Guerrilla Stakeholders?? What in tarnation does that mean? That’s what we call our community of young built environment activists. They’re stakeholders, naturally. But they’re guerrilla because they’re members of a small, independent group fighting for a better world. They are often missed from consultations because they’re not the client, the homeowner or the taxpayer. Not yet, anyway.
Activists of the world, unite
As the future homeowners, taxpayers, commuters and parents in our towns and cities, young people have views on what works for them. And most of the built environment we are creating right now will still be in place when they are restricted or constrained by it. Rather than creating with the intention to demolish or repurpose, Guerrilla Stakeholders invites young people to share their views now. This might be as individuals, as classes or as entire schools.
If you want fame, TikTok it
Generation Z are not averse to a spot of social media. If they’ve got something to say, they’ll tell everyone in their network. And, if the message resonates, that network will share and amplify that message. You might have noticed the power of the environmental campaigns and voices championed by young people. This is the amplification that the youth voice can achieve, and they’re speaking up to demand better from construction.
They are the champions
Champions of your business. Champions of your vision. Champions of your purpose and value in the world. What’s not to love there? But first they need to know what you’re doing and why. Maybe they’ve even got something to contribute in new ideas and lived experience perspective for your projects and proposals.
But, I don’t like it…
Giving our ‘product users’ (i.e. the people who use and interact the built environment we create, not just the ones who pay for it) the opportunity to really think about buildings, places and spaces and consider what works for them isn’t traditionally part of construction’s MO. So we’ve picked up that oversight for you.
The children are our future
Guerrilla Stakeholders isn’t a recruitment campaign for construction. Many of these activist young people probably won’t join the industry. But they will have a better understanding of the industry’s purpose and its responsibilities and limitations. They will be the future clients that demand more of us. Changing perceptions through activism creates lived experience.
Nothing like some lived experience
Guerrilla Stakeholders is an online opportunity board. It’s real-world consultations in schools. And it’s a community of young activists who are learning more every day about planning, regulations and restrictions in construction. They’re learning about inclusion, accessibility, poverty, sustainability and social mobility. At BESS, we’ve been running successful outreach campaigns and consultations for years, so we know how to inspire and impact behaviours.
All you have to do is ask
So, what’s stopping you from tapping this amazing source of inspiration, enthusiasm, amplification and positivism? Construction has a responsibility to create the future, and together we have a much better chance of building a world that works for everyone.