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Born from a purpose to respond to the anxiety evoked by climate change, NGO Force of Nature was founded by Clover Hogan, a climate activist who has dedicated her life to making positive changes since the tender age of eleven.

Words By Hillary Ribeiro

December, 11th 2020

Force of Nature is a youth-led launchpad encouraging the younger generations around the globe to turn climate change induced eco-anxiety into a superpower to tackle this momentous challenge. The NGO’s core team is made up of seven individuals under the age of twenty-five. Despite their young age, twenty-one year old founder Clover Hogan is certain that Force of Nature is run by a trustworthy team.“We can relate to this generation and speak to their feelings and those fears or anxieties over the state of the world, and understand what it is that we need to feel supported,” she tells us.

Through different programs and consultation services, the startup has created a reliable space to channel the anxiety caused by the environmental issues we are facing into positive action, rather than becoming overwhelmed. “We encourage people to actually look into those difficult feelings to create a real sense of agency so they believe in their power to make change happen,” states Clover. One of the things Force of Nature does is to redirect the time and energy people spend scrolling through the addictive content of social media that ends up becoming a negative habit. Increasing awareness around their ecological footprint, the NGO inspires individuals to cultivate their own resilience, guiding them to drive solutions against climate change.

One of the many factors acknowledged by the Australian-born activist is the difficulty in reconciling the feeling of love and appreciation for nature when most of us are unconsciously contributing to its destruction. “Every time you make a decision, from the food in your fridge to the clothes on your back, that can be a decision that creates a negative or positive impact on the planet,” says Clover. She explains that if individuals can become more conscious about the way they consume, then they can start holding themselves accountable for their actions rather than lingering in a mindset that only contemplates it as a complex matter.

The Changemaker crash course is one of the programs that Force of Nature has been delivering. It acts as a vehicle to help young people shift their eco-anxiety to a tool for agency. “We really try to create a space for young people to figure out how they can channel these feelings and leave the anxiety behind,” says Clover. As part of the course, the startup has recently introduced skills-based workshops to teach individuals how to identify specific problems and how they can tackle them. The course is primarily structured around understanding one’s emotions and harnessing them to develop their own solutions as change makers.

In the past six months, thanks to receiving financial support, Force of Nature has been successfully expanding. “We’ve grown our team, we’ve grown our youth activists around the world so we’re now on this very exciting upwards trajectory,” announces Hogan.

When questioned about her past experience working with sustainable fashion brands, Clover states, “No significant change will happen until we acknowledge the systems in place that are perpetuating the problems.” Greenwashing is one of these problems and it is pervasive in the industry, with more and more brands claiming to be sustainable or ethical without the actions to back them. With their main goal of encouraging people to keep buying into their latest trends, it seems these brands are struggling to commit to their sustainability claims. “In terms of the future of fashion, I think it’s moving from a place of doing harm to actually doing more good,” says Clover.

From Clover’s perspective, individual actions are a fundamental starting point to driving sustainable change. Adopting a curious mindset that continuously pushes us to question our behaviors is crucial, as is questioning the origin of the products we buy and how they end up in our hands. “Think about what kind of future you want and where you can step up,” she advises. “Be conscious of all your actions. Think about what problem you want to take on and how you can show up with your unique skills and passions to drive us forward.”