TED Conversations

Cloe Shasha

Associate Programs Producer, TED Content, TED


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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 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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