Posted on September 22, 2014
I had the pleasure of speaking to our Middle and High school students during our weekly chapel service last week, and I was inspired by their passion for improving the world in which we live. My talk was centered on two concepts: the root causes that magnify the speed of change in the world today, and how the Millennial generation will play a vital role in solving many of today's global issues.
I explained that as we look back across the centuries, historians and educators alike can see common patterns playing out again and again. Mid-Pacific students who are in grades 5 - 12, for example, are all members of the Millennial generation, and they are coming of age during a time of global crisis in the areas of finance and geo-political conflict. Our students followed my talking points closely when I took them back nearly a lifetime ago, looking at the financial and geo-political issues that led to the Great Depression and World War during the 1920's, 1930's, and 1940's. More importantly, they were able to understand the value that they would bring in offering solutions to these complex world issues as adults.
I found our talk incredibly fulfilling because our students understand that they are different from Baby Boomers and members of Generation X. They understand that they are digital natives, that they are globally interconnected and community-minded, and they understand that technology will play an important role in solving some of these issues. Most importantly however, our students understand that they must be ethical, empathic, and empowered individuals before they can act as an international coalition of über problem-solvers.
By the end of the day I had spoken to 1,300 students, presenting very complex topics related to history, generational theory, and the use of emerging technologies in the global marketplace. Our students didn't miss a beat. In fact, many students approached me afterward with outstanding entrepreneurial ideas for solving complex issues in the short- and medium-term.
I am consistently inspired by our students' collective intellect and their ability to assume leadership roles when they are needed most. I know that regardless of the global issues being presented to our students today, they will truly act as global leaders in the years to come.
E kūlia kākou,