Dewy
Sacayan

Project - INFORM: Connecting youth with corporations to reduce climate litigation risk

Dewy is a lawyer by day and a climate activist by night. Leveraging her legal background to affect structural change, she has been involved in many campaigns such as Fossil Free University of Auckland and the Zero Carbon Act, as well as academic research on Mining Law and Disaster Risk Management. Dewy also participated in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change COP negotiations in Peru and Morocco where she delivered interventions, helped organise actions, and assisted civil society organisations in amplifying their messages. Realising the power of corporations and the speed in which they can catalyse climate action, Dewy worked for Tesla New Zealand, educating Kiwis on transitioning to EVs and using solar panels. Her advocacies focus on socio-economic policy changes that institutions and governments must make to ensure a safe climate future.

Dewy is currently the Business Sector Engagement Lead for Generation Zero, a youth led organisation that campaigns for local and national policies ranging from transport and housing to co-creating a climate law. Dewy holds a Bachelors in Law and Arts with a double major in Economics and Political Studies from the University of Auckland.

PROJECT

INFORM envisages a future where youth and corporations co-create climate action solutions. The project aims to reduce litigation risk by creating a benchmark that companies can meet to prove that they are future fit and taking aggressive steps in combatting climate change. Through this benchmark, corporations can keep themselves in check and inspire other companies to follow. Additionally, youth can use it to hold corporations to account. This model is important because corporations cannot continue business as usual in order to stay relevant for youth – their future staff and clients.  

Simultaneously, the project also aims to empower rangatahi (youth) with business knowledge and connections in the private sector to foster deeper understanding as to how business decisions are made. Reverse mentorship is valuable not only for youth to understand business trade-offs, but for business leaders to uncover potential and solutions to risk through a youth lens.

MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET

I live by my mantra: “once you know something is wrong, you are responsible to make it right.” This is why it became a personal mission of mine to advocate for climate action after I had an eye-opening immersion in the Philippines during the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan. For the last four years, I focussed my advocacies on grassroots action to ensure climate action happens today for intergenerational equity. In all of my positions in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and abroad, I have been lucky to work with amazing female leaders who have inspired me to take a seat at the table or make my own.

Since Auckland is the economic heart of Aotearoa, I am committed to upskilling young people with business knowledge to harness the potential of corporations in addressing climate change. Connecting young people with businesses will foster understanding between civil society and the private sector, unleashing innovative solutions that align with common goals and ultimately reduce climate litigation risk.