TED Conversations

Photographer and Owner, LC Photography

This conversation is closed.

Do politicians and baby-boomers appreciate and understand the role the youth/young adults will play in the future of the world?

It seems to me that politicians pander to the youth, to gain their vote. After all, every vote counts, right? It would also seem that politicians, and the older demographic, such as baby-boomers don't always appreciate or respect the opinions of a generation that will, inevitably, replace them.

I dont mean to sound anti-baby-boomer at all. But, rather than ignoring our interests. I am currently 23, and am pursuing my passion for photography. In my field and from my experience having worked for others, or with others as equals, I am often seen as a child. Even after being hired, people sometimes seem a little surprised by my age. I dont let this bother me, and I am not whining. My friend has been running his own landscaping business for 5 years on his own, and goes through the same hassles, yet pleases every single client, just as I aim to do.

Currently I am becoming interested in getting involved in my local area government, and trying to help with new ideas on revitalizing the small waterfront town to which I just relocated. A town with a 1 block downtown, amazing waterfronts which are not being taken advantage of by businesses at all. The town is being given stimulus money, and I am trying to (along with others in the older age range) to push for the use of green materials, and incorporating technology into the way the town brings in revenue.

I know a lot of people of my generation who care about these issues. Who all want to actually change the way the worlds energy, and economic systems work. A generation which has grown into the technological world, and for the most part have grown up in a recession. A generation which has grown up in a completely different world than our parents, and grandparents. One day we will be elderly, and we won't be talking about stickball.

Do any other young adults feel like their voice is being ignored in the political environment? What steps can we take to be heard, and influence our local and regional area?

Share:
  • thumb
    Jul 8 2011: Do you remember the mess the Boomers made of the 60's?
    How the heck could a group if immature mal-contents say they understand responsibility?
    Nope! I dont think the youth is learning to take their place as the leaders.
    They are learning to listen to the Speaker.
  • Jul 4 2011: Well this is great to know im not alone. To Dain: I also dont mean to sound bitter towards baby boomers, i just know that they are in charge now. And its true what you said about seeing how things should be run. For example, my mother when transitioning to Phillip Morris, from Pirelli, saw a lot of the flaws in the communication system, and a lot of information fell through the cracks and wasnt being delivered the way it could. Knowing how the system at Pirelli had worked seemed more efficient and actively engaged the employees and focused their attention to news and further efforts.

    Also, I know i certainly dont know everything. And i agree that the youthful energy and as you said, pointing out the flaws, should learn to be embraced. At the very least, it should be acknowledged. Isn't that the way to innovation, and change? To slowly, one by one, change the things that arent efficient?

    I honestly cant wait to be in my 30s. Im actually excited about reminiscing on my college years, with friends, and hopefully having a family by then. Right now, as mentioned, I live in a small town, with the opprotunity to implement a lot of green energy and infrastructure and boost jobs in the short term, as well as set up the town to bring in tourism and business. Theres a bridge which is the last of its kind ( i dont know what kind it is, but instead of a draw-bridge, it swivels and boats can pass if needed. Theres a lot of debate about putting a new bridge in, and where. Im in the process of trying to find as much as I can about innovative and creative architecture. Ive seen some models here and there, and I know if I (with support of others) could pursuade the community (with a mean age of about 65) to get behind an artistic and efficient solution to this, the town could attract a lot more attention.

    I know the town is hearing some proposals by UNC coming up, and I am looking forward to this. Thanks for the comments. TEDers are always inspiring
  • thumb
    Jul 3 2011: "Do politicians and baby-boomers appreciate and understand the role the youth/young adults will play in the future of the world?" I think at this point we are counting on them.

    "It seems to me that politicians pander to the youth, to gain their vote. After all, every vote counts, right?" Politicians pander. They pander to whoever they think will vote for them. They are not trustworthy people so don't get hung up on this issue. BTW, this is advice that I wish I could follow because they have all of our lives in their hands.

    You being 23 makes you a young adult and your brain will not be mature until you are in the realm of 28 years old. When I was a young adult I thought I knew it all, would come into a new job and express how things ought to be run, what I did not understand at the time was there were reasons for them being run they way they were. All I could see was what was wrong, not what was working.

    I would say us older folk look at the youths and see the idealism and energy, but are waiting to see which youths will survive the shake out. Stick with your beliefs, don't be discouraged, because if you can hold onto it until your thirties you will be in more of a position to drive the process. That takes experience, and you need some unless you have been doing all of these things since you were twelve. If you do not you face the possibility of being marginalized, burnt out and bitter.

    You sound serious and frustrated, channel that into positive and creative endeavors, and remember to enjoy your youth. The game will be changing constantly, roll with it.

    From a marginalized, burnt out and bitter baby-boomer.
  • thumb
    Jul 3 2011: Luke, we better lead other people in getting involved in our government and the young have a very important role. It's the future of the young that the politicians are dealing with. WEF is instituting this through the Young Global Leaders program.

    We engage everyone lead everyone to implement our solution strategies. http://bit.ly/SolutionStrategies
  • Jul 3 2011: No. You are not alone. Young people are being ignored and have been for generations politically. Grass roots political action is the only way to give cause to your voice. The Boomers revolted in their youth and through activism got a certain measure of satisfaction but the authorities still put their boots on their throats here and there for their trouble.

    In terms of what you can do? Volunteer for your local political party of choice (if you have one)? Or run yourself and attempt to recruit volunteers on your own behalf. Consider the issues and choices you have carefully. Be intellectually honest with yourself as to the probability of success. And don't underestimate the power of just doing what you feel is right.

    You'll feel a lot better for doing it than not doing it!
    • thumb
      Jul 3 2011: well said. It takes a while for any generation to finds it's voice and till they do they won't be herd by politicians who for the most part have wooden ears. We all just need to keep trudging along.