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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!


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    Feb 1 2012: This question is exactly what I am passionate about! I believe to harness the energy and ideas of "today's youth" has to begin with respecting today's youth. It begins by acknowledging that their experiences differ from my/our youth (anyone over 30) in ways that I can not truly understand without their help.

    When I speak with high school students they are rarely stressed out about their life with technology in hand, and if I take a moment to emotionally travel back in time to 17 and put that technology into MY hand, and all the implications of that technology, it REALLY stresses me out. I take the time to honor today's youth for managing their world as well as they do, and I speak with their parents about taking the time to listen more and to try to stop being "the expert".

    Preparing them for the future really means giving them a voice in their present, respecting their voice, and then working with them as a guide by offering scenarios, choices, possible outcomes, and letting them work with those through the lens of their life experience, not mine.
    • Feb 3 2012: Bravo! Very well said.True, every letter! I would complete with a message for parents: stop trying to control everything your kids do and let them experiment. You can give them a way better education by collaborating with them, than by fighting agaist them.

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