New Dream is no stranger to change.
It's what we were founded on: the belief that individuals, institutions, and society can evolve based on new information. We are grounded in confidence that we can make positive change together.
Over the past few months, we have been engaging young leaders across North America to question consumption, and to share their vision of a new dream.
Through a youth lens, we are examining the laudable (if never-realized) dream that everyone longs for—where opportunity is fully available to all, and we can all thrive, regardless of wealth, education, gender, race, faith, physical ability, or any other dimension of difference.
In July, New Dream gathered 10 Youth Fellows, ages 17-25, representing a diverse array of backgrounds and life experiences: racial, ethnic, urban, rural, indigenous, immigrant, foster care, graduate students, social entrepreneurs, and community activists. Chosen for their unique perspectives, Fellows joined partners, experts, funder representatives, and staff for focused sessions on the complex landscape of consumption and possibilities for future efforts.
A number of videos and articles were considered as "pre-work" (and more offered as post-work) to ground explorations in a shared understanding of "consumption"—from the deliberately addictive nature of social media and apps; to where our stuff comes from, who makes it, and where it goes when we throw it "away"; to the ways that advertising targets audiences differently based on class, race, age, and geography.
In the coming months, we’ll be creating and publishing a collection of recommended reading and viewing on these issues. If you’d like to suggest an article, book, or video to add to this upcoming primer, please email email@example.com.
During our time in Boston, some key insights emerged:
New Dream's goals remain the same: to shift norms and behaviors around consumption to create greater well-being for people and the planet. Here’s what this looks like in action over the coming months:
We will map out programming for 2019-2020 based on the strategic planning process centering youth voices and leadership.
This work is emergent, and unfolding differently than a traditional strategic planning process. We remain deeply grateful for the support of our community, Youth Fellows, Advisory Council and past board members, longtime donors, and new funders who applaud and see the need for this reflection and course of action. Our goal is to ensure that New Dream can fully and equitably execute on our mission of well-being for all.
Have feedback or comments for us? Please get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amy Hartzler is Strategic Partnerships Adviser for New Dream. In this role, she facilitates the strategic planning for the organization’s new focus to center young leaders in this evolution of New Dream.