Connecting students looking to make a difference with organizations looking for difference-makers. www.thoughtbasin.com
Sometimes, people out there are at a loss for what defines our generation. There seems to be a general sense that the fights of today are not as sharp and relevant as the fights of yesterday. Where is this generation’s civil rights march? Where is this generation’s defining cause? It almost seems like some of us are overwhelmed with too much information, and data, and stuck in a malaise where there are either too many problems, or too few meaningful ones. At ThoughtBasin, we are all about tailoring students to be able to solve organizational and business problems, but we also delve into social issues as well. When we launch we will have a host of interesting social issues for you all to solve in a dynamic and fun fashion, while sharpening your skills. However, in order to have any chance to solve a problem, it must first be clearly defined. Here are ten problems we think discussing, and lobbing ideas at, could help shape the future.
1-How to deal with environmental degradation
With climate change, and the future of the planet at stake, it is an open question as to the carrying capacity of the planet with regards to the sheer amount of human beings it can support. The reversal of immense harm to the planet is a crucial issue that will define how future generations will live.
2-How to deal with the path of economic growth in the future
Will future generations be defined by being unequal in their economic prospects? Instead of the theory of meritocracy, will we begin to see entrenched classes separated not by ability, but by the fate of their forefathers?
3- How to incorporate disruptive new technologies into society
We can grow beef in laboratories now, splice different animal genes into different animal species, and modify the human body itself. While drastic steps forward are being taken with what we can do with technology, the ethics of it all needs to evolve just as quickly, if not even more rapidly.
4-How to frame governance structures for the future
Are liberal democracies holding the banner of free-market capitalism the model for the 21st century? Or will new governance structures need to be created to tackle a wide array of new social and private incentives? How do we handle the chaos of democracy in situations of insecurity, and the willingness to sacrifice rights for security? Is there a need for a new economy, with new metrics that take into account more than what we buy and sell?
5-How to determine open or closed borders
A push for open or closed borders will define a major issue for the 21st century. Given all of the problems in the developing world, it is inevitable that there will be defining moments where nations will have to choose whether or not to let immigrants in. It is highly possible that the nation you are born in may define you in every facet; or perhaps the world will be so open, that nationality will no longer matter.
6-How to handle international development
If we are to assume a world of closed borders, or barriers to entry for the most developed countries, what must be done for developing countries? Will we proceed with the conventional aid model with halting results, or get onto something that will offer a whole new innovative path?
7-How to handle war
While we have been spared the ravages of another world war, situations of mass violence continue. How we deal with hate that divides us will determine the values that unite us.
8-How to deal with privacy, IP and data standards
With the raging privacy debate the recent disclosures around PRISM and the NSA has brought, now is as good of a time as any to mention that with the expansion of technology, and the activation of the Internet of things (smart watches, smart glasses, smart bottles—you name it, it will happen), this problem will only get worse. It is up to the youth of today to start framing the structure on how their data is treated by governments worldwide, and conversely, how the data of others is treated.
9-How to maintain and prolong human health
How do we maintain our health, and the health of those around us, in a world with environmental damage, food oversaturation in some areas and desperate need in others, and certain broken systems? Can we continue the push onto longer and better lives?
10-How to further education
How will we cultivate the spread of ideas, and the fire that will push more people to think and discuss these issues, in a context where engagement with ideas, and thinking, seems to be decreasing, and where youth unemployment, and mass amounts of dropouts, threaten the current model of education?
These issues can be discussed distinctly, but overall, they mesh together into an array of inter-related, and inter-locked challenges, the youth of today will have to eventually deal with as the leaders of tomorrow. Daunting as it may be, practice can make perfect.
At ThoughtBasin, we want to create a forum around issues like these that will reward and recognize you (with prestige, awards, cash, interviews, and other prizes) for throwing ideas at them, and tie in real-life organizations who can take your ideas, and implement them with you in the real world! Join us at www.thoughtbasin.com if that sounds like something you are interested in.
What are some key decisions you think the youth of today will have to eventually make as the leaders of tomorrow?
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