Here on Social Citizens, we often times ask our readers how to best define the Millennial generation. Infographics and research tell us that Millennials are tech-savvy, intellectual and engaged, both on a community and national level. At the same time, Millennials are also extremely complex and often divided by issue, cause, area of study, and political party even among their peers.
Jared Duval taps into these similarities and differences in his new book, Next Generation Democracy. Duval asks, “What can we learn and expect from the rising generation of so-called digital natives, or Millennials? How are we different, if at all, from previous generations, and what skills, ethics, and approaches will inform our work as we rise to positions of influence in our society?”
How can we shape the next generation democracy?
Duval addressed these questions at the official launch of his book at Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC this week. Duval’s book argues that we can use the vast size and complexity of the Millennial population to our nation's advantage by creating a brighter, more united future for Americans. He defines Millennials not as a generation that just texts and tweets, but as one that has an incredible potential for “applying lessons from the world of Web 2.0 to the global challenges that now demand solving.”
The book provides a handful of personal accounts as told through Duval’s compelling narrative on how everyday, ordinary people use the principles of transparency, participation and collaboration in the open-source movement to enact large-scale social change. It’s written in a relatable and sensible tone that makes the book accessible not just to Millennials, but to the larger audience as well.
The launch event ended with an engaging open-ended discussion on Millennials and civic engagement, one that will hopefully be continued here and elsewhere on the web. If you’re interested in reading more, you can purchase a copy of Next Generation Democracy at your local bookstore or online at Amazon.com. You can also hear some of the audience’s opinions, including my own, on the topic in the video above.
So what does Next Generation Democracy mean to you? How do you think Millennials can take best advantage of the principles of open-source information and social media? And to what extent can this innovation be leveraged for democratic and governmental power? Feel free to join the discussion and let us know what you think of Duval’s book.
Guest blogger Andrea Lum is an intern for the Case Foundation.