Baby Boomers are just like their parents – they complain about all the problems they think the youth are causing (as if it’s the youth fault the planet is experiencing irreversible climate change and the economy was maladjusted a few years back). The older generations often accuse younger people to be lazy and doing everything “wrong” – well, those Boomers couldn’t be more wrong. It turns out that young adults today are kinder, more ambitious, more caring, and are looking for more satisfying lives than their parents.
Jeffrey Jensen Arnett recently wrote a great piece on what it’s been like studying and working with the 18-29 year old demographic for the last couple decades. It shows that the future is in good hands!
The ‘selfish’ slur also ignores how idealistic and generous-hearted today’s emerging adults are. In the national Clark poll, 86 per cent of 18- to 29-year-olds agreed that: ‘It is important to me to have a career that does some good in the world.’ And it is not just an idealistic aspiration: they are, in fact, more likely to volunteer their time and energy for serving others than their parents did at the same age, according to national surveys by the US Higher Education Research Institute.
Skateboarding culture is often (wrongly) lumped together with criminal behaviour amongst youth. To those that still think that way, you should check out a study in the most recent Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability.
By looking at what young skateboarders would do in the city of Chicago the researchers found out that skateboarding culture is a great thing for urban environments. It’s good to see a positive take on a group of people who often get brushed aside.
Young people appropriate and redefine built environments through their everyday playful practices. Among a widening spectrum of young city dwellers, skateboarders transform urban spaces by exploring terrains and performing unforeseen uses. These urban explorations ascribe new meanings and pleasures to otherwise mundane built forms. Waxing ledges is a ubiquitous practice among skateboarders that signals creative appropriation through the application of wax on rough surfaces. The smoothening of ledges enables speed and exhilaration, while the traces engraved on the urban landscape communicate to other skateboarders a pleasurable space.
UforChange is all about using art and culture to make the world a better place! They focus on St. Jamestown in Toronto and have had great success engaging their community through participating in art projects that make the neighbourhood more welcoming and a great place to be.
At the core of the program is a unique methodology: an exploration of arts and life skills that is both participant guided and founded in experiential learning. UforChange provides a six month, structured and intensive arts, culture and life skills program for youth, followed by another 9 months of participant selected projects, fully facilitated by staff and volunteers. Our methodology has demonstrated proven results for youth by helping them to make friends, build skills, find confidence, formulate and follow through on a plan for their future, all while developing a stronger sense of community, belonging and pride.
The United Nations and China have started a program this summer that will employ 1,000 youth to talk about the environment. The youth will teach people how to be more conscious about the environment and what individuals can do to protect it.
Through a new training program called “One Thousand Environment-Friendly Youth Ambassadors Action,” eight Chinese ministries, along with the UNDP, hope to educate 1 million people about the actions they can take to preserve the environment and limit climate change.
The program started last month with training for 1,000 high school and college students in Beijing (north China), Shanghai (east), Xi’an (northwest), Chengdu (southwest) and Guangzhou (south).
Each young ambassador is expected to train another 1,000 people, hence one million people around the nation will be informed of professional environmental knowledge. The program is sponsored by the national Center for Environmental Education and Communication, China Environmental Awareness Program, Ministry of Environmental Protection, UNDP and Johnson Controls.