Agents of Change: 13 the new age of responsibility

Read a great post by @Camila_Ibrahim  from Edelman Digital in NYC called ‘Tweeting with Purpose’. She was recently at Ted X Teen and heard some amazing 13-17yr old speakers talk about how they were using the digital space for public diplomacy and disruptive innovaiton via social media.

I blogged early last year about a key dimension of Generation C, being about CHANGE, or youth being ‘Agents of Change’, especially in troubled parts of the world. In 2009 we saw the youth of Iran rise up over the government using skyepe & other social platforms. Young people today are experts at mobilising their friends quickly and driving action.

 More recently, as Camila can attest, Egyptian youth used social platforms to organise rallies, share new ideology and the like.

The Age of responsibility for youth is no longer drinking age or when you get your license at 16, it’s now age 13. The age when you can sign up for Twitter.

 According to a recent World Vision study, 50% of Gen Y are becoming more cause oriented via social channels. This stat makes perfect sense as now it’s so easy for these teens and 20 something to have a voice. The study also suggested  teen girls we more likely to ‘like’, ‘follow’ or ‘friend’ a charitable cause over teen boys (41% vs 27% respectively)

As Camila’s post suggests, this new community of ‘change agents’ as I like to call them is being led by 13yr olds like  @ConnorBrantley who set up United Now, a movement aimed at ending partisanship in government. He sums it up perfectly:

We shape the world, step by step, post by post, tweet by tweet

Generation CHANGE: Empowerment is the new Engagement

Thanks to Paul at Three Billion for a great line ‘Empowerment is the new Engagement’ for youth. We’re now seeing loads of campaigns tapping into the fact that Gen C have been massively empowered through social media platforms in the past few years. They want their voice heard.  If you give them something worth changing, they will mobilise super quickly. We’re now seeing both big brands (Orange Rockcorps) as well as political parties and social good brands tapping into the fact that Gen C are empowered and want to change stuff.

In Australia, the Australian Youth Climate Co-alition has teamed up with World Vision to create YOUTH DECIDE, whereby they are trying to create a grass roots mass movement of young Australians supporting the need for climate change and environmental responsibility in the lead up to Copenhagen in December. The votes from all the rallies will be shared with the Australian government then taken to the UN Climate meeting in Copenhagen in December to lobby for drastic measures to be taken to address the climate change issue. 

They obviously got some good learnings for how Obama used digital networks to spark widescale support and they’ve used social media (Facebook) and a youtube channel to  drum up support for the many rallies they’re having across Australia.  Here’s one video from their youtube channel which communicates what they’re trying to do

This week is VOTING week and last week they posted this video to show how they were going with organising rallies

It’s a great example of the youth ‘enviro tribe’ mobilising quite quickly via digital platforms and if you give Generation C something worth changing they will mobilise en mass.

Creating Tribal Ideas for Generation C – my Nokia World presentation

Creating Tribal Ideas for Generation C

Here’s the presentation I gave last week in Stuttgart Germany at Nokia World. They asked me to come and present on how brands are using social media to connect with youth. I spoke mainly about the many different dimensions of Generation C and how social media is shaping their self identity. I also spoke about the key principals brand behaviours you need to adopt when tryign to create a tribal idea – an idea which sparks a rapid mobilisaiton of youth. Click through to slideshare and check the ‘notes pages’ for all my speaker notes which explain some of the points if the images aren’t clear. Had a great time at Nokia World and will be blogging on it this week.

Feedback welcome 🙂