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The First Year

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Teen Like It Big


How do we engage people, especially teens, in solutions and action about #waterrisks and #climatechange, some of the most critical issues we face Some teens recently shared their thoughts with me on this - and it's old-school, and also semi-revolutionary.

Many people find it overwhelming and many would rather not think about the huge issues humanity faces - the problems are quite daunting and people feel alone in their "isolated" actions. What happens when we bring those isolated people and actions together And what if they're teens

I facilitate #teen #waterleaders in a newly formed group #WaterSolutionaries, across the N. American #GreatLakes and #AfricanGreatLakes, so I asked them about what's works for them when it comes to solving huge world problems. They told me that our "peer-to-peer" conversations are a #gamechanger for them. One teen said that social media is continuous scrolling without a real opportunity to make change happen. But talking to other people, that makes it real.

Hold on. Conversations with actual humans Yes. Not #instagram or #tiktok #socialmedia videos and motion graphics, but conversations with other teens working on similar and sometimes very different water solutions. At our meetings, we share stories about what they're working on or want ideas and support for. And these teens are interested in solving BIG problems in their communities, like pollution, sanitation, access. So it's not light chitchat.

Where I see strong energy in the discussions is when they share their ideas with each other and offer peer support and accountability. They see issues differently through each other's eyes. Things that seemed far off suddenly take on more urgency when they impact someone you care about. They make connections. And they come back week after week to check in with each other and offer ideas and support. It's a conversation, and it's about relationships. It sounds simple, but in some ways it's revolutionary. And it's one of the elements that that's making a difference in teen #waterleadership.

Now how do we scale peer-to-peer teen conversations enough to help solve what's ahead We need everyone for #cleanwaterforall - especially teens who will inhabit this planet far into the future.

The video's from one of our most popular reports ever, The Merchants of Cool, which, in part, looked at media corporations' marketing of sex to teens in order to hook the youth consumer. Remember those eye-grabbing sex scenes that first surfaced in the 1990s on cable channels like MTV and the WB Network They launched a seemingly 24-hour sex cycle of movies and shows like "Cruel Intentions," "Dawson's Creek" and "Beverly Hills 90210."

I find it ironic that the Murdoch empire, the media choice of the "Conservative Christian Republicans" is the very network most guilty of packaging and selling shows promoting teenage sex, promiscuity, under age drinking and glorifying prison escapees. Hipocracy for profit...

As for this video, it is the standard blame the media pitch. It's not the parent's fault for not knowing what their child is watching on their TV or PC in a locked bedroom, or for allowing them to have a TV or PC in their bedroom at all. It isn't the parent's fault that their child is allowed to date or hang out alone with the opposite sex at 13 or 14 years old. It isn't the parents fault that they don't have an honest conversation with their kids about safe sex, pregnancy, and STDs. We should just blame everyone else like Dawson's Creek...which by the way is about the most mild teen soap to ever be on the air. I can hardly believe this video even used it as an example.

This false idea that there is more teenagers who are having sex now than in the 80's or even the 60's is ridiculous. The only difference is now kids aren't embarassed to admit it, and more of them are dumb enough to get pregnant.

M-O-N-E-Y It really is all about the money. I'm from the Boston area and early 30's. MTV, Beverly Hills 90210, Dawson's Cree

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