If America spent as much money offering opportunities to every 16 to 26 year old as we spend locking them up for minor offenses that further cut them off from a positive future, we could end poverty in a generation or two.
Can you feel it? This quest for more purpose, more meaning, more impact. This is not a simple vision of a few early adopters. A revolution is happening and it is bringing scary and exciting transformations.
A revolution is coming. No, not in Turkey. This is a different kind of revolution. A revolution inspired by our generation of millenials to bring about positive and lasting change through what we wear.
For any budding Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, there are literally thousands of craftsmen, real estate agents, lawyers, and small shop or restaurant owners who might take the tax break, but won't create new jobs.
When I started the organization, I was young, idealistic and naive. Not experienced enough to know better, I bought the hype: that to be truly altruistic and efficient, we needed to operate at the highest possible levels of self-sacrifice.
Today we are launching the Aspen Institute Ascend Fund, a $1 million fund that will invest in solutions like these that tap the creativity, knowledge, and assets of all sectors of our society to create a cycle of opportunity for children and their parents.
At a time when little legislative action is taking place, Opportunity Nation is pleased to see progress on our Shared Planed in the version of the bill passed by the Senate, including several objectives in the Improving Secondary Schools Program.
I spend a lot of time with people who want to change the world and with people who actually do. The difference between them isn't intelligence, money, connections, or even force of will -- it's perspective.
I keep coming back to the question, "how much is enough?" Now you may think that's a pretty ironic question coming from the son of one of the richest people in the world. But actually, it might just make me an expert on the subject.
Already many experts and aid organizations are describing these children as Syria's "lost generation." We should work to counter this assumption. This is the generation that will rebuild Syria, but only if we give them a chance, and the tools, to do so.
Impact -- a third metric beyond money and power -- is so important for women and men. And it does not have to mean working for non-profit, charitable causes. Impact can mean designing a time-saving app for smartphone users.
I have a modest proposal that could easily quadruple the inventive capacity of the country. It's simple, yet powerful, and with the right funding, it could be a game changer. The idea: let's completely remove the shopworn expression "think outside the box" from circulation for retooling.
I think there are things we can do on a regular basis that allow us to grow professionally while reconnecting us with the reasons we decided to pursue social-impact careers in the first place. Here are activities to try every day, week, month, and year.