New Dream has some exciting news: Over the next few months, we’ll be ramping up our collaboration with young people to engage them more directly in our efforts to tackle excess consumerism, build community, and improve overall well-being. By engaging youth in our issues in a more direct and meaningful way, we can support their perspectives, voices, and actions as neighbors, consumers, and as future leaders in our communities.
Above all, the engagement of young people needs to be authentic and inclusive. While older generations of adults can work alongside youth to help create a future they envision, adults cannot truly speak for today’s young people or fully know their experience.
Young people of all kinds and backgrounds — considering class, race, ability, gender, faith, and other dimensions of difference — must participate to consider possible solutions, with the ability to express their own voices, desires, needs, and concerns. We need to listen to them and meet them where they are, and serve as allies in building the future they hope to create.
Young people of all kinds and backgrounds — considering class, race, ability, gender, faith, and other dimensions of difference — must participate to consider possible solutions, with the ability to express their own voices, desires, needs, and concerns.
Many organizations are committed to supporting youth. However, few are authentically guided by youth leadership, and none are focused on consumption and normalizing a “less stuff, more meaning” way of living.
That’s why New Dream will be collaborating directly with young people over the coming months.
Starting this July, we’ll be hosting a series of visioning sessions with youth leaders (ages 16-25) from across the U.S. to get a better sense of how our rapidly changing world is affecting their ability to tackle some of the most difficult challenges of our time, including the problem of ever-growing consumption of resources, which is driven increasingly by advertising and commercialism.
This evolution of New Dream’s work builds on our core competencies around kids and commercialism, while going deeper to equip youth to lead.
By equipping young people to become the leaders of New Dream's future—and all of our futures— we hope to:
Create opportunities for significant change and media exposure for youth stories by centering their voices.
We’re excited about the many strong reasons to refocus our work in this way; namely, we’re in a moment where youth voices are both incredibly marginalized and more important than ever, and we recognize the potential of engaging youth in reimagining the systems that are responsible for so many of our ecological, spiritual, and social declines. And, we’re excited to build on our past work in engaging and inspiring young people to effect change.
What does a youth-centered New Dream look like? We’re currently developing a goal-driven 12-month plan that leverages partnerships; creates thought leadership around youth and consumption; and pilots youth-centered resources.
We’re seeking committed young leaders and visionary funders to co-create a vision and move toward it, together. Want to be involved? Great! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.