I’m an Australian living in Switzerland, a social worker (Masters in Social Work, International Social Development, UNSW, Australia, recognised in Switzerland) with years of professional experience in the refugee and humanitarian sectors for the Red Cross movement and Swiss government. Constrained by my lack of talent at learning languages, I retrained and currently work in Bern as an English teacher. But social justice issues remain my core interest, and climate change is the most pressing of these.
I first floated the idea of an intergenerational apology in July 2021 in a Whatsapp exchange with my sister: ‘I think we need an equivalent of a truth and reconciliation process whereby our generation+ can own responsibility and apologise for climate change – for not taking the science seriously in the 70s, for continuing to consume and travel and spend. An apology process for the coming generations and possibly a way to engage people in the change we need. #making amends.’ It followed from the failure at the ballot box of the Swiss government’s proposed legislation to meet its Paris obligations – not radical in any way, but still people voted against it.
And so the idea evolved from there, through a literature research phase for a possible PhD and now as an idea to be elaborated in the public domain.
I strongly believe this is an idea that can be taken up individually by us all with little fuss. But it can also be adapted and applied to various walks of life and institutions. I welcome anyone who wishes to write a post about the idea from their personal or professional perspective.
And I would welcome any ideas for collaboration.
Translations – the website is in the process of being translated into German and French, for starters.