What Young People Are Doing Today

David Burstein is a millennial writer, filmmaker, and storyteller. The 24-year-old was also a Do Something Award finalist in 2009. 

In the 2008 election cycle I made a documentary film called "18 in ’08" about the importance of the youth vote. The film spawned an organization called Generation 18, which led a national effort to register, engage and mobilize young voters.

We held over 1,000 screenings of the film across the country and registered 25,000 new voters. In the closing months of the 2008 campaign, as I was traveling the country, I met incredible young people who weren’t just engaged with the election, but were also starting businesses, founding organizations, and were deeply passionate about social change. I realized there was something special afoot in this generation.

I wanted to tell that story, so I began writing a book, Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our World. The book aims to tell the inside story of the ways that our generation is profoundly changing business, technology, culture, politics, and the we all live. We’ve been called narcissistic, entitled, and the worst generation in history. But in fact, our generation has the desire to live meaningful fulfilling lives, to try and tackle our world’s biggest problems, and to do good and do well at the same time.

Our world has entered the fast future age, where change is fast and change is constant. For older generations it is a struggle to keep up, but since we have come of age with this fast future as our reality, we are uniquely positioned to not only succeed in these times but to triumph. Here are a few highlights of just how powerful our generation is:

  • We are a generation of entrepreneurs. More young people are starting businesses and founding their own organizations than any group of young people in history. Today, 15 percent of all college graduates start their own businesses right out of college.
  • This generation has pushed businesses to become more socially responsible. Today, most major US companies have committed to causes and good work. Millennials have put their consumer muscle to the test to support brands that do good and to shun those that don’t. 71 percent of Millennials say they are more likely to buy from a company that supports causes they care about.

This is a generation that has tremendous potential to have an impact on our world. And it has never been easier than it is for a young person today to do so. The ease and access to technology has allowed more ordinary people affected by experience and issues to become activists and champions for causes. As this generation continues to harness that power, there’s no telling what’s next!

Click here to learn more about David and the book and to get involved.

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