Tara Mahoney and Fiona Rayher – Youth Media Revolution

Gen Why Media Project is up next… and they are funny and charming already.

Owly Images
Photo by @Leigh_Christie

First, gauging audience age with applause

  1. Boomers: Golf clap
  2. Gen X: little more (me included)
  3. Gen Y: most by far

Gen Why isn’t the work one of person, this narrative can only be delivered collectively

Gen Y is born 1977 and 2001 – shared beliefs and values based on history they’ve lived through

Five key factors on how Gen Why can change the narrative:

1) Historical context: Every so often comes a “hero” generation – Examples: GI generation, Thomas Jefferson’s generation. Most recently is: Silent gen, Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y (the new heroes?) Name checked: Gen Y writer/researchers: Willam Struass, Neil Howe

2) Size: Largest generation ever (thanks for Boomers and their LSD, Rolling Stones, plastic surgery etc….) who influenced society with women’s movement, civil rights, and anti-war plus introducing environment as a topic

Geny X isn’t big enough to fill power vacuum from boomers, but Gen Y is, and this filling will happen fast and permeates all facets of culture

“We don’t have to accept the rules of the past, we can start a new game.”

The world is young  and globalization means Gen Y Is everywhere

3) Diversity: Asia, Africa, India, South America, Middle East has most Gen Ys. As such, can use diversity to solve complex problems. Environment is common cause. And these groups have ability to communicate.

This generation will be judged on what we share instead of what we own. Ex: Open Source movement – a clear shift from individual to collective. This idea permeates into mainstream culture, Ex: Freecycle movement. Imagine is this was an “official” public system like garbage collection. An interccoencted network to reduce waste and provide for needy.

4) Connectivity: Most connected generation but the digital revolution hasn’t really happened yet. When previously  silent voices into the conversion, that is the real digital revolution.

Next, bring social networks into institutions – change democracy and media with tools like Twitter and SNS to organize rallies and document police abuse Ex: Iran Election. Backlash cause government to take evasive action to shut down attempt to quell noise.

“Imagine if we structured the UN like Wikipedia?”

5) Crisis: They’ve come age during a time of crisis – catalyzes needs for action and change of system. Like previous “hero” generations, crisis is backdrop, indeed Gen Y is coming of age in a time of convergent catastrophe – living in a media scape dominated by fear. But changes are possible …

Cynicism vs Optimism is a key dichotomy – knowledge is rebellion.

“Optimism is a potitically revolutionary act.”


  1. Destined for greatness
  2. Unprecented power
  3. Diverse culture
  4. Inherently connected
  5. … and Future of humanity depends on their Gen Y’s choice

Twitter: @genwhymedia


we are the change we’ve been waiting for.

Gen Why is you. We are the spawn of globalization, technology, connectivity, environmental crisis, and have more questions than the authorities can answer. We believe in independent thinking, cultural alternatives, progressive politics, racial integration, art, music, creativity, peace, compassion, intelligence and respect for all living things.

Right now over half of the world’s population is under 35. We are the largest, most connected, most educated, most diverse generation in history. We have the collective power to create whatever we want.

What do you want to create?

Whatcha think?