The Kids Are All Right: Youth Activists Online
The advent of the Internet and smart phones has given activists across the country an arsenal of new tools to advance their causes. Our panel would explore the growth of this trend among America’s youth activists. NationSwell, a new media platform focused on American renewal, would work with Ronnie Cho, associate director of the White House Office for Public Engagement, to discover high school and college aged activists and social entrepreneurs who are using technology in their quest to renew America. Possible candidates might include Rebecca Shaw, a high school senior from New York who created the Anti-Bullying Leadership Network, or Lance Oppenheim, a high school senior from Florida whose “Open Your Eyes” video featured winners of literary writing competitions describing what child hunger means to them. NationSwell would produce content on these young activists redefining civic engagement and invite them to discuss their innovations in a panel moderated by Cho at SXSW Interactive.
- What national challenges are activists working to solve using digital tools?
- How are young people in particular working toward solutions to national challenges in the digital space and who are the individuals leading the charge?
- How has the incentive structure changed as activism has gone digital, and how do we push young people to act via a message on a screen rather than a face to face interaction?
- Is there something to be said for digital tools providing a lower barrier to entry for a younger generation that spends hours on the Internet and mobile devices?
- What is ahead when it comes to youth activists working to make America a better place and why do young people need to be the ones defining that future?
- Ronnie Cho White House
Catherine Cheney NationSwell
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