Can Networking Teens Save Planet For Themselves?
With record numbers of virtually every species and natural resource being harvested and utilized in an unsustainable manner, it’s clear that we need a different path. But with governments and big businesses alike often marching merrily together down the well-worn highway of profits over common sense, one man has come to believe that networking teens will be vital to the future of humanity.
That person would be Steve Chase, founder and director of the Environmental Advocacy Program at Antioch University in New Hampshire. Currently he’s working to train grass roots activists within a two-year master’s degree program at Antioch, giving them the practical tools that will enable them to make a difference. Because as he puts it, “High school students are my hope. They could save the world -- after all they will inherit this world."
So what evidence does he point to that social networking can play a large role in the process? Well, how about the development of powerful social networking tools like Facebook? That tool could prove to be crucial in driving society away from consumerism according to Chase, as more and more teens come to realize that a consumer-driven lifestyle does not necessarily make one a happier adult. And the many active youth coalitions around the U.S. and the world including Campus Climate Challenge, the Youth Climate Movement, and It's Getting Hot in Here that are already playing a positive role in activating youth around the world in the fight against global warming prove it’s more than just a possibility.
One thing is for sure, teens motivated to make a difference have an incredible opportunity to utilize online networking tools to seek each other out for cooperation in ways that few if any in the course of human history have been able to do. And with youth already serving as catalysts for positive change throughout much of that history, I’m betting they find a way to make the most of this latest opportunity.