Connected, Creative, and Courageous: How Kids are Changing the World

If you are new to Let’s Grow Leaders, on Saturdays I have been doing a connected series on Developing Leadership in Kids. On Monday, I continue with grown-up leadership fare. Today’s post is multi-generational in nature and should be of interest to leaders of all ages.

“Social media is about building a platform for leaders who used to be ignored.”

Don’t get me wrong, the grown-ups at TEDxWomen had a lot of important ideas to share. What we all found miraculous, however, were the young, connected women and girls changing the world through social media. Emily May founded the Hollaback Association to combatting street harassment by empowering women to leverage their cellphones and other technology.

Anita Sarkeesian is deconstructing the stereotypes associated with women in popular culture. She took on the gaming world with a fundraising campaign to fight against the depictions of women. She became the target of a wide-spread bullying campaign, and suffered multiple outrageous threats. She stood up to the connected bullies.

The subjects these young women are fighting against are so sensitive that they might not be suitable for some of my younger padawan readers, so I am purposely leaving out the direct links to their talks.

Julia and Izze: Connected For Good

Julia Bluhm and Izze Cabbe have a story appropriate for all Padawan viewing this Saturday morning. I hope you will share it with your tweens and teenagers. Julia and Izze are feminist activists. As part of a SPARK Movement action, they used the power of social media to share a successful petition asking 17 magazine to stop photoshopping the faces and bodies of women.

Click on their names to view the talk. You can easily advance though the introductory stuff and start it a 6:14.

Izzy shares…

“So a lot of kids are sitting at home with things they want to change but are not changing them because they think they can’t because they are only a teenager.”

They both then give insights as to how youth can get involved to make a difference.

Of course, if you just want a “the worlds going to be all right in hands like these” kind of feeling this Saturday morning, watch Brittany Wenger’s talk.

Brittany began studying neural networks when she was in the seventh grade. And this year, she won the grand prize in the 2012 Google Science Fair for her project, “Global Neural Network Cloud Service for Breast Cancer.” The resulting Cloud4Cancer service aggregates data from biopsies done with the fine-needle aspiration process, instead of the traditional and more painful surgical option.

We have a generation with many promising connected, creative and courageous youth. I encourage you to share their stories as inspiration for both youth and adults. We all have the power to use social media to change the world.