Gen NOW Leaders are Knocking Down the Divide

I am a futurist. I study trends and anticipate opportunities….then I march out to meet that “likely” future with the audacious goal of changing it. Here’s an example.

There are 90 million “Millennials” (people born between 1985 and 2000) in America…and they have been raised doing service. They will have a huge impact on America if they choose to move beyond the charity that they may have encountered during those service trips and channel their ideas and energy into tactics that embrace economics and politics. Some already are.

I travel ALOT, and I dig the road for so many reasons, but most of all, I dig seeing living breathing examples of innovation in action. Last year, I visited the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, and wrote about students efforts to register to vote in local elections, and the many hoops they had to jump through to gain that right. In the months since that visit, they elected one of their own to the City Council. His name is Scott Foster, and he is a natural leader, as you’ll see from this video. But what I dig the most about him is that he is trying to expand the communities understanding of their assets. He sees students, seniors, nonprofits, along with traditional businesses and trade association as important contributors to the future of Williamsburg. That greater vision is exactly the kind of “all hands on deck” thinking that will be required to help rebuild and right America’s listing economic ship.

A week ago, I stood in front of Monroe Elementary School in Topeka Kansas, where the historic Brown vs the Board of Education lawsuit originated. That Supreme Court decision struck down the odious “separate but equal” ideal that kept white students and black students divided. Of course, the Courts decision was driven by the Constitution, but make no mistake—they knew this was not only illegal—it was stupid. Our country only works when we work together, without false or antiquated divisions. I believe that that idea will one day let us leave behind the idea of that .COM businesses drive the economy, while .ORG charities do good deeds. Truth be told—we are equal in that NO community can function, thrive or grow without a dynamic combination of both. There is no profit without nonprofit. And when we meet that future, we will rightly view any business that helps this country stay free, safe, secure, open and just as an essential player in the great and unfolding American dream.

I’m on that road—join me.

  • http://www.melindaklewis.com Melinda Lewis

    Great photo! It was a total thrill to meet you, and I’m so glad that you came to Kansas. Our time with you has sparked a lot of thinking and shifting here, in very exciting ways. You’ll definitely see some of us in D.C. on our next trip there, but, in the meantime, I’m glad that there’s a virtual space to be connected to your ideas. Thank you for challenges, and inspirations!