top50stl person(s) of the week – the next generation
The world is a mess sometimes. The news about everything trends negative (which is the primary reason I started top50stl, to highlight the positive). I see so much good in the world and I’m tired of being inundated with the negative. I don’t deny the existence of negative news, but the people and institutions in charge of delivering the news just saturate us with it. I believe there is a paradigm shift happening in our world today, a transition. I feel it in myself and I believe the next generation is ready to take the reins of society and not just ready, but compelled.
I read a terrific article this morning written by Ellen Sherberg, the editor of the St Louis Business Journal. In the article, she offered the concept of the ‘giving circle’ basically a cycle that requires us as individuals to step in when our institutions may need to step back. She also advises local companies like Emerson to start considering younger generations when recommending participants for nonprofits and charitable initiatives. She challenges the establishment to gauge whether they’re doing a good job of not only developing young talent, but allowing younger generations to accept responsibility by handing over the reins on some of these initiatives.
I had the great fortune of spending a few hours this week with a prominent St Louisan with decades of exposure to St Louis politics and power structures. It was a fascinating conversation, but I was not surprised by his characterization of the Saint Louis establishment. He characterized the elite power structure as a blend of politicians, business leaders and prominent St Louisans that continually manage to steer us nowhere. I could sense his frustration from his dealings throughout the years, but I so appreciated hearing his experiences so we can learn and hopefully use that knowledge in our own endeavors to positively impact our city.
As Saint Louisans, I believe we are at a time in our history where we can choose the establishment, the status quo and carry on as we have for decades – stagnant. Or, we can choose to embrace the future, embrace change and try something different. I think the next generation is ready; the question is whether the current establishment is ready to give it up.