Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Awakening of A New Generation

I got up this morning and began the ritual of visiting the web pages and blogs that have become my looking glass to view the changing world horizon. For the past several months I have sensed a change in the wind. A new generation is emerging and as time would proscribe, some of the elders are understanding this change.

Yesterday, I even heard, conservative talk show personality Sean Hannity admit that it was time for the Republicans to change, or become irrelvant. He took a lot of flak for admitting what I see is as the truth.

This thread of thought is repeated in a post by historian Victor Davis Hanson.
More "The Moral Economy"

Case in point is a series posts and articles that have appeared the past few days. I also sense it in conversations I have had with many of the young people who make up the generation born after 1981.

First off is a post by Steve DeAngelis on the The Rise of the Social Entrepreneur He writes that:

Business means jobs and jobs mean hope for a better future. At a time when the news is full of negative stories about the economy, conflicts, and crime, reading a column about hope in the future and about those determined to make the world a better place is refreshing.

The next day in a related post about the World Economic Forum in Davos. Steve refers back to his previous post and goes on to relate how some of the older generation seems to be getting it too. Profit-backed Social Philosophy

The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, draws an interesting and diverse crowd. Yesterday I wrote about the young, social entrepreneurs found there by New York Times' columnist Nicholas Kristof [The Rise of the Social Entrepreneur]. Most of those young people are relatively unknown. The Forum also attracts big names, however, like Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft. John Markoff reports that Gates lectured a packed house on his social philosophy ["Bill Gates: Social Philosopher," New York Times/International Herald Tribune Davos Diary, 24 January 2008].

The gist of the posts are that social outreach is begining to surface as a driving force among people who have a concern for their fellow man. Altrusim aside, this means security for everyone.

To further this arguement are a couple of posts today by Tom Barnett about the next generation being felt in the Islamic World.The young and the restless and the right kind of caliphate .

The second post links an article in Business Week by Micheele Conlin about the issues that the 43 million strong generation of "echo Boomers" find important.The Millennials getting political

This brings me to my own sense of this generation. I have written before about examples of people who seem to get it, A Resilient Nation . I noted that one of the people I briefly profiled spent valuable time raising money for cancer and AIDS research, as she put herself through college. In conversations with her, and several other people of this generation including my own teenage son, you get a sense of what matters. They are realistic about the future. Aprehensive for sure, but realistic that the tab for over consumption is due. These young people know they will have to clean up the mess left by our departing generations. It is interesting that they all see themselves as Americans first, and not intending to abandon the ship to seek a better life in the developing world as some have, Jim Rogers investment guru, moving to Singapore as a case in point. In fact a few, including the young women working her way through college are intrigued with working for companies like Enterra Solutions, or entering the diplomatic service.

Does this mean that this generation is fully prepared to take the reins and steer the ship of state. Counter points can be made when one considers that one third of all seniors in high school in 2007, failed to graduate. The ones who did and go on to contribute, seem to have an understanding of the world. Others are happy to be content to let society provide. But note the third most important issue on the list of political concerns is education.

1.Health, 2. economy, 3. education.

Most understand that in order to survive and thrive you need security. For a generation raised to have their external security guarenteed by the world's strongest military, physical security now means good health. Secondly, they realize that a good economy requires a good education. This is a Fire bell in the night to quote Thomas Jefferson, for those who desire to lead, to understand that change is the wind.

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