How will you Change the world this year?
Being a Millennial, you already influence others—but do it with intent and you can make a significant difference.
Because you totally can—and should
Millennials are natural change agents.
“They’re tired of people saying how bad the world is. Their attitude is ‘I’ll be part of the change,’” says Nicola Cooper of Flux Trends in South Africa. And according to Vega University’s Greg Tregoning, “Technology has exposed them to much more about our planet and people than previous generations, and Millennials are confident they can make a meaningful difference.” So you want to change the world—and you know you can do it. But how best to do it this year?
1 FIND FOCUS
What blows your hair back, or makes you mad or sad? Are you a lover of nature and a natural-born ecowarrior, or a hater of gender violence and the effects of poverty? “Activists are driven by passion,” says Jes Foord. Gang-raped at 21, she launched the Jes Foord Foundation. Six years later, she’s opened a counseling, support, and community upliftment center and runs projects to raise awareness about rape. What moves you? Is a colleague being bullied at work? A river near you polluted? Kids or pets neglected? Get active.
2 BONE Up
Check online what’s already being done—both nationally and internationally. Where can you most effectively fit in as a volunteer? A branch founder? The instigator of an initiative of your own? What existing resources can you access—mailing lists, research resources? If starting something new, break it into small steps, says Foord. Use social media to find like-minded others for help or support.
3 AUDIT YOURSELF
What skills, resources, time do you have to give? And what’s your style? Do you see yourself as a radical activist, leading protests and lobbying politicians? Or are you a reformist, using the tools of democracy to quietly create change from within? Write down your goals and your vision.
Read all you can about your cause online, and in books or periodicals. Find out about different ways of promoting it, from blogging to e-mailing editors or politicians and raising funds. Start small (a raffle, a neighborhood cleanup). Write a detailed plan. Reach out to other change-makers in your field as mentors—find them online.
5 BRACE Up
Accept that meaningful change can take time, says Foord. Expect setbacks and opposition. Use your passion—and positive people— to help you persist. “Find them—to work with or just to cheer you on.” Celebrate small victories with them, and never give up.
Will you be the change
you want to see?