Imagine collaboration over polarization. Thoughtful engagement over entrenched ideology. Intelligent and inspirational young leaders bringing fresh ideas to politics and government.
One person is capable of more influence than it may seem; imagine what dozens, hundreds and thousands of us can accomplish if we support political and democratic engagement together. We are the future of politics, government and public policy. We need to learn how to play the game so we can change the rules.
There is a disconnect between today’s youth and young professionals and politics and government. But Millennials are quickly becoming the largest generation in history, with under 40 as the median age of citizens in almost every country across the globe. We have the opportunity to turn disaffection and apathy on its head and make a positive impact; we just need a platform to launch from.
Millennials need a political voice, the opportunity to improve political discourse and public policy, and ultimately strengthen democracy for our and future generations.
Most millennials would likely agree that they have not witnessed the best political leadership during their lifetimes. That’s because 75% of millennials believe government has the greatest potential to address society’s biggest issues but are overwhelmingly failing to do so, with half of us actually believing government currently has a negative impact on the top challenges facing us.
Politically, and as digital natives, millennials have an a la carte worldview and an international perspective. We hold fickle loyalty to brands, including political ones, instead being pragmatic and willing to customize solutions by taking great ideas no matter where they came from. This individualism is balanced with value for collaboration, results, transparency, and decisions made on a case-by-case basis, especially in terms of foreign policy. The percentage of American Millennials identifying as Independent skyrocketed to 50% in 2014.
Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, are coming of age into a highly connected and globalized world, which faces increasingly complex challenges requiring multifaceted and thoughtful approaches to solutions. It is crucial for millennials to be politically literate and engaged. Millennials have the potential to affect innovative and positive change, by bringing a fresh perspective to solving the issues facing humanity now and for generations to come.
Millennials want to work toward and achieve progress, influence, innovation, technology, high moral and ethical conduct, good governance, sustainability, financial success, and the ability to improve community and human life.
So what does the future of politics and governance under millennials look like? Where do millennials want to go, and how do we get there from where we stand today?
During my time in politics, I have identified the disconnect that exists between political parties, government and my generation of citizens, and how this can be bridged. I have often been told by my peers that they are interested in learning more about politics after hearing about my involvement, or would be interested if they had a trusted source of information, that communicated politics in the way they need.
Millennials are educated, have diverse skill sets, large and well-connected networks, and a mix of values that do not fit neatly into any one political party. All parties are struggling to connect with the next generation of voters.
I have founded an organization called Millennials in Politics. MIP is a non-partisan political literacy and engagement organization for every millennial, young professional, and student under 40 years of age, launching September 1, 2015.
The goal of MIP is to successfully support millennials to enter the political sphere as educated citizens and voters, qualified elected officials, and positive governmental and non-governmental influencers, thereby strengthening democracy and public policy for the next generation. MIP will provide information to members with various comfort levels – for those who simply want to make an informed vote, all the way to those who want to run as candidates themselves – so it is available for absolutely everyone to join.
Among the benefits for MIP members are:
∙ Access to a network of talented, educated and ambitious peers;
∙ Can be recognized as MIP Ambassadors;
∙ Start local hubs (by city);
∙ Be nominated for our 40 Leaders under 40; and
∙ Build a portfolio by submitting articles and blogs on policy and political topics.
∙ All of these can be highlighted by our members on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles to demonstrate their personal influence and leadership potential and ability to their peers and prospective employers.
MIP’s strength lies in our membership and is funded through donations. We are focused on supporting MIP’s strategic goals for organizational growth and ability to increase the influence of our members. A donation for MIP is a vote for our future: http://igg.me/at/millennialsinpolitics
I need your help in spreading the word to ensure MIP is responsive to Millennials and therefore successful! The stronger the MIP network, the more influence we wield and the greater change we can affect, and more quickly. Please share MIP with everyone who you believe would be interested in an organization like this.
MIP is an opportunity for the next generation to get hands-on, informed, engaged and ready to make a difference. Become a catalyst for change with us.