Every generation has its own characteristics. While those generalizations may not be 100% for every single member of that generation, they do point out certain trends within those specific age groups. Josh is a member of Gen Z and it is interesting how many of his generation’s characteristics I see in both him and in his friends.
Two Gen Z characteristics are that Gen Z-ers are entrepreneurial and they want to be involved in co-creating the culture they live in. T-Mobile and the T-Mobile Foundation are helping them with both of these goals with their second annual Changemaker Challenge for Young Visionaries. (This post is sponsored by T-Mobile.)
T-Mobile has partnered with Ashoka to help the next generation adapt to this ever-changing world. With the development of AI and new jobs that have never been seen before popping up every day, educators and parents can best serve students by preparing them to be free and original thinkers. That is exactly what the Changemaker Challenge for Young Visionaries does.
The Changemaker Challenge was first introduced last spring. More than 330 entries were reviewed and the top 30 teams were invited to visit the T-Mobile headquarters in Seattle. There, the winners took part in the Changemaker Lab where they were encouraged and mentored while they worked on making their ideas a reality. What a once in a lifetime opportunity!!
The Changemaker Challenge was such a success that it is being held again this year! T-Mobile is officially launching the call for applicants ages 13 to 23 from the US and Puerto Rico through September 26th. Specifically, ideas focusing on technology, the environment and education as a means for creating more connected, sustainable and inclusive communities are being sought.
Six winning teams will be announced in late Fall. Those teams will receive significant seed funding and have the chance to present their ideas to T-Mobile’s senior leadership team and compete for the grand prize. The two grand prize winners will be announced during the Changemaker Lab and receive additional funding as well as another trip back to T-Mobile’s headquarters for additional help and mentorship.
I love this initiative for several reasons. First, it gives today’s youth the opportunity to start conversations about what kind of world they would like to create. It’s one thing to think about this in theory, but this competition really drives home the fact that any of these youth really can make a significant change in the world. I also love that it helps them develop what I can their “flexibility muscle”. With the world changing at warp speed, it is estimated that 65% of today’s K-12 students will be working at a job that hasn’t even been invented yet. (That’s from the US Department of Labor – I didn’t make it up!) Heck, computers weren’t even a household item when I was in high school so I certainly never pictured myself doing what I do for a living!! Today’s students need to be able to adapt to this changing world and this is a great opportunity to think outside the box and practice doing just that.
Parents, have a conversation with your kids and let them know about this amazing opportunity. Encourage them to come up with an idea and apply at http://tiny.cc/xz329y.