Social iCon 2016: ChangeGeneration

ChangeGeneration. The time is now.

From all of us with the Lien Centre for Social Innovation and Ashoka, we thank you for making Social iCon 2016: ChangeGeneration a smash-hit success. This sold-out conference was full of inspiration, fun, and new connections! In one day, we packed in:

  • Over 250 changemakers from around the region and the globe
  • Over 60 students from secondary schools, polytechnics, junior colleges and universities
  • 11 world-class Ashoka Fellows
  • 17 sets of talks, conversations and panel sessions
  • 2 robots
  • Many, many balloons and toothpicks

Now, what is important is action. Now that we've come together, heard from some of the world's top Youth Empowerment innovators, and had many inspiring and thought-provoking conversations, the time has come to put our new knowledge and resources to use. What are you doing this week to follow up on your takeaways from #ChangeGen? Here are some of our takeaways!

1. Don't get in the way: Trust that all young people can contribute and have the ability to enact change. 

2. Give young people the opportunity to lead and have real world experiences: Leadership is not taught, but developed through experiences with taking charge. Parents should encourage their children to get started and help them improve along the way!

3. Redefine what success and failure means: Neither are definitive. Failure for children should be seen as a feedback process and not as a final result that defines who they are. 

4. Dealing with fear: What if fear is giving us clues to follow our edge? Changemaking could help us overcome fear by providing safe spaces and connections with others. 

5. Work in ecosystems: Engaging all stakeholders in the ecosystem will help connect with and understand the problem from the community's perspective. 

6. Develop technology: Technology can gamify empathy development and create more opportunities for children to be active recipients of technology. 

7. Universities could be engines for social change: They can be advocates for changemaking amongst their students and allow more opportunities for collaborations so students can have a real impact on society. 

We invite you to be re-inspired by some of our participants on social media by following us on Facebook. What is your call to action? Tweet it or post it with the hashtags #ChangeGen and #LeadYoung to connect with the rest of the community! And remember: Change starts from within.

Videos from the event can be found here!