Attention grabbing and headline trapping baby boomers — particularly those engaged in presidential races — have overshadowed a silent revolution being waged by Millennials in every possible front of modern life.
Also called Generation C (C standing for connected, communicating, content-centric, community-oriented), millenials were born after 1990 and lived their teenage years after 2000.
“In the developed world, Generation C encompasses everyone in this age group; in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), they are primarily urban and suburban,” concludes a study by PWC. “By 2020, they will make up 40% of the population in the U.S., Europe, and the BRIC countries and 10% of the rest of the world – and by then, they will constitute the largest single cohort of consumers worldwide.”
And this extraordinary cohort of youngsters meet every year at the ONE Young World Summit to exchange points of view about the world they are inheriting from what they call “the generation Selfie” — which stands for the most egocentric population cohort ever to inhabit our planet.
Their summit is a trading point of experiences dealing with three subjects they seem to be obsessed with: Poverty, access to digital education, and the environment.
And the summit is designed for them to learn how these subjects are treated in different countries. Mornings are absorbed by presentations; afternoons by project building.
There one learns about a group of Guatemalan teenagers that have successfully created a breeding sanctuary for quetzals — the national bird of their country which is in danger of exhaustion. The method serves well to protect other bird species around the world and the costs are negligible. Caring for animals is a top priority for these youngsters that prefer to get their pets from the Humane Society than from a prestigious breeder.
Then there is transfer of knowledge to those in their societies that are less fortunate and thus have not finished primary school or high school.
To tend to this problem, there is a global network of young executives in multinational corporations that in emerging markets donate time and money to establish learning spaces for employees that have failed to complete their primary education.
Inspired in Brazil’s Rede Globo’s Telesecundaria, Millennials around the world have developed smartphone applications and a learning library that has been translated into 13 languages to help others access education and move up the income scale.
Colombians are already preparing to hold the summit in Bogota next year and to launch in that stage a set of applications to foster education for peace. Young Sudanese refugees that have settled in the Americas are working hard on mastering the art of producing and saving water aided by young Israelis.
And in Ottawa they have their most admired and loved political figure: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He incarnates all of their beliefs and vision of the world. The youngest head of government in our hemisphere has reduced bureaucratic distance, increased efficiency of public services, and incorporated the youth in an advisory capacity to his cabinet. As advisors they raise awareness about decisions that will shape their future. Ministers, on their part, have a window into reality that tends to make it difficult to fall into the “Ivory Tower” Syndrome. This quiet revolution is beginning to shape the course of our conflict ridden world in the same way the Westphalia Peace Treaty shaped that of Europe for many centuries triggering an era of prosperity that was long lasting and for the last fifty years, conflict free.