Oh the apathy of youth! I well remember when I was a student and my generation was slammed for being apathetic and I hear similar calls today. Any maybe it has always been this way? Each generation despairing of the next generation.
But it was rubbish when I was a student and it is clearly rubbish today. There is a huge amount of energy and creativity among young people. This fact was powerfully re-enforced to me when I was invited to speak at a session being held by the UpRising programme at the Young Foundation.
If you haven’t come across this programme it is well worth a look:
The official blurb is as follows:
“UpRising is a new leadership programme being developed by the Young Foundation to support and train a new generation of public leaders. UpRising identifies, recruits, develops and supports 19 to 25 year olds to enable them to play a greater role in politics and public decision-making.
The aim is to create a pool of talented young leaders from a range of backgrounds who can transform their communities for the better and take up positions of power in public institutions. UpRising was launched in 2008 and is being piloted in the East London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Newham and Tower Hamlets. It will then spread across London and into other major cities across the UK. The programme has cross-party support with Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg serving as its patrons.”
In reality this is true and so much more! I was so impressed by the uprisers that I met. What marked them all out was their individual campaign that they were running and their sheer passion for changing the world. It was an incredibly energising evening just to be in their company.
I was fortunate enough to attend their last graduation event, and it was very evident that all of the course participants had gained so much from this programme and from each other.
The Young Foundation has started something very special with this UpRising programme, and I hope that they are successful in rolling it out beyond East London – I think our country would gain massively from an UpRising programme in every part of the UK. We need to encourage these passionate young leaders who want to change the world!