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How are global youth changing our future? Are they Generation We or Me?

I have a draft of a book about how global youth are changing our future, based on almost 3,500 surveys, extensive dialogues, interviews and visits with young people from 66 countries. I find them to be thoughtful, altruistic, creating a new non-hierarchical paradigm, and inclusive. They’re comfortable with women in leadership positions. The main differences between them are not their nationalities but whether they live in an urban or rural area. If you would like to critique and add to chapters, I’m glad to share. The main debate in the US is if youth are narcissistic and apathetically caught up in consumerism or if they are making changes in nontraditional ways, volunteering, and questioning authority. What are your observations about how young people are changing the old ways of doing things? Are you hopeful or worried? Will they be able to turn around failures like the inability of the Rio+20 to make binding agreements to protect the planet? I’d especially like to hear from Millennials; the open-ended book questions are on my Wordpress blog. Thanks, Gayle Kimball


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    Jul 20 2012: One of the most interesting things I have noticed is the interest (or lack of interest) in code and design. There is so much power in youth being able to create and their intuitive connection with technology, but I have not seen too much on the side of code and design. Yes, there are examples to the contrary, but if kids jumped more into directly developing the infrastructure of the inter-web it could be scary what happens - in a good way.

    Another point is that I don't think enough youth, on the larger scale, really understand the tools at their disposal. Many are stuck in the perspective of the old guard, of the "get grades, go to college, get a job" mentality and they are fearful of looking elsewhere. There are not enough teachers and courses on DIY lifestyle design. Too much in the education system is holding kids back from really acting. As a Millennial myself, I'm working hard to learn about all of these possibilities. The net is quite crowded though, and standing out without good design, good content, and a great idea is very hard.

    What's the answer? Maybe youth competitions and totally revamping the ed system? Maybe a bit of trust? I've personally always wanted to teach a course where TED talks are the driver for the class and youth need to participate in the conversations and perhaps hold their own small TED event. This could teach so much and get a lot of support from local organizations, business, and media.
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      Jul 20 2012: Isn't much of this the result of world view and parenting style which imposes world view?

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