Millenial Ideas are Worth Sharing

Keith Morris
March 23, 2011

Keith is a student at Wake Technical Community College and is a guest blogger for, a SparkAction partner.

A month and a half following our Target 2020 Democracy 2.0 summit in Charlotte, Emily Pakes and I had an opportunity to meet up again in Half Moon Bay, CA for Big Ideas Fest.
Most of the attendees were educators, but Emily and I were excited to
bring a different perspective as two of the few students represented at
the conference.

There were many wonderful presentations at the conference, but at the heart of Big Ideas Fest were “Action Collabs,”
these sort of small-group workshops that took us through a process to
design and prototype solutions to real-world problems. Our group’s
design challenge was to enable teachers to have the greatest impact on
learners. While the solution we came up with teetered on the edge of
feasibility, we thought a lot about how we might be able to use the
process in our own projects.

For example, I liked the use of improv to break the ice and build an
atmosphere of support within our group. To introduce ourselves, we
formed a circle. One at a time, we would step into the circle, say our
name, make a silly gesture, and then step back out. Immediately, the
group would repeat the entire sequence. We were sharing the experience
of making fools of ourselves while receiving the support and recognition
of the group. I think this is an excellent way to develop a
collaborative spirit, and I intend to bring it back to my student club
meetings at Wake Tech.

It can be intimidating to attend a conference that is filled to the
brim with the most experienced and recognized professionals in the
field, but one thing has helped me to understand is that a
good idea is a good idea no matter the source. The folks at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
understand this as well, and are working to attack educational issues
from the bottom up as well as from the top down. Who better to
understand the struggles of students than students themselves? And who
are we students more likely to listen to, school administrators or our
peers who are sharing in this experience?

We have more strength as Millennials to make change for ourselves
than those ahead of our generation who cannot share our perspective. We
are the leaders of today; let us have confidence in our own experience!

Thank you,, for giving us the energy to take responsibility and tackle these challenges head-on.

See the original entry and more on's blog here.