Interesting article from today’s Atlantic about Millennials negative attitude towards political engagement and positive attitude towards volunteering and community service.
The Outsiders: How Can Millennials Change Washington If They Hate It?
Young people are eager to serve and to change the world. They just have no faith that public service or elected office are the way to get it done.
Forget what you’ve read about the “Me, Me, Me Generation.” Here are four things you probably don’t know about the 95 million Americans born between 1982 and 2003:
- Millennials, in general, are fiercely committed to community service.
- They don’t see politics or government as a way to improve their communities, their country, or the world.
- So the best and brightest are rejecting public service as a career path. Just as Baby Boomers are retiring from government and politics, Washington faces a rising-generation “brain drain.”
- The only way Millennials might engage Washington is if they first radically change it.
The first three conclusions are rooted in hard data I’ll share below. For a least a decade, experts have struggled to understand why civic-minded Millennials are rejecting public service and politics. Beyond the why, I wanted to understand what it means: What happens to U.S. politics over the next two or three decades if the best and bright of the next generation abandon Washington? So I talked to them — at elite public high schools in suburban Washington and Boston, at Harvard University’s Kennedy School for Government, and on Capitol Hill. In all, I conducted more than 80 interviews with Millennials as well as pollsters, demographers, and generational experts. They brought me to my fourth conclusion: What Millennials have in store for the political system is revolutionary. Maybe worse.
What do you think? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments. Read the full article here.
By Ellyn Toscano, Executive Director NYU Florence
I am pleased to launch La Pietra Dialogues’ new website, an on-line community where you – whether you are in New York, Florence, Italy, Europe, the U.S. or around the world – can join our Dialogues. Here you will find information about upcoming events, an archive of past events, and enjoy the writing of participants and students. There is a special section where students can learn about how to get involved in LPD. Throughout the website you will see images from the extraordinary grounds of La Pietra and pieces from the Acton art collection and photo archive, a glimpse into the special place that is La Pietra. Whether you participate in our Dialogues virtually or sitting across the table, we look forward to continuing the Dialogue for many years to come.
By Rogan Kersh, Professor, The Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University
The La Pietra Policy Dialogues are designed to foster cross-continental debate and discussion on prominent issues of interest to leaders and thinkers across the globe. With a regular stream of Wagner School visitors joining the network of European experts—especially those at the nearby European University Institute—La Pietra is perfectly positioned both geographically and substantively to convene an expanding set of vital conversations. Along with the Fall Politics Dialogue at La Pietra, the Wagner-La Pietra partnership has fostered activities in New York as well. A jointly-sponsored July 2009 event on the Tuscan health care system brought together Wagner health faculty and students, other interested NYUers, and a distinguished set of experts from Tuscany to discuss the region’s advances in health care: the OECD ranks Italy’s health system third in the world on a quality/cost index. And recently-elected Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi will, thanks to his close connections with La Pietra, be a Visiting Fellow at Wagner for a short term this fall. As NYU continues to develop as a global network university, the Wagner-La Pietra relationship is a cornerstone. Few other U.S.-based academic institutions regularly address policy issues from a genuinely international perspective—even as the relentless spread of globalization demands collaborative, creative analysis and solutions. Focusing transatlantic attention on issues from immigration to energy to economic revitalization, the La Pietra Policy Dialogues are an essential foundation for such work.