A Few Questions for the Next Generation of Leaders

How will we take ownership of our own destiny in the wake of the 2016 Election?

While it pains me to think of what four years of a Trump presidency will look like, if there is one silver lining in this pile of horseshit we find ourselves in, it’s that our generation is now forced to push our vision of the future forward, outside of the political establishment.

Let’s be honest, we were going to have to keep asking these questions and do much of this work *EVEN IF* Hillary had won — I mean, the world was still pretty fucked up before the election — it’s much worse now, but it was still pretty fucked up on November 7, 2016. Many of you are already doing so much incredible work on these causes; how will our work, our strategy, our resilience, and our solidarity evolve, given the state of play right now?

Questions for Consideration, Discussion, and Action

What, exactly, is our vision of the future?

How will we take ownership of our own destiny?

Which progressive leaders will we push forward? Who will they represent? What will their values be?

How will we create progress outside of the political system?

Which communities, companies, and movements, will we champion?

How will these communities, companies, and movements inspire, influence, and lead, despite what happens in Washington?

How will we fight for social justice, defend civil and human rights, and protect the climate, at home and abroad?

How will we organize to ensure the rights of women, minorities, and immigrants, are not only protected, but advanced?

How will we rise against the swelling tide of racism, sexism, xenophobia, and homophobia?

How will we protect women’s bodies?

How will we fight for black lives and black power?

How will we keep our immigrant brothers and sisters in this country, and support their dreams, families, and future?

How will people with access, skills, or privilege change their worklife and risk their assets to fight for the values they hold dear?

What are people with access, skills, or privilege, actually willing to risk to protect our friends and our freedoms?

How will the privileged class move beyond an individualistic career mindset “do what you love,” “find your passion,” “follow your purpose,” “know your calling,” “come alive,” “design your life,” to a career mindset that also embraces service, community, and collaboration?

How will entrepreneurs focus their time, energy, and resources on problems that actually matter, especially problems for vulnerable populations?

How will my East Coast and West Coast friends break out of our kombucha bubbles?

How will we create jobs, especially in economically fragile areas, as artificial intelligence will only continue to make more jobs obsolete?

How will we push universal basic income forward?

How will we talk about race and privilege in a way that doesn’t shame the people we are trying to enlighten?

How do we counter lies and hyperbole in a way that is resonant to and respectful of the people who might otherwise be inclined to believe them?

How will we create new forms of offline and online communication and information sharing to ensure the press doesn’t manipulate us in the future, and that our news feed doesn’t merely reinforce our own beliefs?

How will we spread empathy and build bridges between urban and rural allies, the wealthy and poor, the educated and disenfranchised?

How will we provide affordable education and healthcare for everyone, regardless of where they live?

How will we spread progressive values abroad, especially in regions like the Middle East, in a time when our world so desperately needs them?

Should we go low, or go high? Is there a time and a place for going low, and a time and a place for going high? (Surely, there is a time and place to get high.)

How will we take care of our own health and mental well-being through the struggle ahead?

How do we explain things like discrimination, sexism, bullying, and empathy, etc. more effectively to children?

How do we get back to agreeing to disagree? How do we teach basic civil discourse at an early age? How do we teach young people the importance of civic engagement, respect, empathy, and civility?

How can we connect with, learn from, and engage the 45% of Americans who didn’t vote?

How will we start taking individual and collective action today, without waiting for permission from an authority figure or political party?


Many of these questions were added by my friends. If you have additional questions, please add them to the comments section below!


1. Interested in increasing millennial voter turnout and engagement for 2018 and 2020?

Contact me and let’s discuss what we can do to help.

2. Trying to figure out how to make your own work more meaningful?

Read my book: The Quarter-Life Breakthrough: Invent Your Own Path, Find Meaningful Work, and Build a Life That Matters.

3. Want free career resources?

Check out: smileyposwolsky.com/resources.