For Gen-Xers and Boomers, the working world is in major upheaval. In the wake of the 2008 economic crisis, many of us are 

Our current circumstances as older adults mean we actively discuss amongst ourselves as peer groups who we are, what we’re doing, what our gender roles were and might be becoming, and redefining the American economy. This talk within our own cohorts, though, makes it that much more difficult (and easy to forget) to mentor younger generations, the Millennials (who are now young adults navigating their own professional lives) and kids, Generation Z.

While we frantically regroup and talk new strategy, though, young people are looking up at us, nonetheless. That’s the way of the world.

We’re Addressing Ed Reform Without Working On Schools

Naturally, in this time of upheaval and redesign, education reform is critical and the go-to buzz phrase when issues of mentoring and young people come up. Yet, current reform conversation is deeply flawed in that it centers around what needs reformation inside the classroom.

Meanwhile, every research study into educational outcomes–and, by extension, life outcomes–cites outside influence (families, communities, and cultures) as statistically significant indicators of student success.

In other words: adult, professional, “real world” culture drives educational outcomes, but nobody wants to talk about it, even though we know that what students see and believe about their future reality dictates how they behave and the opportunities they seek now.

Adults outside schools don’t like to talk about that much, though, because suddenly the finger points straight back at us.

  • It’s still true that the average American spends over thirty five hours a week watching television.
  • Only one in five us reaches a state of focus and creative flow on any given day.
  • The majority of us oscillate between anxiety and boredom as a lifestyle.

At Agency For Emerging Voices, Inc., we understand that we cannot seriously expect young people to lead and pursue lives fueled by curiosity, ingenuity, and grit, to bother with education at all, if what we as a culture model for them is anxiety, boredom, indiscriminate consumerism, and fame-for-nothing.

Agency for Emerging Voices, Inc. is a non-partisan action tank, a research organization that identifies cultural trends and engages in projects that aim to influence American culture in ways that foster creativity, ingenuity, work ethic, and meaning with the long-tail endeavor of creating and modeling relevance for young people in the hopes of helping them create a better future for themselves.