Young people can change the world. Not only control the face of pop culture, fashion, and music, but can actually make a positive impact on the world around them – and more of them are doing it than you think.
With an over-connected, constantly stimulated generation growing up it seems more and more are actually taking on a perspective that encompasses long term goals, social justice concerns, and compassion for their communities (both domestically and internationally). I never realized it until I started with a new company – a social enterprise connected to a non-profit that educates, engages and empowers youth to become agents of change in the world.
“It’s going to be people under 30 that solve this generation’s problems,” said Ronan Farrow, State Department in a recent Mashable article.
What interests me the most is the ways in which youth are empowered to create change. Sure, there are the traditional trips, fundraising campaigns, etc. However; digital technologies cater to this demographic ensuring they are kept engaged – especially since they are overly connected in this way. Of course the in person experience of events, camps, volunteer trips, and fundraisers cannot be replaced – but it can be amplified.
Benefits of digital:
- Ability to have their voices heard like never before
- Decreased geographic barriers and increased access to information
- Relive, share and stay connected with other like-minded youth post offline experiences
- Grow their passion, motivation and ability to make change in the world
- Organization – allowing them to connect and organize large groups with ease
- Find and utilize the available support systems
- Share ideas and tactics instantly to support one another’s objectives and causes
- Virally spread information; gather attention and support, and showcase their causes
Youth are more connected and technologically aware than ever – extending this support via online channels only makes sense – and seems to have extremely positive effects.
Ways youth are using the internet to change the world
- Becoming informed – about causes, world issues, politics, consumer products (ethically produced or not), and so much more. Then share this knowledge.
- Starting and or signing online petitions
- Trading Facebook ‘likes’ for dollars with the support of corporate donors
- Sharing socially conscious videos
- Joining and following cause pages – sharing their messages
- Fundraising/canvassing for donations online
- Conversation – the sharing of ideas and perspectives with no geographic boundaries
I read somewhere that youth are “the seeds of a new reality”; if so the web is the garden that helps grow them.