Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation Is Shaping Our World [Book Review]
David Burstein was 16 when he set out to engage young voters. At 19, he founded Generation18, the largest youth-run voter engagement organization around, which registered more than 25,000 new voters during the 2008 presidential campaign.
“In the final days, I did 23 states, screamed through the phone and held discussions across campuses,” he told Campus Progress.
Burstein seems like a uniquely active young person, but during his 2008 campaign work he discovered there were a ton of engaged youth doing everything from founding businesses and nonprofits to running for elected positions.
Even once the campaign ended, Burstein noted, the Millennial energy was continuous.
“In the long run, we’ll look back and find the Obama campaign was far more important to the social and political history than the presidency itself,” Burstein said. “To think of what that campaign did in the movement and the energy created among young people—that excitement and inspiration helped launch the social entrepreneurships that are out there. It was an inspiration boom.”
Burstein decided these were stories worth telling, many you'll find in his new book, “Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation Is Shaping Our World,” set to release next week.
Burstein explained in the book's introduction that though Millennials aren't the first to change the world, they are at a unique advantage on this page of history to do so.
“In previous eras, young people haven’t had the resources or tools to bring their ideas and vision into the world instantaneously,” he wrote. “But as inhabitants of an increasingly digital world, we need very few physical tools or resources to make an impact. With a few clicks of a mouse or a few strokes on our cell phone we can reach out to thousands of people.”
Beyond that, Millennials are uniquely programmed to understand the “old world,” pre-computers and smartphones, while existing in the “new world,” and the “fast future” of speedy technological advances that give way to speedier social, cultural and political changes. With context and tools, Millennials are making real and fast changes to our country's political reality.
Others have analyzed the Millennials's attitudes toward work and politics separately, no one before laid out how the two intersect and impact outcomes.
“Our lives, what kind of businesses we want to work for, what kind of politics we believe in, all of that is equally connected,” Burstein told Campus Progress. “We’re having more holistic lives, and that’s definitely something people will find from this book.”
Lydia is the Journalism Network Associate with Campus Progress.