Civic Action

Being the Change

October 10, 2018  • Institute Staff

Young activists from around the world came together in the spirit of social justice, equality, and democracy at the portion of the Aspen Ideas Festival reserved for young people with big dreams. At the 2018 Young Adult Forum, attendees heard about turning their concerns into action from speakers like Maria Hinojosa, an NPR and PBS news reporter; Ina Fried, the chief technology correspondent for Axios; Ash Bhat, the co-founder and CEO of RoBhat Labs; and Tristan Harris, the founder of the Center for Humane Technology. “Sometimes there’s a really important job to be done, and you might think, ‘Oh someone else is going to solve that problem,’ ” Harris said. “But what if you’re the one who needs to solve that problem?” In spoken-word performances, young activists addressed “slacktivism” and ageism. A pair of high-school students representing Aspen Challenge teams from Dallas and Philadelphia addressed their peers: “You can do anything in this world,” Araceli Ramirez said. “When you are passionate about something, go for it,” Augustus Harris added. As Tom Wilson, the CEO of the Allstate Corporation, put it: “If not you, then who?”