Youth Creating Sustainable, Meaningful Futures - 2007
(presented at the Illawarra & South Coast Youth Services Conference at Coolangatta Estate, NSW, Australia; 8 November 2007)
Our young people are our hope for the future. Youth that have rebelled, because they have rejected the status quo, are paradoxically the ones most likely to be both open to the much needed new ideas, and most committed to implementing the change required to achieve wellbeing for all; and to take the next step in our psychosocial evolution as a species. But our youth need to know this, and to have access to relevant programs and supports to enable them to rise to this challenge and opportunity. This will require a radical reframing of those aspects of youth work that have been over-focussed on problems and on having our young fit-in and go along with the flawed systems that have got us into our present problems.
This challenge is presented in relation to alternative visions for the future, root-level understanding of present systems and future possibilities (from the psychological to the political), and particularly with regard to the effective enabling of sustainable progressive change.
The Peckham Experiment in the UK provides an example of what can be achieved with this sort of thinking and acting: over 1,000 families having access to a particular kind of community centre over a 12-year period, with no bullying, little interest in competition, and high levels of wellness, creativity and caring. This gave us a glimpse of the next stage in our own psychosocial evolution as a species.
This presentation provides a framework for designing similarly progressive projects here and now.