Monday, May 21, 2012

The Future of Earth - Our Children. Is NATO talking about this?

My friend Phil Jackson of The Black Star Project sent his email newsletter this morning. It included a story I pointed to Friday, about Education Redlining in New York City. It also included a story titled "Half of UK's young Black males are unemployed."

With the big NATO meeting in Chicago today, and the G-8 meeting in Washington last week, I was prompted to create this graphic to suggest a type of platform that might connect those who are writing about bad news with those who are in the field leading organizations and schools that are trying to prepare youth to be the next generation of workers, along with CEOs and leaders, and those who are in decision-making seats right now and control the flow and distribution of resources needed to pay for what we do to shape our future.

I joined a discussion on Linked in last week where a question is How can we enable a Systems Thinking World? I'm in similar discussion on Facebook (here and here) and have enjoyed many such discussion in other groups.

If you narrow this down to "how do we support all kids from the time they are born to the time they are adults able to take care of themselves" which to me means they have a job so they can raise their own children without the challenges of highly segregated poverty and the knowledge of how to learn and work collectively with others as they move through their adult lives, then the first question I propose is "what do we know of the problem and what do we know of how others are already trying to solve this problem?"

This is the first part of a problem solving strategy that I've posted among a set of articles in the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC library.

If we can create on-line platforms that support the components of the pie chart above, or the steps in the strategy PDF I've posted, can we find the marketing power to draw growing numbers of people into this strategy, help them understand it and lead them to on-going actions that support youth mentoring, tutoring, learning, etc. in all of the places where high poverty is a challenge that most other kids don't face every day?

While I'm trying to find people to help me build a platform to support this work I realize that thousands of others are launching their own platforms for problem solving, social interaction, etc. every day. Thus we need to find ways to connect with each other, in many of the ways that are supported in this event which just concluded after over 30 weeks of shared learning.

One of the organizers, Stephen Downs, just sent out a compilation of his Essays on meaning and learning networks . It's over 600 pages so I doubt many will read this completely while they fly home from the NATO summit.

But what if they built this into an on-going learning course that was intended to teach more young people these ideas over a lifetime of learning?

Such connected learners could then use web sites with graphic organizers like this to choose what cause they want to learn about, and click into a set of connected web sites that would take them deeper and deeper into knowledge about the problem and knowledge about possible solutions and ways they could apply them in their own communities and through the collective work of many stakeholders.

If only one of the benefactors who paid for the NATO event, or who is paying for the attack advertising and political campaigns of this election year were to devote some funds to building these platforms and sustaining them for the next few election cycles, we might build a system where connected individuals work together to solve problems that governments have not figured out how to solve.

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