Cloe Shasha

Associate Programs Producer, TED Content, TED

This conversation is closed.

What does it take to make the youth take charge and feel responsible for their own initiatives?

TEDxYouthDay 2011 (www.tedxyouthday.com) is happening on the weekend around Universal Children's Day, from November 19 - 21.
Over 90 events are scheduled to happen on TEDxYouthDay, all of which are catered towards youth and many of which are organized by youth.
However, some adult organizers have had trouble finding young organizers to get involved in their events.
What are some ways we can reach out to our communities and empower youth with an opportunity to take charge and feel responsible?

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    Sep 13 2011: Integrate community decision making (town halls, local businesses, and schooling programs) processes into the daily activities of our lives.
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      Sep 13 2011: That is a good point. Giving youth the opportunity to provide input on community decision-making is definitely empowering.
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        Sep 14 2011: Thank you Cloe. And yes, you are quite right when speaking of empowerment.
        Great questions by the way. I hope you find useful resources here.
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      Sep 14 2011: Empowerment is invaluable. It requires consideration, which doesn't happen when kids are just told what to do.
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    Sep 12 2011: Hi Cloe, you need to instill a genuine interest in them.

    I'm considering organizing an event. My primary concern is that reception will be mostly apathetic from the students around me.

    Holding TED events could doubtlessly stimulate youth interest in ideas that is gravely needed. However, unlike other TED events, TEDxYouth has the job of introducing to TED and persuading youth that this is worth their time.

    I'd suggest exposing potential organizers and attendees to TED and TEDx.
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      Sep 13 2011: Hi Luke,

      You are absolutely right that exposing young organizers and attendees to TED and TEDx beforehand is a great idea. And given your understanding of what it takes to motivate and stimulate youth, I urge you to organize your own TEDxYouthDay event! With a leader like you, I doubt you will encounter apathy from the students around you.

      Cloe
  • Sep 18 2011: By youth, do you refer to youths in the developed countries or developing ones.
    Much of the Middle East revolutions were spearheaded by youths. Their reason for doing so is for their future, which at that point of time was not particularly bright. So they were forced to take charge and act, or live yet another generation of poverty.
    In the developed world, most youth do not have a care for anything else but themselves. Many are conceited.
    Here in Singapore, most of my peers do not read newspapers and do not know about world events and only care about enjoying their life. Much of the world events hardly affect them, if at all. There is no motivation to do anything or take charge.
    Comparing these 2 examples, my advice would be to give them an interest, an area for them to take charge, one that they have a vested interest in like the Middle Eastern example and must take action lest repercussions happen to them.
  • Sep 13 2011: It takes the right marketing. The culture of youth is largely based on being accepted to a "cool" group. Make your group appear fun and attractive and they will come. Ensure that you are not only creating a "buzz" with the right age demographic, but the various groups of that age demographic as well (male, female, ethnic, musical, sports-oriented, video gamers, etc, etc)

    An event like this is one the media loves to support. Usually, the larger radio groups like Clear Channel or Cumulus have a dedicated local TV partner, like the local NBC, ABC, CBS news channel. Offer exclusivity to these groups for your event for the best that it can can offer in return. Maybe they can get a celebrity to attend, offer local talent in the way of D.J.'s to M.C. the event or add to the fun value, provide give-a-ways, and help advertise, etc. for no charge.

    Big local corporate companies like Pepsi and Coca-Cola are usually good partners, but privately owned businesses usually give the most to local events. Offer advertising partnerships to your event to local businesses in return for cash donations help advertise the event or prize give-a-ways to the attendees. Add to the size and variety of the event to reach out to more people, but keep the central theme to TEDxYouthDay.

    Get in touch with the principles and coaches of local High Schools, student activity coordinators and coaches of local colleges to get them to help. If you make you the event big enough, appear like a fun time, and market it correctly, I think you will have no trouble in finding youth to get involved.

    It takes months to plan, recruit partners, organize, and market correctly for a successful event. All of this is a little ambitious for a November date, but it's never too early to start on next year.
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      Sep 14 2011: Wow, Jason! I love this practical answer. You remind me of a study I did of the tactics that RED BULL used to promote their products without a huge advertising budget and in lieu of mainstream media. These same or similar tactics would work really well for Chloe's project!
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      Sep 14 2011: This would work, but personally I think persuasion through the use of media (TV, advertising, sponsors) goes against the very grain of TED. TED is creating and learning and art and beauty. Doing this would attract kids for the wrong reasons.
      • Sep 14 2011: Hi Luke,

        I strongly disagree that this goes against TED. In fact, I feel that it is exactly the same model TED uses, only tailored a little for a different demographic and a smaller, local scale.

        Lets talk about persuasion through the use of media (TV, advertising, sponsors)

        1.) TED has sponsors. G.E. has been the main sponsor for some time now, but many other sponsors have been involved along the way. I have seen a lot of BMW and Rolex commercials from watching TED talks.

        2.) TED promotes the benefits of successful promotion done in a quality fashion. Have you seen the "Ads Worth Spreading" initiative through TED? http://www.ted.com/pages/initiatives_ads_worth_spreading

        3.) TED charges a fee for attending an event to raise additional money.

        4.) TED is established and successful now, but how did this organization start? How did it spread the word about "Ideas Worth Spreading"? Everyone and everything needs to market new ideas effectively in order for those ideas to reach the masses.

        I could go on with other examples, but I think this is enough and 2000 characters is limiting.

        "TED is creating and learning and art and beauty".

        I agree. That is part of what TED is about. TED is also about the inspirational, motivational, and practical action of conveying "Ideas Worth Spreading". In order for this to happen, we need speakers and an audience. You might say "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink". In this case, I say "You can't make a horse drink, but you can put clean, cool, perfect water in front of him and he will drink when he is ready".

        "Doing this would attract kids for the wrong reasons"

        What are the wrong reason for attracting a KID to an event like this? The promise of a fun time? The promise of a safe environment in which "Ideas Worth Spreading" will be shared? The promise of an event that is accepted by modern youth culture in which to participate?

        The idea of perfect often gets in the way of practical.
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          Sep 14 2011: I would like to see Choe embrace a middle ground between these two positions. Red Bull used peers with persuasive presence and linked the 'cool' people doing 'cool' things to their own product. They went against every practiced principle of media marketing and made their marketing solution smart and effective with almost no budget at first. If Choe can get students, Xtreme athletes, leaders in the youth community to be role models, I think she could get a lot of other people to perk up and want to be part of the TEDx youth conferences in an active way where they take ownership. There is nothing wrong with using the best tactics of marketing for high minded goals.
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          Sep 14 2011: I agree with you for the most part Jason, but I think you understand what I was getting at. I have negative views on opportunistic media and corporations. I of course do think that some sponsors are fitting at TED: IDEO and GE are two innovative companies who fit well in the idea realm. However, I don't think Coke or Pepsi deserve a place.
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      Sep 14 2011: I think that all the solutions and the trend of thinking is what caused the problem in the first place. We as adults are destroying the creativity and values of the youth by the fact that we do the thinking on their behalf and we are giving the well thought through adult entertainment and development that stop them from creating their own environment and use their own ideas to entertain themselves and to explore, learn create and develop their minds. This starts as early as few month old and continue until we have a problem in that we are sitting with individuals that don’t know how to conduct themselves and are dependent on the next stimulus from the adult world and mind.

      What is required is for us to allow children to learn create and entertain themselves from a very early age, within limits of cause, but we should stop deciding how they should learn, develop and grow up.

      The next very important thing is to lead them in the right direction but not doing it for them like we do now and we should allow them to explore and experience the world and all we have to do is to set the limits to prevent disasters. By setting the limits we give them a limit to push against and we than push back until we are sure they are ready to move the set limits and then we allow them to success.

      Discipline and respect is the building blocks of all of this but we have chosen to let these aspects drop with the obvious disastrous consequences.

      We have gone wrong so far that we cannot even imagine what it should be like and thus the fact that we are continuing to think and do in the same way that created the problem in the first place.

      This is a very complex subject and if we don’t start thinking in a different way we will never solve the problem and will infect worsen the situation.
      • Sep 14 2011: I agree with pretty much everything you just said.

        Please explain: "I think that all the solutions and the trend of thinking is what caused the problem in the first place.". I think there is a communication issue...or at least a perception issue.
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          Sep 14 2011: We started about 30 years ago to play on behalf of our children. We developed the toys and all the entertainment and commercialised everything. We all know very good examples of this including electronic games.

          You will find very few households where Popular Mechanics for example is available to the children and where children build their own toys using equipment like Meccano or the likes, instead they are entertained by the TV, electronic games and toys for which the interest lasts for a few days before it land in a box in the attic. All passive, no think8ing or creativity involved as the adults already did it for them.

          If you read the rest of the blog you will see how everybody is trying to think of ways to get the youth to do something and all of this is again organised by adults who do all the thinking and the development of the ideas and the youth become the passive followers of what the adults dish up.

          The Solution starts at a very early stage in a child’s life by not giving them passive toys. We should provide them with the tools to be creative and develop their own toys and entertain themselves and when they struggle we should let them as that develops their thinking abilities and as soon as they taste success they go on a roll and the process of development starts and lasts their entire lives, so we don’t have to break our heads to try and create stuff to solve the problem we have create.
      • Sep 14 2011: Henk,

        Some of what you say does not compute as sound logic to my ears...

        Popular Mechanics may not be available in homes, but the internet is...I will take that trade any day. Much of what you have written reminds me of the "When I was a kid, I walked 20 miles in the snow to school...up hill both ways" kind of talk.

        Quote: " If you read the rest of the blog you will see how everybody is trying to think of ways to get the youth to do something and all of this is again organised by adults who do all the thinking and the development of the ideas and the youth become the passive followers of what the adults dish up."

        As far as i can tell, all of the adults were once kids. Some more recently than others, but all of us none the less. I remember what it was like to be a kid, do you? As an educated adult, one who has gone through much schooling and real world situations (including the exact topic of this conversation) and been very successful at it, I feel that i do have something to bring to the table in this talk.

        You say what we should do to "Fix" kids these days. I have to ask...What are you doing yourself to make things better? Taking your own advice? Sometimes it is nice to ponder how the world can be changed and the best way to do it. Other times it is much more beneficial to take a practical approach and get something done.

        I never said anything about deciding what each child would speak on for their own "TEDx Talk"...They should do that on their own. Each child speaker should write their own talk to the best of their ability. Each presenter should "build" his or her own point of view. No child should be forced to do any of this if he or she is not comfortable with it, but just being exposed to others doing it can't be a bad thing and may develop a sense of passion, interest, curiosity in that child. Diversity of (safe) ideas and experiences is never a bad thing for a child.

        ...All my opinion, but please feel free to challenge me.
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    Sep 14 2011: We are identifying the leaders of local schools for TEDxYouth Irvine and getting them involved early and treating them like adults. This is an aspirational thing for them. A chance to be grown up. I think if you simply guide a little and ask lots of great questions they will start to figure it out and own it. The other thing is its all about good energy and positive vibes. Making it fun and upbeat instead of laborious and overwhelming - which it can be but it's all in how you approach it!
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    Sep 13 2011: Hello, I come from China, this year 18 years old. I want in this world, now the problem is: I have a loving heart? Create value for the world? Exercise the soul to ascend? During times of chaos, but finding the right way of life.
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    Sep 13 2011: Great question, Cloe! I'd have to agree with most of the contributors so far in that providing choice and leadership opportunities is an excellent way to go. Having worked with high school and undergraduate college students, though, I'd have to add a hard reality my idealistic persona had a tough time accepting: some kids simply don't care. Now, this doesn't mean there's anything wrong with that. As children, our worlds center on ourselves. It takes decades to come to the realization that there's so much more out there than what we experience.

    Some youth (like Cloe) come to this realization earlier than others. The best way I know to get youth engaged is to make the experience about them rather than the cause we're working for. For example, if I were to lead a class discussion on the reform movement in Libya, I wouldn't start off with the countless violent atrocities or the long history of this brutal regime. Kids (particularly in the U.S.) just can't relate to that. They do understand facebook, however. So, asking them how using social media led to a controversy in their own lives centers the discussion on their own experience. They can then better understand how this effort was launched.

    There's a great site to help students determine how to spend their gap year. For those not familiar, this is the year between high school and college where students spend time volunteering (not a tradition just yet in the U.S., but one I'd love to see promoted). They tap into students interests (for ex, are you a jock? this one might be for you). http://www.realgap.com/Choose-a-volunteer-experience

    Remember, though, that not all students will be ready to tap into their inner activist and that's okay. It comes for most in due time.
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      Sep 13 2011: Hi Amy, thank you for this response. I agree that sometimes it takes relating the issue to kids themselves. I like your idea of asking kids how social media led to a controversy in their own lives. You should suggest that to teachers in your community!
  • Sep 19 2011: I think that make the youth feel responsible or of their own initiatives is a interesting process. Be awareness that each person is different and their motivation came from diverse areas, for example: a student could love industrial, process and finance but maybe dislike the more human areas. A useful tool is coaching and make them co-creators of the project, in this way the person believe in it and work harder. You can share ideas and make brainstorming considering each participant to generate a global, better and bigger idea.
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    Sep 18 2011: The most effective way of reaching out to the youth community is to get the event publicized. I'm sixteen years old and only recently discovered TED - to me, the richness of the TED database and the intellectual stimulation that it brings about has fostered the questioning and collaborative community I have long sought. I live in a highly competitive but also highly stimulating educational environment full of students I know would dive into an opportunity like TEDxYouthDay. The only barrier between involvement among youth (at least where I live) in something as phenomenal as TED is simply a lack of awareness.
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      Sep 18 2011: Peggy! Welcome to TED conversations! I hope you will continue to share your insights and I know we will be enriched by them as a community.
  • Sep 18 2011: Unfortunately a young person do not come with an instruction manual, and what works for one teenager to became a responsible person might not work for another one.
    In my family there is people that are very responsible and others that are not at all, and I see that the difference has a lot to do with the country and also the financial stability you grow up in. I noticed that teenagers that grow up in this country are not very responsible for what they do and a lot of the times they try to blame others for whatever stupid decision they took. I also believe that these irresponsibility is in reaching out our older adults too.
    From what I have heard about my previous generation, it seems that they were a lot more responsible at a earlier age. My older generation were moving out of their houses and getting their own places between the ages of sixteen and eighteen. This generation had no much room for failure because my grandparents were at a really low poverty level and had no way to help them, and for this same reason they did not failed.
    I believe that if you give responsibility to teenagers and they fail, as a parent you let them pay the consequences of their behavior. When you do not let your kids pay for their mistakes, you are not teaching them responsibility.
  • Sep 17 2011: I believe that at this point in time its hard. When you have a recession like this your financial situation comes first, especially when your in college. Also students (college and high school) are not taking it into consideration just how hard it might be to find a job after college. Students don't normally look at what the outlook is for the type of job they are studying for. So all of this together turns into what was mentioned below about how they are focused on partying, and sex, etc. Also the youth don't realize just how powerful they can be if initiative was taken by everyone. Great example would be how big of a role the youth played in Egypt earlier this year.
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    Sep 16 2011: In the U.S. I would say its all a matter of awareness and reformation of values. What I mean by the latter is that what young people value nowadays is partying, clubbing, sex, Jersey Shore, etc. These sort of things will only be impediments to progress. Also I think there needs to be more of a value in education, since the U.S. educational system is constantly plagued by budget cuts (on all levels of education). The willingness to constantly cut education is only showing how much the U.S. government values education. This will only change once we, the younger generation, realize how much we are really messing up, especially when it comes to the enviroment
  • Sep 16 2011: I will admit well over 50% of my small high school class mates have no basis on the reality of life. Mostly cause by parents trying to raise their kid the way they wanted to live. Your child is not you. They have their owe likes and dislikes. As well the American Culture is changing, and will always be changing. What is ethically and moray right isn't the same anymore. I know its hard for you conservative parents to understand that. Big shocker marijuana is good for you, right. You say children don't take responsibility, you cant even admit that you were wrong about anything. Apple trees use to be hated by the population just like cannabis is today, Lucky the young generation wasn't so strict minded and now grow one of the healthiest plants.
    Now that the young generation is freeing itself form religious oppression, we can now think of ourselves as animals of reason instead of a creation with a life of immortality in the kingdom of heaven after our life on earth is over. That is depending on how much you wasted your life for the big guy.
  • Sep 15 2011: Hi Cloe,
    I am in the midst of raising two young teens and drawing from that and my own youth I can say that any psychological baggage will weigh young people down to such a degree where they can't grow emotionally and intellectually, causing their world to 'shrink' so seeing the big picture becomes even more difficult. I have emphasized to them the value of a well thought out plan and the 'cost' in dollars and time of a 'play it by ear' plan where there is no planning or continuity involved. I used my education and career as an example.

    Once young people have held a job or a responsibility you begin to see 'how they work' and we're all very different. I am a 'detail oriented person' and I have noticed that my son is as well but not surprisingly he lacks patience. When he is passionate about a project he works until it is done and even compromises quality because he can't help himself. If youth understand 'how they work' most effortlessly they can pick and choose work they are more passionate about. This is how you get youth to take charge and envision the end result of their work.

    There is much value for young people to take a Kolbe Index survey which measures 'how they instinctively work'. It pegged me 100% accurately and as a result I understand my strengths and weaknesses more clearly. If youth were armed with this they will make better choices for themselves in terms of education, work and projects.

    All we can do is show them 'real life' examples that they can relate to and especially those that hit close to home. For example, we had to decide to budget as a family in order to set aside funds to vacation together. From this our teen children seemed to understand that they had to make sacrifices, communicate and negotiate in order to make it happen. If just one member of the family overspent and didn't take part, we made it known that the vacation just couldn't possibly happen - that was consequence.

    I have been recommending www.kolbe.com
  • Sep 15 2011: Youth are great at being passionate, it takes adults giving them the opportunity to do something they ARE passionate about, rather then what the adults might find useful. I think the greatest step is asking the kids what they wan to achieve and then showing them it IS possible and helping them find the means to accomplish it.
    Also youth grow up with adults basically telling them what they want to do isn't always the most important. Kids from my small town wanted to build a skate park and they tried to pursue it but I heard teachers and parents telling them not to bother. There needs to be encouragement about ALL ideas and particularly the ones the kids feel are important.
  • Sep 15 2011: I think its rare to have found what you're passionate about in life as a youth. Many are not taught to recognize it. We often learn to base our decisions on the wrong reasoning such as greed, status and the like but not the value of honoring and following that which we are most passionate.

    So you ask, What does it take? I believe it takes teaching youth to recognize their true path in life where they will excel because they have been naturally drawn to an initiative which matches how they work most effortlessly and that which holds their interest. I think we would all agree that it has become a challenge to 'hold the interest' of today's youth brought up in an electronic era where the internet delivers answers instantly, food can be ordered and received in 'minutes' and technology more efficient as each year passes. This era has also bred impatience.

    If youth could more frequently see the result and consequences of their actions it would truly resonate with them. If they could see the bigger picture they would see another person their age, somewhere else in the world 'dreaming' of having the same opportunity as they have in their hands.
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      Sep 15 2011: Hi Ginger, your point about youth being able to see the consequences of their actions is a good one. I very much agree with this. What are some ways that we can help youth see the consequences of their actions?
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    Sep 15 2011: I'd say responsibility is key. In working with my students, it's always been handing over the reigns to them that has helped them really immerse themselves in a project. (Caveat- it has to be something they care about!) Nothing is more thrilling than having the power to really create something and knowing it won't survive without their help.

    As far as finding students to get involved, the "good for the resume" hook is often helpful but more often it's painting a picture of what the event might be (and challenging them to make it even more awesome) then letting kids run with it that has worked in my experience.
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    Sep 14 2011: I believe that by showing them how others have walked a similar path, it would further motivate and empower them to pursue their own initiative with the edge of going even further to raise the benchmark. As each generation steps forward with parallel advances in technology and societal welfare, they would learn to tap into the resources presented to them.

    Living in the Middle East where the youth are now realizing that they can pursue their own aspirations, they can't all look to other places as it should come from within. They can always learn the foundations, but it'll take their passion and commitment to make it worthwhile their efforts.
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      Sep 14 2011: Hi Yasser, this is an interesting point. What about a situation where youth feel that their paths in this world will be so different from those of their predecessors that learning about an elder's path seems almost irrelevant to them?
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        Sep 15 2011: That's where they can have the upper advantage. I was just 13 when the Internet was becoming mainstream and social networks were on the rise during my high school years. I faced a similar experience when my parents asked me about what I did during my teenage years and the numerous changes happening around me, and they had a different outlook on how my future should proceed. I broke away from the typical cultural norms (being just either a doctor/engineer/etc. & having just a steady income) so that I can pursue what I'm passionate about.

        The youth are in a good position to be a conduit for their generation to that of their elders. Just as I had the chance to witness the rise and birth of many things and I helped my parents comprehend them, they are not restricted by the logic and rationale of the elder's wisdom. They can use the best and good practices imparted to them and integrate them into their initiatives. It's the best melting pot of keeping a sense of continuity so that the youth do not feel any disconnect within and among themselves.
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          Sep 15 2011: I fully agree with Yasser's point.
          Showing an example is important. By this I mean, that we can show them, how we find our way, and how we can make the world better.
          This can give them confidence to come up with their own ideas!
          This is not always easy, I admit, I keep experimenting with my 8 year old son.
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        Sep 16 2011: Bea, thanks for the support. Cloe, glad that I could contribute to the conversation. Thinking back after TEDGlobal 2011, I started thinking more about the event when I was indirectly influenced to organize it. I just hope that the youth from my event walk away with something that the future is in their hands
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    Sep 14 2011: It takes Praise, questions, conversations, sharing, freedom, independance, support, creativity, conectedness, the abilty to fail, seeing all initiatives as worthwhile, no judgements and acceptance.We need to stop making up reasons why we are different - work on the commonalities - adults are just older youth, youth are just really young seniors seniors are just older adults - we are all just people, we don't worry about "making" someone take charge of non profit - if they do it works, or it doesn't, if they do it works or it doesn't. we could work on cahanging our perspective and definition of failure and success. If someone be it yuouth, adult s or seniors CARE enough about something they'll take charge of it, freely assemble a group of others that CARE about the same thing and Change their World - if they don't care, why should anyone else.Good question - got my brain buzzing - I like when that happens.Scott
  • Sep 13 2011: In my opinion.... FREEDOM. I think a real key to taking initiative is being stuck into situations where no one else is there to initiate you. The idea that things don't just fix themselves should be engrained consistently in our youth's minds. The sooner independence is reached, the sooner that person is looking for ways to self-improve. I think we coddle our youth into thinking that only when they're ready will they have to take initiative and make a tough decision. This teaches that there is no real pressure or sense of urgency to change our world, when in reality a youthful perspective may be exactly what this world needs. Getting the youth to take initiative and rely on themselves more will hopefully provide this perspective and I think in order to do that, we must throw them into the fire so to speak. I am not promoting negligent parenting or lack of sympathy for a youth's problems, but a longer leash and less security to fall back on could force a lot of creative young people into forming their ideas around real, attainable goals.
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      Sep 13 2011: Hi Brandon,

      Totally agree with you. This is a great point. How do we give youth freedom, though, without letting them fall through the cracks?
      • Sep 13 2011: Definitely is a hard question. Falling through the cracks would mean negligent parenting and ignoring the sensitivity that is required to breed creativity and initiative. I think it requires a commitment from parents that we just don't have in the world today. We are too ready to hand our children over to schools and teachers that don't know them nearly as well as their parents. I think parents, in order to raise a responsible child that is willing to take lead on changing things, must be much more willing to deal with the child's issues that arise from having more freedom. We are so scared to see our children get in trouble or fail that we don't realize those are the moments they learn the most.
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    Sep 12 2011: Hi Debra,
    Thank you for this contribution. What specific elements of the structure of Model UN? I would love to hear more.
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      Sep 12 2011: Hi Chloe, I was simply thinking that those who are interested in model UN already have the attributes you need. It is a world wide organization with students and teachers who travel to be together to discuss issues from the perspectives of various countries. They are assigned a country and the UN resolutions that must be argued from that country"s (not their own country's) perspective. They research and dig into the issues. When my eldest son was 16 he won a gold gavel at I think the Harvard debates and now he is a Canadian diplomat . He spent a year in Turkey as a young man and led a Turkish group of model UN debaters to the Geneva conference.
      What might be most useful to you is to connect with the teachers and organizers of that program so that they can recommend young people to you. Many of these kids would also benefit as organizing a TED event or whatever you have in mind would be a great item for their CVs and college applications.
      I hope this is helpful and useful.
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    Sep 12 2011: What a great insightful question!
    I think it takes demonstrated respect for their intellect and ideas and a bit of creativity.
    Given your goals, I think that I would piggy back with and use the structures that are already in place with Model UN. My kids loved their experiences with Model UN and I saw that they were greatly empowered by the opportunity to think about and debate real world problems.
    Those young people would be exactly the ones I would target.
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      Sep 13 2011: This is awesome, if the youths engage in this discusions, in there early age it gives them a sense of being resposible and taking charge in their own community may it either through Model UNs or other debate Conferences exposures, it senstises them on issues going around the world,and in in this early age they can still be able to take charge in various community activities,and this prepares them to the challeges of the new future to come, So its important to go an exra mile and invest in ideas that are profitable to the youths.