Young people have their work cut out. Over the next 25 years they will need to adapt to a society that produces far less carbon dioxide. They will need to sustain families where children, parents and grandparents are separated by ever-increasing gaps in age. They will need to re-establish government as a maker of legitimate, collective decisions. They will need to harness the potential of connected digital technologies, biological engineering and nanotechnology to solve social problems rather than create new ones. And that’s just the start of it.
Currently shut out of the labour market and without politicians they can identify with, young people confront these issues at a time when many are questioning our current models of capitalism and democracy. With the two main parties struggling to tackle these long-term challenges head on, young people will need to draw on their own resources and imagination to find a way forward.
Anatomy of Youth is a new research project which will look at society and policy making from the perspective of young people in Britain aged 16-25. If any of the challenges of the next decade are to be met, then our tired stories about young people as social pariahs, talent contest prodigies or digital natives must be set aside. Through this project we want to find individuals who are developing new ways to influence the world around them. How are young people creating alternative types of communities? How are they impacting on the political process? How are they influencing the work of designers, scientists and artists? How do they relate to those in power?
Over the next few months we will be drawing on the findings of Voicebox, an innovative online survey aiming to collect and visualise the thoughts, feelings and aspirations of young people, to identify the big policy questions for them as we enter the second decade of the 21st Century. We will be asking some other experts for their views, and trying to open up a debate with our research process.
Are you 16-25? Are you finding new ways to make change and influence people? Do you know someone who is?
Get in touch, we want to write about you.
Anatomy of Youth is being carried out in partnership with v – The National Young Volunteers Service, an independent charity aiming to inspire a new generation of volunteers in England. You can fill in the Voicebox youth survey online http://voicebox.vinspired.com/
This briefing paper explores the arguments for and against lowering the voting age from 18 to 16.
Starting from an analysis of the attitudes of 16 – 25 year olds and some of the key trends they are living through, An Anatomy of Youth is a resource for anyone interested in what politics can do for the next generation.
Yesterday parliament re-opened, with the promise of 'a new kind of politics'. Yesterday evening we held the launch of Anatomy of Youth in partnership with v, the National Young Volunteers Service, at the Future Gallery in London.