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Slate: Why 11-, 12-, and 13-Year-Olds Are (Kind Of) Hopeful for the Future

July 19, 2021

From the article:

Is the world better or worse than when you were born? That can be a difficult question to answer. Technology and medicine have never been more advanced, life expectancies continue to grow, and some people are the wealthiest in human history. But that progress comes coupled with concerns about climate change, wealth inequality, political unrest, and the future.

Future Tense invited author, economist, and former New America fellow Charles Kenny to discuss his new book Your World Better: Global Progress and What You Can Do About ItThe book targets an important demographic: the engaged middle school student. It is meant to encourage kids to help better the world themselves, and embolden them with a sense of power, rather than hopelessness, about the state of the planet they’re inheriting. (All author royalties from the book will go to UNICEF.) Charles chatted on Slack with five middle-school students—Ava, 11; Claire, 13; Jordan, 12; Marisa, 13; and Muskan, 12—to get their impressions of the world, and how they plan on changing it. This conversation has been edited and condensed.

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Director of Technology and Development and Senior Fellow