The future of the world lays in the hands of the young people growing up today. They either belong to Generation Millenium, Generation Z, or the unnamed generation following those. These young people were born into a digital, globalized world with all the speed, uncertainty, and possibilities that follow with that. The way they see the world is completely different from how their parents see it. This brings both challenges and opportunities with it. This article will focus on what we can learn from young people and how they deal with the challenges and opportunities that are part of the world they grew up in.
5 topics where we can learn from young people:
Let’s look at each of these in turn.
Young people grew up in a globally connected world. They are used to consuming entertainment from other countries – they listen to K-Pop, watch Spanish football matches, read British news. They have friends all over the world and browse the global job market. They feel comfortable moving across borders and meeting foreign cultures. To their grandparents, much of this would be either unimaginable or undesired. But to these young people, it’s completely natural.
One of the biggest topics for these young generations is equality. The reason for that is because they are in so regular contact with other cultures. They have seen so many different lifestyles, living standards, and understand how the different circumstances globally are connected and can be compared. Thus,equality becomes a major challenge in their eyes. Their grandparents didn’t have the same awareness of how nations differ and how unequal the world is. These young people cannot help but be aware of it.
What young people can teach us about globalization is:
- staying openminded and curious when we meet the unknown
- being aware of how we are connected between nations and communities
- acting responsibly for the greater good of the global world
- taking advantage of globalization in terms of learning about different culture and lifestyles, and searching for job opportunities and study subjects
Only a few decades ago, digitalization was born. The internet was invented and made globally accessible, and, consequently, the world was forced to change dramatically. For many who were born before the widespreading of the internet, the way to digitalization was and is difficult. However, the young people of today grew up in this digital world and are thus good at taking advantage of it and adapting to the new technologies currently being invented.
They speak the language of the tools natively and not only adapt to new technologies, but also make those technologies adapt to their needs. They see where the technological future is heading and help shape that future.
What young people can teach us about digitalization is:
- creatively approaching new technologies and hijacking them to suit our needs
- playing with digital tools instead of getting overwhelmed by them
- growing with technology and staying flexible and open to new possibilities
In the valley between globalization and digitalization rests connectivity. Globalization made us aware of each other across nations and cultures. Digitalization gave us the tools to build relationships across borders. Out of that marriage came connectivity – the opportunity to connect with each other and influencing each other, both as nations and individuals. Again, because young people grew up in this interconnected world, they naturally know how to build and maintain connection with people from all over the world. They also see how tools and trends are interconnected and know how to take advantage of the connectivity between our devices, between our countries, between the global challenges.
It is no wonder that it was young Greta Thunberg, who created Fridays for Future. She understood how she could activate people globally and use digital tools to spread the movement. Perhaps, she didn’t even think about it, but just acted from instinct, being so deeply imbedded in the connectivity of the world she grew up in.
What young people can teach us about connectivity is:
- increasing your productivity, structure and efficiency by connecting your tools
- connecting with people from all over the world and spreading your ideas rapidly
- understanding how people, nations, trends, and challenges are interconnected
The world is moving ever faster and in order to be successful, it is necessary to be skilled in adapting. Young people grew up in this fast paced world and thus possess a natural ability to change with the world. Throughout their childhood and teenage years, they have had to adapt multiple times to the developments taking place around them. New devices were introduced to the market. New challenges emerged and old challenges became more urgent. New trends shaped their environment.
Young people are not only masters at adapting, they also force the world to adapt to their life perspectives. Because they are so fast at changing to match their environment, they force their environment to change quickly too. They ask companies and organizations to change in accordance with the trends and topics that matter to them. For many young people, sustainability and equality are so important topics that they will boycott brands if they don’t follow those values.
What young people can teach us about adaptability is:
- not getting stuck in old habits
- seeing change as an opportunity instead of an issue
- actively bring about change to society
Lastly, what strongly characterizes young people today is their drive. They feel the urgency of solving global challenges deeply. They know that leaving these challenges unsolved will negatively impact their future in a decisive manner. For this reason, they follow their values strictly and take action in order to improve the world. We see this a lot in our pirate community. Our pirates know that it’s now or never, and they put endless energy into making a positive impact on the world. Hard work and big visions are the natural way of operating for these young people. They have a strong drive, strong passion and strong will.
What young people can teach us about drive is:
- not closing your eyes to the urgency of global challenges
- taking action on the issues that matter to you
- following your values and being a living example of what you believe in
Young people are our future and they have so much to offer the world. In another blog post, we talked about 9 inspiring young people that you should follow in 2021! We at Moonshot Pirates are deeply inspired by them – and you should be too.