(Live Stream Below - 10/15 & 10/16)
When I was 11 years old, I played for Bullard United. The days of co-ed sports were long behind me and I was ready to play some serious ball. I coached my younger brother's team and with my birthday just passed, ran onto the freshly cut field in new shoes, shin-guards and matching headband to boot (yea we were tough). Bullard United was an incredible soccer team with an impeccable record -- we never lost. In fact, the new shoes did their job and we won the state cup. We slid past the sidelines to address the awaiting fans and took turns carrying each other on our prepubescent shoulders. Though, when I got my inaugural first place trophy, I realized that I was not being taken as seriously as I thought i was.
California YOUTH Soccer Association screamed out at me from the engraved shiny faux plastic marble. The word "youth" filled my brain. "Why youth? Can't we just be a part of the California Soccer Association?" I asked my mom. I was a soccer player, not a "youth soccer player." Just then, my buddy who was only a few years older walked by carrying his 5th place trophy. I glanced at his plastic copper cup that omitted the treacherous word, and jealousy ensued. Somehow his award of 5th place consolation held more validity than mine.
Cut to a few weeks ago...I open an email and read, "We would like to formally invite you to join us at the Second Annual Alliance of Youth Movements Summit." Fourteen years later and I'm finally coming to terms with the y- word.
Some call us generation "WE," "The Millennials," or "Gen Y"...but it seems we are surrounded by the word youth, regardless of whether we are in our tweens, teens, 20-somethings or the near balding era that lays just around the corner. But as I sit back and reflect, I realize that I like the word youth. Youth is a state of mind, a state of active learning, a state of urgency, a state of passion, a state of individualism, progress and a constant flow of development. As youth we are continuously unsatisfied with the status quo and will do whatever we can do change things, rebel and push the envelope. We look at the world around us and say, "Why?" Only to collaborate with others (that some would call our competition) to create the "Hows" and "Whats" that will solve the problems we face. We are nimble and flexible, using our resources sustainably and with attention. Technology and media is advancing at such a rate that it's the youth who will and are garnering its true potential...applying its applications for the common good and creating new ways to make a positive impact.
I am lucky and honored to be apart of such an inclusive and cross generational group of we's, millenials and youth -- young and old -- creating movements to change our world. In 24 hours I will be surrounded by some of the brightest young people around. So, please join our conversation and watch the live-stream of the Alliance of Youth Movements Summit here:
The Alliance of Youth Movements Summit: October 14-16th, Mexico City.
The Alliance of Youth Movements brings together these individuals, government officials, academics, entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders from over 15 countries including Columbia, India, Saudi Arabia, and the U.K. to discuss the ways that we can use social media and technology to further grassroots movements and causes.
The conversation will focus on how to increase positive social change through 21st century technology and tools. The Summit will explore the role of technology in connecting young people working to end violence throughout Latin America and around the world while providing a platform for these leaders to discuss their experience. Mexico City was selected as the location for the 2009 Summit, given its ongoing challenges in addressing violence and crime.
Watch the live streaming video here as key speakers at the AYM Summit address some of the pressing issues of today and answer your questions. Submit your own question using the widget above and then tune in to see it answered. Beginning 8:15 a.m. CDT on October 15 and going through 3:30 p.m. CDT on October 16, you can watch the live stream of the 2009 AYM Summit here on Huffingtonpost IMPACT, on Causecast or at Allianceofyouthmovements.org
Join the conversation on twitter with #aym09 and follow our tweets: @LeviFelix @Causecast @kamikazi11
Speakers include Carlos Pascual (United States Ambassador to Mexico), Jason Liebman (CEO, Howcast), Jack Dorsey (Founder, Twitter), Jared Cohen (U.S. Department of State), Steve Grove (Head of News and Politics at YouTube) and both executive directors, creative directors, writers and marketing managers for organizations including Full Court Peace, Invisible Children, Genocide Intervention Network, Stand, Witness, Blue State Digital and Sri Lanka Unites.
The 2009 Summit is endorsed by Secretary Hillary Clinton last spring and is sponsored by Causecast.org, Facebook, Gen Next, Google, Hi5, Howcast Media, MTV, MySpacehttp://myspace.com, PepsiCo, Univision Interactive Media, Inc., the U.S. Department of State, WordPress.com and YouTube.