Three trends for how younger generations make change

Curated Story
Racheal
This article originally appeared on Medium

For Tanha, it started when she learned about the inequalities affecting her transgender neighbors. Racheal listened to a young woman with cerebral palsy tell her story of being mistreated by a caregiver. Uche grieved the loss of his sister-in-law to neonatal mortality.

Each young person encountered different injustices, but all three knew the only acceptable answer was action. They aren’t alone. And while we’re seeing young changemakers working across different communities and contexts around the world, their approaches also include many similarities.

This International Youth Day, we’re exploring three trends modeled by young changemakers and the lessons they have for all of us.

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Ashoka insight

The intersectional, empathetic, and tech-driven lenses that young people are bringing to the table are already transforming how all of us think about social change and take action—and these trends are just the beginning.

Finding the connections: Engage intersectionality by approaching problems with an open mind and by asking how problems impact different groups and contribute to inequalities. Lean into the unknowns, embrace self-education, and investigate the direct and indirect repercussions of oppressive systems.

Cultivating empathy: Look for new and diverse experiences. (Simply reading authors from different socioeconomic, racial, or cultural groups is a great start). Don’t shy away from tough conversations. Listen and learn from those around you. Keep an open and compassionate mindset, think critically about the systems you are a part of, and the inequalities they create.

Don’t devalue digital changemaking: Social media isn’t all bad. Curate your feed to include accounts that feature inspiring changemakers. Support activists, creatives, and storytellers, especially from underrepresented communities. Explore how you can use tech for good, whether it’s learning new skills or supporting apps, websites, and innovations making positive change.