polluters pay for their pollution and tax havens are impossible. A system where people are rewarded for taking care of others and for having less or no children to stop overpopulation. Another financial change that was suggested several times is to introduce a universal basic income or universal services, as traditional jobs are disappearing and new jobs often lead to more consumption, less equality and more damage to the earth.

5. Be the change you want to see

How can we not only talk about change, but also set the right example? Suggestions that were given of what everyone can personally do: Eat vegetarian or live as a vegan. Lessen your consumption and buy only what you need. Help each other and connect with nature. And most of all: be kind!