Be the Change: How Gen Y is changing the world

Gen Y sometimes gets a bad rap. We’ve all heard the stereotypes by now — we’re lazy, we’re spoiled, we’re arrogant, we’re not willing to pay our dues, and we want to do work that we truly love. We want work-life balance, we don’t want to settle, and most of all – we’re entitled.

I’ll admit this: for a while, I thought some of these stereotypes about my generation were…true. But even worse, I felt like our generation was indifferent to social change. As an Economics major, I felt like everyone around me wanted to join investment banking or consulting, and wanted to catapult to the top of the corporate ladder right away. They didn’t want to waste a second before making tons of money. But really, that didn’t make me tick. I wanted something more than just profit – a meaningful career where I could truly contribute something, while also doing what I loved.

As I learned more about social issues, I realized – Gen Y is passionate about social change. But where are these powerful voices? Most of the people writing about issues like health, education, humanitarian aid, human rights, environmental issues, or politics are all much older. Many of them are distinguished academics, aid workers, NGO professionals. True, young people our age don’t always have the experience to discuss these issues at length — I’m not pretending I’m any expert. But I am willing to learn, and I want to write at least what I do know, so that I’m getting my voice out there. But in the blogosphere, so few of our generation are even engaging in the conversation about social change. Most of the Gen Y conversation centers around careers, work-life balance, personal branding, and topics related to marketing and media.

All that is great, but we need more than this to tackle the challenges of our time. We need young people to actively care about social issues and to do something about it. The first step, I believe, is education: before we can truly add value and take action in a truly meaningful way, we have to gain a deeper understanding of critical social issues. And one way we can do this is through writing, blogging, reading, sharing our knowledge, and learning from one another.

So this week will mark the beginning of “Be the Change” – a series of guest posts from my fellow Gen Yers related to social change. I hope that in the next few weeks, the guest posts that we see will inspire you and teach you about critical social issues. I hope they encourage you to take action, and convince you that social change is important. I hope they cause you to look inwards and reflect — what issues do you care about too? I hope they help dispel some stereotypical notions of Gen Y, by showing that we are working towards change. And most of all: everyone has a role in social change, and I hope that bringing together some of the passionate, intelligent voices of our generation confirm this.

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37 Responses to Be the Change: How Gen Y is changing the world

  1. Grace Boyle says:

    This is really exciting. I feel like I don’t even know what my peers are socially charged by (my online peers I mean) besides those that regularly choose to write about it.

    It’s so important and there are many strong voices out there. Great initiative Akhila, looking forward to the rest!

    • Akhila says:

      Thank you Grace, and I am *so* excited you are participating!

      I agree – we know all about our peers’ passions in terms of career, but we really don’t know much about their passions or interests related to social change. And it’s a shame, because I bet (and now I KNOW) that all of you are passionate and caring about bettering the world.

  2. Grace Boyle says:

    This is really exciting. I feel like I don’t even know what my peers are socially charged by (my online peers I mean) besides those that regularly choose to write about it.

    It’s so important and there are many strong voices out there. Great initiative Akhila, looking forward to the rest!

    • Akhila says:

      Thank you Grace, and I am *so* excited you are participating!

      I agree – we know all about our peers’ passions in terms of career, but we really don’t know much about their passions or interests related to social change. And it’s a shame, because I bet (and now I KNOW) that all of you are passionate and caring about bettering the world.

  3. Ruby says:

    You’re awesome Akhila. I have already learned so much from your blog since March and I look forward to learning even more in the coming weeks. Thanks for doing your part and giving others an opportunity to do the same.

    • Akhila says:

      Thanks, Ruby. You’re even more awesome – I hope you’ll get the time to contribute because I always get excited when I see you have written something new. For people our age, Ruby you have extraordinary insight along with humility. You really “get” the field of international development, and your passion & writing skills make it remarkable to see :)

      Thanks for joining in – hope you’ll join in the conversation in the next few weeks!!

  4. Ruby says:

    You’re awesome Akhila. I have already learned so much from your blog since March and I look forward to learning even more in the coming weeks. Thanks for doing your part and giving others an opportunity to do the same.

    • Akhila says:

      Thanks, Ruby. You’re even more awesome – I hope you’ll get the time to contribute because I always get excited when I see you have written something new. For people our age, Ruby you have extraordinary insight along with humility. You really “get” the field of international development, and your passion & writing skills make it remarkable to see :)

      Thanks for joining in – hope you’ll join in the conversation in the next few weeks!!

  5. Blogging about this at RRR! Great idea!

  6. Blogging about this at RRR! Great idea!

  7. Elisa says:

    I’m pretty excited to see this series unfold. Like you I see a lot about our own development/careers/advancement on other blogs, but not always so much about the bajillion other issues that I feel are plaguing our world. I’m most excited to see some of the “secret social issue passions” that my peers have been hinting at but will be writing about in length.

    I see a lot of change being made here. :)

    • Akhila says:

      Thanks Elisa, and I am so glad you’re participating. I hope all these posts will get more people thinking beyond the surface…looking at the big issues we all care about, and our perspectives on them, hopefully will increase insight about what needs to be done, and will inspire people to take action more.

      Thanks again for your contribution! :)

  8. Elisa says:

    I’m pretty excited to see this series unfold. Like you I see a lot about our own development/careers/advancement on other blogs, but not always so much about the bajillion other issues that I feel are plaguing our world. I’m most excited to see some of the “secret social issue passions” that my peers have been hinting at but will be writing about in length.

    I see a lot of change being made here. :)

    • Akhila says:

      Thanks Elisa, and I am so glad you’re participating. I hope all these posts will get more people thinking beyond the surface…looking at the big issues we all care about, and our perspectives on them, hopefully will increase insight about what needs to be done, and will inspire people to take action more.

      Thanks again for your contribution! :)

  9. Tabitha says:

    Truly inspiring! and of course, I’m looking forward to reading the posts. Your passion really shows in this blog and I’m amazed at how you’re influencing people through this. :) Keep it up!

  10. Tabitha says:

    Truly inspiring! and of course, I’m looking forward to reading the posts. Your passion really shows in this blog and I’m amazed at how you’re influencing people through this. :) Keep it up!

  11. Amaka says:

    I’ve been meaning to start a blog on social change/international development blog but I’ve been procatinating for two resaon: (a) fear of the unknown i.e. being tagged hypocritical (living a confortable life and not knowing the real feeling/experiences of the bottom billion) and (b) that I’m not an expert so not authorized to write about these issues. But you know what? This post just pushed me to start my blog and hopefully, something tangible will materialize from it. Thanks for the inspiration. You totally rock, babe!

    • Akhila says:

      Wow! I am so absolutely glad that you’ve been inspired to go out and start your own blog. You know, this is EXACTLY what I hoped would happen with this blog and this series, and I am so humbled to see that it’s impacted someone, even in a small way. Every action counts, and I am so excited to see your new blog and read your thoughts. Thanks so much for joining in! :)

      I totally agree with you though. a) I too feel hypocritical – but I think part of it is that we have been LUCKY enough to be granted this amazing life and so I feel like it would be even more hypocritical to not enjoy what we have, when we are working to give others the same opportunities. Right? and b) I’m no expert and we’re all young. People don’t expect us to be experts. But what we can contribute is our voice, and our thoughts, while also being humble and acknowledging our faults. Your blog can show your journey – your intellectual development, your passions, your idealism. It’s not meant to show that you’re an expert, but simply a human being who wants to learn & do something.

  12. Amaka says:

    I’ve been meaning to start a blog on social change/international development blog but I’ve been procatinating for two resaon: (a) fear of the unknown i.e. being tagged hypocritical (living a confortable life and not knowing the real feeling/experiences of the bottom billion) and (b) that I’m not an expert so not authorized to write about these issues. But you know what? This post just pushed me to start my blog and hopefully, something tangible will materialize from it. Thanks for the inspiration. You totally rock, babe!

    • Akhila says:

      Wow! I am so absolutely glad that you’ve been inspired to go out and start your own blog. You know, this is EXACTLY what I hoped would happen with this blog and this series, and I am so humbled to see that it’s impacted someone, even in a small way. Every action counts, and I am so excited to see your new blog and read your thoughts. Thanks so much for joining in! :)

      I totally agree with you though. a) I too feel hypocritical – but I think part of it is that we have been LUCKY enough to be granted this amazing life and so I feel like it would be even more hypocritical to not enjoy what we have, when we are working to give others the same opportunities. Right? and b) I’m no expert and we’re all young. People don’t expect us to be experts. But what we can contribute is our voice, and our thoughts, while also being humble and acknowledging our faults. Your blog can show your journey – your intellectual development, your passions, your idealism. It’s not meant to show that you’re an expert, but simply a human being who wants to learn & do something.

  13. [...] was originally posted on Akhila Kolisetty’s Be the Change series. Go ahead, take a peek, and share your comments over there.  Posted to: [...]

  14. Dollface says:

    Loving the series so far.

  15. Dollface says:

    Loving the series so far.

  16. [...] This was a guest post I wrote originally for Akhila Kolisetty’s Be The Change series. The series is filled with profound writers, so be sure to check it out. My original post is [...]

  17. [...] Be The Change Series: Rebecca Thorman, Elisa Doucette and yours truly have guest posted their Be The Change posts thus far. Really beautiful thoughts and ideas. Check ‘em all [...]

  18. [...] a related note, Akhila recently began the Be the Change blog series featuring Gen Y changemakers and she featured my “Small Step – Big Change” [...]

  19. [...] by Ms Amaka I was intelligently nudged out of inertia and procastination by a fantastic post by Akhilak. The post was on about “gaining  a deeper understanding of critical social issues and then [...]

  20. [...] all talk; we take action, too. We’re committed to channeling our collective voice in way that constructively changes our own future for the better. And that’s exactly what we were doing at My Summit [...]

  21. [...] not all talk; we take action, too. We’re committed to channeling our collective voice in way thatconstructively changes our own future for the better. And that’s exactly what we were doing at My Summit [...]

  22. [...] a related note, Akhila recently began the Be the Change blog series featuring Gen Y changemakers and she featured my “Small Step – Big Change” [...]

  23. [...] a related note, Akhila recently began the Be the Change blog series featuring Gen Y changemakers and she featured my “Small Step – Big Change” [...]

  24. [...] a related note, Akhila recently began the Be the Change blog series featuring Gen Y changemakers and she featured my “Small Step – Big Change” [...]

  25. [...] onde ir a seguir.   Fonte:http://www.negociosustentavel.com/si/site/010601 Fonte da imagem: http://akhilak.com/blog/2009/09/28/be-the-change-how-gen-y-is-changing-the-world/ Compartilhe [...]

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