“We could could put seed packets in books and distribute them to school children and families…We could connect with universities… employ environmental groups…gain business sponsorships…”
That is the sound of Fairleigh Dickinson University students brainstorming how to re-forest our planet with one trillion (yes, trillion) more trees.
I know it’s traditional to look at the upcoming generation and fear for the future of our world. But let me assure you there seethes an energy, idealism, and creativity in today’s college students unequaled in many decades. Yesterday, FDU professor Gerard Farias invited me to speak to his “Managing Enterprise and Organizations” class. As part of the course, the students select some social need and create an enterprise aimed at fulfilling that need. These students have begun engineering a venture that will provide computers to computer-less young people so they may attend schools online. I challenged them with trillion-tree project, which is currently being undertaken and by social entrepreneur Roland Schatz (with astounding success.) These students’ enthusiasm and depth of thought, along with their unabashed optimism struck me forcefully. Having sat through many a “creative” session with businessfolks twice their age, I have seldom felt such positive hope. ‘Twould not surprise me to come across some of these individuals in the future as candidates for the Prometheus Social Enterprise Awards. So allow me this simple observation: whatever our generations have done to bring us to our present condition, we need not worry. Hot on our heels is coming a horde of freshly inspired successors dedicated to making things a lot better.