Global Generation 4: role of an education plan

So. This Global Generation I keep talking about. These kids some of whom haven’t even been born. I have been struggling a bit to explain the implementation of the education platform. And then I opened up the new Economist and there were two articles back to back on Human Rights. The key article to me was a short article discussing how Amnesty International, UN Human Rights Council and Human Rights Watch are unaligned on advocacy of civil liberties and the rising issue that several key Western governments (including America) are giving less priority to Human Rights. human rightsBut what really hit me square between the eyes was how focused these organizations are on intervention. Setting up a legal process to deal with people who abuse Human Rights and highlighting existing problems (abuse). And when that hit me it was a good thing I was on an exercise bike reading The Economist because I began a pretty vigorous rant in my head.

If I had these people in front of me I would ask them:

–          Have you not learned anything about the power of people?

–          Have you learned nothing about the power of grassroots programs?

–          Have you learned nothing from historical revolutions?

–          Have you learned nothing about managing human behavior?

–          Haven’t you gotten tired of running around putting out fires?

–          Wouldn’t it be better to maybe teach people it is better to not start the fire?

Look. I have the utmost respect for the results and intent of these organizations.


At its most basic level my Global Generation idea is about human rights. About the fact education or understanding choices is the foundation for a values system (within individuals) ultimately creating societal (within varying cultures) value underpinnings.

It made me realize that this global education program for a Global Generation is actually a discussion of preventative versus intervention attitude.

And, to be honest, we need both.

However it appears most human rights organizations focus on intervention (and that’s not bad) which is half the equation … maybe even less than half if you look at it from a long term vision standpoint. In the business world this would be considered ‘long term death to a business’ by running around trying to stop problems (and gaining credit for them) rather than isolating why they happen and coming up with a plan to stop them from even occurring.

So. Isn’t this idea I am discussing really a long term grassroots human rights initiative?

And if I think about it that way then describing implantation is a lot easier.

The premise? Let’s just say human rights are about righting wrongs as well as having and claiming a right or rights. While there is certainly a place for say “a UN declaration of human rights” (which we have actually had since 1948 but has no “teeth”) ultimately it comes down to people’s choices (and that means education). Therefore the vision of Human Rights advocates shouldn’t be to run around pointing at adults and trying to change their behavior but rather try to affect behavior by educating your core target.

Youth. And from birth if you want to truly affect a generational attitude.

This kind of thinking takes vision and fortitude. And media and investors will come ‘a gunnin’ for it year in and year out because you won’t see results (or major ones) for 10 years. Heck. Maybe 20 years.

Why did I say major?  Because even though you are aiming at youth invariably some other older age groups will be affected (let’s say a smaller group of like minded young adults an existing advocates who you hope are influential in some way).

This is a plan where the world will not see its complete benefits until maybe 2035. Let’s say even 2045 (and that date becomes more important later in this post) Uh. That is what grassroots is about. Building a groundswell of attitudinal underpinnings which encourage desired behavior patterns.

Oh. And also. This is what revolutionary behavior is about. The great revolutions took a generation to come to fruition. First. Adults became unhappy with status quo (but are unempowered by the majority to do anything). Second. Their children learned attitude and behavior aspects growing up. Third. And when rose to adulthood shed the status quo when assuming leadership & decision making roles.

(note: yes. That was a simplistic description but a relatively true generalization)

Let me be clear. In the Global Generation I am not talking about a revolution level of conflict. But rather a revolution of global enlightenment (or conflict with societal/behavioral rules).

I am talking about implementing a grassroots anti ignorance campaign.

But. While I ranted about the existing Human Rights initiatives truly the best way to impact global human rights behavior is probably a bookend strategy.

But. One without the other is wasted effort (in my eyes).

One bookend is these existing organizations. With an emphasis on the UN human rights Council (this is where 2045 becomes relevant).

There is a UN human rights declaration (a global initiative) developed in 1948 after the atrocities of WW2. Yes. It exists. It has no teeth and needs support. And there is an interesting book I happened across at the local bookstore that suggest by 2048 we could have the legal system in place to actually have a viable global UN backed human rights high level sanctioned program. And I am all for it. And it is needed.

I have not read the entire book yet (just scanned it) but it outlines a systematic process to establish the global legal bookend. However, the author speaks about the process as a ‘grassroots’ program and I would debate with him whether it is grassroots (but that would be another post). to me it is simply a nice systematic approach to building a necessary legal foundation for human rights (a superior intervention program & process).

Anyway. That is one bookend. Ultimately it empowers PEOPLE to stand up for human rights (although some bonehead is going to argue its intent is to be able to sanction those who don’t meet human rights standards. Uh. But that is using conflict to resolve conflict).


human rights art 1 reason and conscienceThis first bookend is really only effective if you are building an opposite bookend at the exact same time. Create a Global Generation of people who are willing to point to the declaration (and what it says and stands for) as important. I do not mean global leaders to point at it and say it is important (although influencers are always good). But rather a generation of people. Working people. Everyday people. Farmers. Villagers. Factory workers. Town mayors and spokespeople.

People who in their heart of hearts understand the choices that could lead to abuse of human rights (and say “no”).

This is a program where the attitudes of a generation rise INTO leadership (instead of challenging existing leaders) positions and are empowered by the other bookend to steady the shelf of nations and their actions in (what I am calling) enlightened actions. Less ignorant actions. Less human rights abused conflict. Ultimately enlightened conflict.

So I would tell these folks at these high falutin’ initiatives. You are going to fail unless you invest in the other bookend. You are ignoring basic human behavior aspects. You are firefighters in dire need of a fight fire campaign (Smokey the Bear was embed
ded in a generation of children who understood forest fires).

I would tell them they have a fairly unique human generational opportunity in front of them.

I would tell them to stop and think and with their vision in mind course correct actions for a longer term effect (who in Amnesty International forefathers foresaw a global web based platform when they constructed their vision? They couldn’t).

I would tell them remember effective grassroots programs. And remember human behavior, real human behavior and belief system changes, occur thru generations and not in 5 year plans.

I admit. I read an article like this in the Economist and it drives me a little nuts.

Organizations with great intent and more money than a good smart business person could ever spend and bureaucracy and in fighting and media attacking “lack of results” and possibly some people who can’t see the forest for the trees and it comes to wasted effort. Ok. That was harsh. Inefficient long term effort. Kills me.

But. Maybe I am biased. I am the guy who believes we can impact the behavior of the Global Generation. I am the guy who believes we can build a global education foundation. So. Maybe I am the guy who is nuts.

Well my site. Nuts for everyone.

Written by Bruce