TED Conversations

sarah vickery

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Roughly 52% of the world's population is under 30. What is best way to harness the energy and ideas of youth?

Working for a youth development organization we are always looking for ideas about how to engage young people and create programs to effectively involve youth in their own development. Our cornerstone is peer to peer non-formal education. We believe youth innovation drives change.

We are looking for programs, project models, web resources, implementation techniques, big ideas and inspiration to share with our online community. Basically anything to spark a great conversation!

+8
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Jan 10 2012: Get them to prepare for life after 30.
    • Jan 10 2012: And what is the best way to prepare them?
      • thumb
        Jan 10 2012: Seems to me that all we (should) do from birth is to learn how to become useful human beings.
        When we like what we are doing, while being useful, that is like living in heaven.

        All that will be easier if we know what Life is all about, why we are here. No one can make a choice or be influenced by something they know nothing about.

        “Thought from the eye closes the understanding, but thought from the understanding opens the eye.”
        Emanuel Swedenborg
        • Feb 1 2012: I believe that your idea of training people to be "useful human beings" is important, but also addresses two main problems. First, our system already provides necessity upon becoming effective and understanding life. Of course it is not the central concern of the government or of the general society, but it is importantly addressed in groups such as family or friends to some degree. How would you specifically increase effort into how a person should contemplate life, what in means to be useful, and how to do so. Second, we should be trained from birth but until when? The forming of a person happens from when that person is born all the way to life. So until when would you train people to be useful? To 20, to 30, for all life?
      • thumb
        Jan 10 2012: Know thyself is a great start. This needs to be constantly attended to as we grow older. Youth has everything going for it except that which comes with age..

        If you want to keep kids out of trouble then put them on a constructive path - for me, it would be music. But there is sport, art, drama, building...a huge list.

        It must be constructive and it probably needs to be something that the individual is very much 'in to'.
        • Jan 18 2012: That would be wondermous! ( if kids had, this option ) Wondermous idea! Who will fund this idea? ( the government? ) I like it!! :)
    • Jan 18 2012: Teach them to prepare, after becoming, 21! Teach them to prepare to live thru, being 12, 14, 16. Today's problem, for our youth, is survival. There are a lot of kids, out there, that have crappy parents. Our youth needs to understand, they are not alone. Teach them, it is okay to be, lost in the system. TELL, them, they are not alone. :) Tell them!
    • Feb 1 2012: All your conversation has something in common. Your all saying that you want preparation for the person at a young age to a a specific age(such as 30 or 21) into which they will fully interact with society with all the suffrage, difficulty, and responsibility it will provide. However, the point at which a can become "a useful person" is not a fixed number. There are "children" with amazing compatible and responsibility taking ability, who would be wasted unless society used them. On the other hand there are "adults" without the ability to take responsibility for themselves and would only be a hinder for society. We should base our opinions upon level of maturity and applicability for social development.
      • thumb
        Feb 1 2012: Hi Cheong, you said
        "How would you specifically increase effort into how a person should contemplate life, what in means to be useful, and how to do so."
        I feel very strongly that this should be started as early as possible. Humans can change if forced :) through a process. The first reason is obedience to the 'or else'. The next phase is 'because I love you'. The last phase (years later) is I love the feeling of being useful and the good it does.

        Children should be given chores in a family setting and rewarded for them. So that first a feeling of being useful is 'forced' on them. After a while that child will love that feeling of being useful and loved for it. At some point the person will be useful just because s/he loves doing good. At that point it has become part of the character.


        "Second, we should be trained from birth but until when? The forming of a person happens from when that person is born all the way to life. So until when would you train people to be useful? To 20, to 30, for all life?"
        When we start this 'on day one' we don't need to go past 18 or 20 because it depends at what point in time that attitude becomes part of their character.
        I very much doubt this will always work, but in general.. it should.

        You may like the book "Education for Use" by Willard D. Pendleton. It is more meant for school systems but, I think, in principle is similar.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.