Archive for May 30th, 2011

Thoughts: Keywords in Youth Leadership

Monday, May 30th, 2011

What motivates youth leaders? For those youth who are pure Type I, we (see Drive by Daniel H. Pink, 2009) can emphasize a baseline of autonomy, mastery and purpose.

In the YCISL workshop, we can have a forum discussion about various leadership opportunities for youth and rate each on the levels of AUTONOMY, MASTERY and PURPOSE.

Here is how we could explain each of the scales:

AUTONOMY: At the high end, the youth determines how and when something is done. In terms of problem solving, the youth defines the problem and determines the approach.

MASTERY: At the high end, the youth provides original thought and develops a novel and effective skill with a relevance to the problem being addressed.

PURPOSE: The youth understands the direction they are taking and sees how their activity contributes to the larger framework into which similar problems are connected.

Other keywords that helps youth leadership grow (sustainably) are:

EMPATHY: remember who your collaborators and audience are.

VISION/FORESIGHT: leadership is forward-looking. Clarity in the vision is key in knowing your direction, plus for others to want to support you. Foresight is necessary to avoid unnecessary risks and to attain competitive advantage.

TIMING/TIMELINESS: leadership among a group of 1 is not individually significant (ie, is it leadership if no one else is interested?)…however, experimenting with an idea that helps a future leadership idea may be useful. Don’t be discouraged if leadership takes time to grow to a satisfying level. Nonetheless, timing and timeliness are critical to establishing widely recognized leadership. Timing might involve the series of idea development activities such that resources and demand are synchronous with the availability of the product. Timeliness is more of a single instance in which the development of an idea or product gets peak acceptance. Think of this in terms of product cycles. Stock market investing also depends on timing (the purchase of stocks at lows, and sales at highs) and timeliness (the trading of stock on a particular expectation or event).

Photo Essay Ideas: Wasted Resources

Monday, May 30th, 2011

The inspiration for our Photo Essay activity is the wasted water essay by Praveena ( . Extending this theme of waste, there are a few other topics for the photo essay:

(1) Wasted Paper. I got the idea of this topic when I got a Staples Rewards application and card from the store – it was the 4th or 5th that had been hoisted on me, and it always ends up in the wastebasket. It’s not that there is no use for it, but why isn’t there an easier (non-paper) way to sign up for these rewards? Coupons have already gone mobile and online, so why can’t this card have gone paperless? I think the Borders card is a lot easier too, only requiring an email address. Another wasted paper scenario that makes you thump your forehead is the copy machine that runs a big job only to find out it needs to be run again for some reason (eg, missed copying the flip side of the original). Why can’t there be more intelligence built into a copy machine’s interface? And what about all that junk mail?

(2) Wasted Plastic: Why do so many products come in large plastic packaging? Some are worst than others but is there not an easy solution? Then there are plastic containers such as yoghurt cups or shampoo bottles. Some containers such as restaurant food bowls may make great candidates for reuse (such as planting pots).

(3) Wasted Light: Sun tunnels are a great and efficient way to get light where it is needed. How else can we address wasted light?

(4) Wasted Heat: People have spent quite some time thinking about using waste heat – such as in data centers. Are there are any ideas pertaining to other sources of wasted heat?