Interview with Alex Leonzini

Interview with Alex Leonzini, 30, Perth, Australia

What are the greatest challenges facing young people today?

Climate change is the biggest challenge facing younger generations and the entire planet. Other issues that youth in particular are struggling with include housing affordability, elevated cost of living, resource scarcity, uneven wealth distribution.

How do you think society will be different after the Covid-19 pandemic is finally behind us? What risks are there? What possibilities for progress?

The greatest risk is that wealth gap has increased and seems likely to continue. Without effective government action, this will remain a big problem. Within media discourse there’s a lot of discussion about people helping one another, but corporations and governments have not always supported the less fortunate. It also seems likely to exacerbate global inequalities between the West and the rest.

One possible positive is that that didn’t traditionally manufacture drugs have developed new capacities, which many mean greater self-reliance in the future.

How can institutions, whether in the public, private, or civic sector, help empower youth and facilitate their engagement in public life?

A more equitable economy and stronger social safety net, with corporations giving back more to society, would restore youth faith that the system works for more than just the ‘haves’.

What role do today’s youth have in tackling the world’s greatest challenges?

Young people need to move away from consumerism to maintain a healthy relationship with nature and the environment. In particular, this means becoming more conscious consumers, and turning from individualism to more communal values.

What gives you hope about the future?

Younger generations realize that change is needed and are increasingly engaged in politics and making their voices heard.