In August 2018, a teenager from Stockholm decided it was time for action on climate change.
She had very little to use as leverage in support of her cause, so she went on strike. She refused to attend school, setting up a one-person demonstration outside the Swedish Parliament.
Since that time, Greta Thunberg has found herself at the apex of an international movement. Her recent speech to the United Nations inspired some who watched it and saddened others.
Her calls for climate action have proven provocative but effective in terms of increasing public awareness. Whether they will, in the end, provide more heat than light only time will tell.
Many people struggle to understand the Greta effect. Some, while admiring Ms Thunberg's vision and tenacity, are concerned for her health, especially since her quest became a media phenomenon.
To some degree, I share that concern. Greta's story is front-page material, a narrative of David versus Goliath proportions. However, at the centre of the hurricane sits a young woman.
Popularity and obscurity sit perilously close together in our age of short attention spans and the whimsical group-think of social media.
From a monetary perspective, there are vast profits to be made for alternative energy companies, as traditional fuel providers are vilified. There is potential for corporate manipulation of a cause - and its spokesperson.
None of this, however, is the subject of this article.
Greta Thunberg is now synonymous with Generation Z activism.
The fact that Greta sits, in terms of age and global recognition, near the top of her generation, may help to explain her unusual commitment to the cause - and its impact.
I have been engaged in generational research since the 1980s, partly because generational change is a major factor in shaping the future.
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