Institute for Emerging Issues, Gen Z & Why Twitter Can Be So Great...

Feb 18, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, we did a session on social media at Social Policy Research (SPR). It was less about the specific tools and how to use them and more about the potential value/impact. We talked about the idea of ambient awareness*—how peripheral knowledge of what's happening in your networks can expose new opportunities. So, I thought I'd share this story with colleagues I know are interested in creating better economic opportunity for young people—and with anyone else who's interested.

I regularly tweet with @sandymaxey (Ashville, NC—I am in Portland, Oregon). We've never met, but I know we share many interests and I rely on her insight, energy and smarts (communicated largely via Twitter) in my daily work.

So when I saw this tweet:

I had to investigate #NCGenz. Turns out they were livestreaming what looked like a fantastic event here.

The NC Institute for Emerging Issues (and do I ever love the concept of a dedicated resource for looking at how new social, economic, and cultural trends might impact a community) has idenitfied the care and feeding of Gen Z (young people born between 1990 and 2002) as an issue worthy of some serious public engagement. 

Within 5 minutes of receiving Sandy's tweet, I had learned about the event, seen some of the livestream (in which people who were Gen Z were engaged), and found the following resources:

I then signed up for the newsletter, liked IEI on Facebook, and snipped IEI to my "thought leaders" collection.

How to Share?
But how do I share this information with colleagues? Do I email the think (which link?) to colleagues (which ones)? Do I post the link (which link) on Facebook? My page? SPR's page? Do I tweet? 

I wasn't sure the colleagues I thought might most appreciate the event and links would even see them.

So, I drafted this post to explain.

And I'll post it to Facebook.

Maybe others will benefit from it too.

And if any of you reacts with something close to "Wow!", stop for a second and just feel your reaction—that "I-can't-wait-to-tell-the-next-person-I-see-how-cool-this-is" feeling. Got it? Using social media makes me feel like that nearly every day.


*Thanks to @caseorganic, who first turned me on to this most useful construct.