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Part V: Thought Leadership & Possibilities – The future of the global generation

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Sep 1, 2016

Photo: students with Iceland president

GREEN Students with Iceland’s President, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson

Take a second to think about your immediate communities you belong to – your family, classmates, student orgs, greek life, sports teams, etc. We each identify with our communities and networks where we can contribute, grow, and learn from. We decide to become a part of these communities because they are built on the foundations with missions that mean something to you.

What if I told you that your community can grow to make change on a global scale, and that Millennials just like you are coming together from all corners of the world everyday to better understand and solve the world’s most pressing issues?

Millennials just like you are fulfilling this title of “global citizen” with meaning and purpose. Millennials are action oriented go-getters, multitaskers, world travelers, life-long learners, and bucket-list adventurers. After working with more than 1,600 GenY students from 70+ countries around the world, it’s clear to us that every GREEN student seeks opportunities where our work is bigger than us, and that our futures should serve a bigger purpose. As a result, students attend The GREEN Program where they can begin to understand how their passion, thoughts, and ideas can be channeled to productively tackle the problems we are faced with. 

If you grew up with baby boomers like we did, you may have heard some naysayers who are concerned for our generation because either GenY is unable to productively act upon the abundance of options and opportunities presented before us. All the while, there are countless worldwide isues that are of immense importance due to their otherwise catastrophic effects if untreated. Our team hasn’t lost hope. If anything, this has only fueled our fire.

Throughout our travels, we’ve met young girls who are fluent in five languages & independently traveling the world, nineteen year-olds who unlock breakthrough innovations to clean up the world’s oceans, thirteen year-old Forbes 30Under30 recipients, and go-getters who are at the forefront of Ebola and sex-trafficking resistance. Our very own GREEN Alumni are making immense impacts in the world and have become the newest additions to Boeing, SpaceX, USDA Brazil, US Patent Office, Tesla, and more!  

Welcome to the generation of Global Citizens.

Photo: green students group photo

Millennials just like you are fulfilling this title of “global citizen” with meaning and purpose. Millennials are action oriented go-getters, multitaskers, world travelers, life-long learners, and bucket-list adventurers. After working with more than 1,600 GenY students from 70+ countries around the world, it’s clear to us that every GREEN student seeks opportunities where our work is bigger than us, and that our futures should serve a bigger purpose. As a result, students attend The GREEN Program where they can begin to understand how their passion, thoughts, and ideas can be channeled to productively tackle the problems we are faced with.

What is a Global Citizen? 

Ron Isreal, the CoFounder of the Global Citizens’ Initiative references our everyday identities & communities through his article, “What Does It Mean to Be a Global Citizen?” Within this piece, he states that, “as a result of living in a globalized world, we understand that we have an added layer of  responsibility; we also are responsible for being members of a world-wide community of people who share the same global identity that we have.

We may not yet be fully awakened to this new layer of responsibility, but it is there waiting to be grasped. “The major challenge that we face in the new millennium is to embrace our global way of being and build a sustainable values-based world community.”

Read more here.

Why Now? 

We might be biased, but if you ask us, this is the best time to be alive. Opportunity is always right around the corner for us, knowledge is a Google search away, and connecting to a network is a text message away. But Huffington Post’s Drew Alexander takes it a step further and shares his thoughts on the dire importance of why our generation must hold this responsibility of being global citizens, and we couldn’t say it better ourselves:

This global generation is very different from their 20th-century counterparts. Students need critical thinking skills, a level of self-awareness and confidence that will empower them to take on unfamiliar challenges. They need to be able to work on teams of diverse individuals, opinions and experiences. As they will most assuredly be faced with some of the world’s greatest challenges, they will need to ensure there are sustainable supplies of food, water, and energy; address the needs of more than seven billion people living on a planet with ever-dwindling natural resources. Whatever the challenge, they will need to innovate, work collaboratively and creatively, across borders and disciplines, and with ethics. […] Now, more than ever, this global generation needs to possess and use the skills necessary to be the environmental stewards of the planet and the international peacekeepers.

Read Drew Noble Alexander’s article, “Beyond Borders: What It Means to Be a Global Citizen” here

Where To Start

Becoming a global citizen isn’t a textbook solution. It is a mindset and belief to carry during your everyday activities, whether you’re in class, at the gym, running a student organization, even if you’re out with friends. Stay up to date with what’s going on in the world, and educate your immediate networks with the global trends, cultures, issues, and start discussing solutions. It’s all about blending your immediate identity and communities with global initiatives in a constructive and innovative manner. 

Not positive about a cause you want to support, or figure out your “calling”? If you haven’t caught up on this, The World Economic Forum is an event that serves as a strong platform, bringing global leaders together for a think-tank discussion and bridging new ideas for the future.

To help, we wanted to share Global Citizen’s “Seven Points to Take Away from Davos 2015” for you to check out some of the world’s most pressing topics to get behind. 

Part V Actionable Items:

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