Young people are going to be central to any hope for development in the future, not just because of their sheer number alone, but also because of a number of consequential events happening at the same time:
• After the birth of this generation of young people, fertility will be on the decline in many countries. Because of technology, education and better birth control strategies, people are not having as many children as they did five to ten decades ago. This means that they will generally have a smaller successive generation to support in their old age. Basically, fewer children = much less money spent on fees and upkeep.
• Also, this generation is projected to live longer due to advances in medicine, wider reach of education and generally better living conditions than ever before. So, they will use up far more resources than any generation so far because they have the time to do so.
• They, in addition to looking after themselves, have to support the existing elderly population, who are already living longer than the generations before them.
• Most of this current generation of young people in question are growing up in poor countries with comparatively poor education, healthcare, sexual and reproductive health, unemployment and immobility.
Even though developed countries have made great advances in every sector, most of the regions where this generational boom is happening / will happen are still behind their developed contemporaries when it comes to these sectors. This can mean than actualizing potential may be sabotaged in these regions by sub-par living and working conditions.
• Because of the internet, young people have access to information about what their rights and how their lives could be better. They are able to compare their situations with those of their peers worldwide. This has given them great expectations of opportunity and freedom. Young people in less developed regions are able to, much more than ever before, see a clear picture of what a human life can and should be. Expectations and belief are consequently much more informed and profound.
• Technology has provided effortless channels of communication, e.g. social media. People are now able to collectively discuss in diverse and vast forums, exchange ideas and identify common ideals. Mobilizing and organizing people into action has never been easier.
What do you think are the potential consequences of these?