But there are so many everyday heroes off the radar of opinion leaders. I was talking to a really inspiring activist who's set up a living wage campaign at her university - she's been involved since the age of 16, but who do we hear about instead in the press - where Amy Winehouse is buying her fags, how much money Prince Harry has spent on some treasure cocktail? I forgot, we're the "ipod generation", it's all about being fed consumption.
Meeting up with Anna and Dan from Social Innovation Camp, Sunny from Liberal Conspiracy and our two activists of the week Luke and Matea really captured the spirit of what excited me to get involved with becoming an activism/campaigner.
Of course, for Compass Youth it's about tracking emerging issues and unmet needs for young people. The broader the reach of our understanding, the richer the picture that will emerge, and the more effective we will be able to uncover emerging issues and build campaigns and coalitions around them. But we need to ensure that what we campaign on and how we campaign reflect their everyday lives and values - at the heart of what drives Compass Youth is that it is shaped by the ideas and people that form it.
As SI Camp argues, "individuals want to produce – and are capable of producing - better outcomes for themselves, provided they are given the tools and support to do so." Our better outcomes are to campaign for greater equality and democracy and nurture progressive values across society. And guess what, the good folk at Social Innovation Camp are letting us steal their concept!
What better way than to
- Get inspired by people who have had the opportunity to change the world around them (think Chuka, Sunny or Jacinda but it could be you too)
- Get informed about the different tips and tricks of campaigning (think flashmobs, hsbc rip off or teeme ara or your own campaign)
- Get involved in trying this out yourself on the day (we loved this but do you have any ideas)
- Get support from other young activists through our network (because it's still all about solidarity or otherwise this could happen)
I guess in an ideal world this is about connecting up people who have had the opportunity to make an impact and be recognised for it with young people who haven't had that chance or don't feel confident about getting involved. It's also about matchmaking people who may be interested in campaigning on a similar issue but are interested in different ways about trying to make a difference on the ground.
P.S. Ali and Jessica wonder “Where are all the young bloggers?”. Are they all outside of London as Lee suggests, like Talinn, are they all Tory as Matt laments? It would be great to get all the young bloggers on the left on the suggested weekend above. What do people think?
P.P.S. In the meantime, I'm going to follow Robert's advice and have started developing this (please feel free to add content!) and check out the fworders.
It is all about mixing it up between the online and the streets as Jim reminds us.
As Nye Bevan once said, we know what happens to people to stay in the middle road...they get run over. Our future is transformed the moment we feel it is ours to create.