“Kids these days- they don’t know what they’ve got.” So goes the generations’ old saying of elders shaking their heads in disappointment toward a generation not realizing how easy they have it. Not anymore, as things have changed – fast: the United Nations’ recent devastating reports include warning of the imminent mass extinction of at least 1 million species due to human activities and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s call to the clear and present danger of climate change. Kids these days know exactly what they have: a deadline. They also know that they can make a difference by claiming their future.
“Since our leaders are behaving like children, we will have to take the responsibility they should have taken long ago,” said Nobel Prize nominee and 16 year-old Greta Thunberg who sparked “Climate Strikes,” with 1.4 million youth participating worldwide on March 19.
The Sun Valley Institute’s Youth Council, a group of high school students from across the nation including the Valley’s own Community School, Sage School and Wood River High School, are stepping up as leaders and change makers. The Youth Council organized the inaugural Claiming our Future: Youth Action for a Resilient World, July 23-25 at the Argyros Performing Arts Center in Ketchum, paralleling the Sun Valley Institute’s 5th annual Sun Valley Forum. The Youth Forum will unite up to 45 incoming high school freshmen to outgoing high school seniors for a three-day intensive retreat to be inspired, to engage and to take action. Participants can expect opportunities to learn from and collaborate with the exciting SVI Forum speakers, experts from across sustainability, security and the economy, as well as to workshop solutions to challenges we face locally and globally in food, transportation and plastic waste. On July 26th, attendees will cap off a fantastic event by rafting the Salmon River. For more information and to apply, visit sunvalleyforum.com/youth-forum. Space and scholarships are limited, so apply early.