Why We Should Collaborate with Kids to Design Solutions for Our Future
I became pregnant this year. Five months into it, I learned that my little girl Mya had Triploidy Syndrome—a rare and lethal chromosomal disease. I can’t put into words how heartbroken I was. But right when I was on the verge of letting this destroy me, I chose not to be a victim.
Mya allowed me to fully understand the love all mothers have for their children. She ignited my passion for the importance of honoring children, and valuing their lives and the lessons they could teach us. In the past decade I’ve become more aware of global problems. Tsunamis, wars, earthquakes, economic collapses, revolutions, widespread disease, oil spills, radiation. What in the world is going on? Is there another way?
My friend Mike Wike and I keep asking ourselves these questions, and Tomorrow’s Roundtable is what we've come up with to address them. We want to create a media platform to give children a chance to be heard in this world. It's a cause-driven documentary series that uses the ideas of children to help solve the world’s most imperative social and environmental challenges. Why children? Well, they have so much to teach us and these are four of the lessons I’ve learned from them so far:
1. Think in Simple Ways
In prepping our series, I’ve talked to many children. One thing I’ve noticed is how simply and clearly they think. Kids constantly solve problems, because they constantly ask sincere questions. Kids are famous for asking questions in a series of “Whys” - and this is such a powerful way to get to the root of a problem. It’s like tracing a chord back to the wall. Children see the naked truth. They don’t add layers of complexity. After all, it’s the child inside every innovator who sees what could be.
2. Play With Others
Children are natural collaborators. They show up with a game and ask, “Who wants to play?” This breaks down walls between people and opens up possibilities. Businesses, nonprofits, communities, and leaders can learn a lot from that. That's why we bring together children, celebrities, companies, charities, communities, and ultimately the crowd in our series.
But how do we ensure that the solutions stay implemented? We invite non-profits that already have programs in place in a target community and a deep understanding of the issues. They receive additional resources and sponsorships from companies we work with. The problems continue to be addressed for years to come because the sponsors keep paying for the campaigns as long as the docu-series generates content featuring their brands in the story. This way revenues flow to fixing the problem year after year.
3. Decide With Your Heart
In making decisions, adults tend to be influenced by market research, societal pressures, and financial motivations. Children use a different type of intelligence in making the big decisions, like, Does it feel good? Childhood provides us with a moral compass. As busy adults with agendas and motives, we sometimes overlook the heartfelt solutions to some of these complex issues. Whether it’s just to“Give more hugs to the people you love” or to“Share your food so you feel a bit happier,” feelings have a load of truth to them.
4. See the Good in Everything
My pregnancy taught me that there is always a silver lining. Adults tend to avoid the rain, children tend to play in it. Children run and jump through this world, and that approach alone might make all the difference. What if we all saw the world as a playground?
The Indiegogo campaign for Tomorrow’s Roundtable will run until December 10, 2013, which would’ve been my little angel Mya’s birthday. This date marks what I've learned from her, which is to always see the good in everything. Our first episode will allow us to launch an education revolution. If this project speaks to your heart, please consider sharing this video with five friends or contributing a few bucks to it. Click here to add it to your To-Do list.
This project is part of GOOD's series Push for Good—our guide to crowdsourcing creative progress.
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