You know they say “the children are the future” but these children have grown up now and their future is looking bleak and they know it. Young people, especially students, have demonstrated they can organise and act with urgency. However, often we don’t see the longevity or long term plans once a movement has happened. There is little evidence shown of fore planning after young people march, petition, or demonstrate. This needs to change if they want to run the world and shape its future for the next generation.
I will introduce seven key principles for any youth led movement that is looking to improve their neighbourhoods, city, country, or globally. They are:
- Union – There is strength in numbers. Young people need to realise that they have been conditioned or lied to about divisions, the “us versus them” paradigm. They have to come together: middle and working class, male and female, religious and non-religious, educated and the uneducated. We live in an individualistic society which needs to be thrown to the side when it comes to changing the world. It has to be an inclusive and collective effort. After all, everyone has a role to play in running the world.
- Future Thinking – Youths need to start activism with the end goals in mind. The biggest problem from others’ perception of youth organisations is the lack of credibility. Credibility depends on delivered results, even if they are small wins.
- Delegation – Youth organisations that wants to make an impact needs to spread capabilities widely to cover all the needs to solve problems, promote empowerment, and build resilience.
- Sharing – Once there is unification of different organisations then they can act as mini governments sharing intelligence, skills, resources, labourers, costs, policies and bring together their followers/members to function as a “government cabinet”. This way, young people don’t burn out and can demonstrate to the world that they can be taken seriously.
- Accountability – This is an important step to build trust among their communities and participants. The people that give money, their time and energy needs to know that their leaders are being transparent in how they govern themselves; otherwise, people will get over the hashtag trends and the causes. This is the key for longevity of action and success. Without it, the cause the youths are fighting for will just be a forgotten trend.
- Media – Everyone looks to the media for their information about the world. Young people need to use the media more to exploit their local struggles and turn them into international struggles. They have to shame the government to deliver transparency and accountability which in turn makes the youth and their organisation feel informed and empowered. If no one is going to shine the camera lights in their faces to get their story, then they have to get their own camera out and tell the world what they want to see to change. There are so many platforms available and filming equipment! Either way, media must supply the youth organisations with power for the people.
- People Heavy – Organisations need to realise that all their policy and activism will not succeed without people/participants. People have to come before politics. Young leaders need to listen to their participants to navigate and manage specific struggles in their local areas. Also, movements need to mobilise people with purpose and power to enforce change in each of their participants’ homes then their neighbourhood, city, and country. This will allow youth activism to keep the flame burning for years to come.
Young people and students must be the focus for change to come into this world because they are the majority in the world population and fast growing followers in reshaping the world for equality and democracy.
I hope these principles will become widely practice and have the revolution televised!
Power to the people.