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Questions to Consider

Page history last edited by Marc 12 years, 5 months ago

Questions to answer before writing (please provide any relevant research or data!)

post your responses in bullet-form under each question


What do we feel is the age range of our generation, or in Friedman's terms, "Generation Q"?

  • I would say 18-29; Friedman calls them "twentysomethings" (Marc B.) I just began reading one of the CIRCLE Reports, and a note reads: "'Young People' means American residents between 15-25..."; that might be a good age range. (Marc B.)
  • I think the age group for Generation Q are people between 16-25. (Sid Salvi)


Should our response be framed as a response to Friedman or a separate Op-Ed piece?

  • I would suggest more of a separate op-ed piece; Friedman's piece was written nearly a year ago.  If we present it as a direct response, it could be seen as supporting Friedman's original statement: that we were so slow in writing a response it tooks us a year. (Marc B.)
  • Unfortunately, Friedman's quote was taken out of context at SLI. We misunderstood him to be attacking or disparaging youth. We thought he was saying that we are apathetic. However, he is asking us to think about and act on the same goal of our own conference. He implores us to use the tools of the internet to take collective overt action. He is asking us to get politically engaged.
         Thus, I think we should write our own op/ed piece on what we think are the most important issues facing our country, what are youth currently doing regarding, how those efforts can become more nationwide and collective, and how we think we should harness the power of Web 2.0. (Sid Salvi) 
  • Thank you for pointing that out.  Thomas Friedman does not spend his time writing about our generation.  I highly recommend reading his work, especially The World is Flat, Latitudes and Attitudes, and The Lexus and the Olive Tree.  He is, in my opinion, a refreshingly insightful journalist and author.

               Anyways, I feel our statement will be most powerful if it is not a response to Thomas Friedman,           but a declaration.  What are your thoughts on crafting a Declaration of Independence of sorts           that states "We, the youth of this generation..." (Anna R. Schumacher)


To what other mediums can we send this article/series of articles? 

  • It can be sent to other blogs, magazines, newspapers. (Sid Salvi)
  • We should think about getting Rolling Stone to do a piece on the Bonner network and how it is a national movement. It could incorporate how our generation looks for change in service and connecting that to change rather than being "loud" as Friedman suggests. (Mike Austerlitz)
  • Rolling Stone would be SWEET! (Anna S.)
  • I would suggest that we also consider WIRED as a source, especially if many of the points we raise deal with technology.  However, WIRED is not just a techno-mag.  It is also about radical thinking and social trends.  Based on what I've read so far, I think this article is about all three of these things. (Brian D)


What data can we gather? (Could we seek out Abby from CIRCLE?)

  • Abby from CIRCLE would be great; I picked up some of her data at the summit and it seems like it would help.  Also, what about examples of young people being civically engaged that we know of personally, but, of course, provide proof of as well? (Marc B.)
  • I think that using first person testimonial would be great (i.e.- interviews of "twenty-somethings" from ALL walks of life on their role in the community and political world).  I also think we could use surveys and other forms of research to create our own data. (Stevi)


What should the balance of our response be in terms of service and politics?

  •  It's simple, I know, but a good balance could be what Wayne said in the SLI opening session :"Service is poltics, politics is service." (Marc B.)
  • We definitely need to defend service, and back up why "twentysomethings" are so involved in service today. (Stevi)
  • Rather than trying to "balance" service and politics in our article, I think the paradigm of "Generation Q" needs to change from seeing politics as different from service. Politics and service both have the same end: to create a better society. Thus, our article could talk about how many youth have realized that political engagement is service, and current projects.
         I think many people our age, including myself at one time, are disillusioned with government. This is reflected in the confidence level we have in our legislature and presidency. That negative view of government is slowly changing and we can catalyze that change with a grand call to action through our article. (Sid Salvi)


What does "quiet" mean? Are we really being "quiet"?

  • I don't think Friedman used the right word to describe our generation. We are not quiet. We are seekers not grand planners; we find a specific problem in society and focus completely on that specific problem. Our approach to societal change are piecemeal projects; not grand plans. This attitude results from the environment we were brought up in - that values capitalism, results and individualism. We try to let our actions speak and therefore strive for concrete results. Hence, our projects are very problem-specific. This piecemeal approach to solving societal problems is not bad; in fact, it has lead to many successful student projects. However, I agree with Friedman that problem-based endeavors cannot achieve the change we want. Thus, I don't think he is saying that we lack drive or courage to solve issues, but that we need to use our courage to create a nationwide movement. (Sid Salvi)


How can we find better ways to communicate these issues to those in our society who are being negatively affected by policy?


How can we evaluate the privilege of those who are being positively affected by policy?


What opportunities can we share with the public as ways to be more politically involved?


Do we have a deadline?

  •  Yes, we should have a deadline, and it would be best to have the deadline set before most of us must return to hell school i.e. mid to late August. (Marc B)
  •  Before the election. (Sid Salvi)

Should this response by exclusively written by Bonners?

  •  Of course not; the whole foundation of the Bonner Foundation is to encourage others to get active with service and this project should not be an exception (Marc B.) 
  • No, I think we should accept input from anyone.
         I think our article can be a call to action. We should use the article to jump-start a nationwide youth movement. This movement would have a clear and precise mission and action plan, which we can outline in our article. We need to combine the efficiency and efficacy of current "specific-problem" approach under a larger issue so that we are more visible and impactful. (Sid Salvi)


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