It’s not a Disney song — it’s an innovative new non-profit organization dedicated to giving young adults a voice. One Young World intends to allow, for the first time, future leaders to shape the agenda of the world they are stepping into. They’re doing this by setting up a global conference — of 25 year olds!
Sounds pretty idealistic doesn’t it?
Sir Bob Geldof, Kofi Annan, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are among those who think so and are actively supporting the effort.Â Professor Nick Haysom (United Nations Director of Political Affairs), Carole Stone (Managing Director of YouGovStone) and Elio Leoni Sceti (Chief Executive, EMI Music) have also joined this group of idealists as part of the “Counselors” team.
So, what are 1,500 twenty five year old types going to talk about when they get together in 2010? Oh, trivial stuff like the environment, interfaith dialog, health care, global business, and the media. They’ll also be looking at draft resolutions of ideas taken from a 12 month survey conducted with youth around the world. YouGuvStone, a UK based market research company, has taken on doing that survey and synthesizing those draft resolutions. YouGuvStone is quite innovative in their own right, with a 3000 person panel of niche experts they regularly tap for opinions and ideas.
I think this is a fascinating idea, a truly innovative concept.Â I wish them the best of luck. If I had the ear of this group I would love to give them these ideas:
1.) Try to get beyond “debate”.Â The frame of the conference seems to be “debate”.Â I wish they would frame it as dialog.Â Debate rarely leads to real learning or understanding in my humble opinion. It tends to harden one’s resolve about ones beliefs instead of expanding perspective. Structured dialog on the other hand often does lead to higher levels of awareness and understanding. Break the paradigm of the typical debate-panel-conference and be innovative in How the conference is conducted (I have a vision of a true World Cafe). They very well may be doing this! I hope so.
2.) Train these young people in creative problem solving.Â What an amazing opportunity to move a large group of influential young adults into more imaginative thinking. Take at least a small part of the conference to empower these young leaders with the gift that keeps on giving, focused creative thinking. I think it would fit well with the mission of One Young World.Â After all, how can the world change without great ideas?
3.) The survey is a wonderful start to understanding what young people want and desire for the world they are building. And…I see it as a springboard for on-going ideation of actual solutions.Â Why not use the time between forums/conferences to do virtual, structured, actual real-world creative problem solving?
So, just some ideas on how to make a very innovative concept even more so.
Kudos to One Young World for their brave, creative, and innovative foray into the world of the future. May the creative force be with you.