30.3.13

A Younger World

Everyone says that the world is getting smaller, but it is also getting younger.

No longer do you have to have age on your side, you don’t have to have maturity that comes with years, and you don’t even have to have a fully developed brain. Teenagers, much to the disgust of the older generations, are inheriting the earth. No longer is age required to “make it”, or crack “the big time”.

Just last week, Nick D’Aloisio sold his app, Summly, to Yahoo! for a price that had enough zeroes to make anyone weak at the knees. This isn’t particularly interesting, until you reveal that Mr D’Aloisio is 17. In interviews with leading newspapers from around the world he said his investors, or business partners – including Ashton Kutcher, Rupert Murdoch, Stephen Fry and Li Ka-Shing – didn’t really mind that he was “only 17”; he had the brain, and the idea, and that was all that mattered.

No longer are we teenagers bound to going to school and then on to university if we want to make it and crack the big time. We can achieve it with a good idea and and a computer in our bedroom.

The idea of a “Younger World” does come with its risks. We need to be careful that we don’t become ignorant of experience earnt through age, and maturity that also comes with years and life experience. But if we teenagers keep our heads switched on and respect our elders’ advice, it will make for some exciting times.

Scarily, we’ll be able to challenge the establishment in more obvious ways. We’ll be able to expose our new, young ideas with great ease. Far from challenging the establishment, we may well be able to become part of it.

It gives us greater power and the ability to position ourselves in the world earlier than generations past. We just need to remember to be careful – and then get on with being creative and leaving our mark on the world.

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