Gen Next

Questions were answered by Wade Lairsen, Senior Director of Gen Next.

What part of your organization involves young people? In what capacity?

Gen Next is an exclusive organization of successful individuals dedicated to learning about and becoming engaged with the most pressing challenges facing future generations.  Our mission, our makeup, and all of our projects are focused on the future, and, therefore young people.

Our Members are very successful individuals and most are in their 30s and 40s because of our culture and mission focus, butthere is no official age requirement.  The membership model is then inherently youth focused.  Issues we tackle are motivated by a desire toempower future generations, and we group those issues—economic opportunity, education, and international security—by what are the most interrelated and high impact.

One example of a  direct youth oriented project we helped launch is an organization grown out of Gen Next called the Alliance for Youth Movements.  Members of Gen Next launched an organization that connects youth around the world who are using social media to rally for pro-democratic causes in many hostile or violent countries.

Why should young philanthropists become a part of your network/engaged with your organization?

Our network of Members is one of the most dynamic, successful, and influential—top CEOs, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and more.  They’re engaged in the organization because it’s a platform to learn directly from the news and decision makers with a premier network, and then identify and invest in thehighest impact causes in our issue areas.  Membership in Gen Next is by invitation only and requires an annual contribution of $10,000, so it’s not just for anyone.  Young philanthropists should try to get involved with Gen Next only if they’re successful, intellectually curious about how the world works, passionate about our issues, and want to work with this network to exact major systemic change over time.

Just this year, we hosted exclusive and intimate, off-the-record discussions with individuals like the Former CFOs of Microsoft and McDonald’s, the former Director of the CIA, Republican and Democrat political leaders, and more.   When we meet with top executives, we don’t only talk about corporate strategy, we also brainstorm and plan how, as successful individuals with vast resources, to change the world.  Also this year, we took a delegation of Members to Washington, DC and on a three state tour through Brazil where we engaged top leaders in each location.

What distinguishes you from other young philanthropy support groups?

We’re a unique combination of successful individuals developing their views, thinking long term and outward, trying to step outside the routine of their lives, and then manage or create major generational change.  We help to turn the successful into being influential.

Because of its makeup – Members who represent a wide range of industries including manufacturing, real estate, finance, energy, technology, media, and more – Gen Next is uniquely poised to address today’s challenges in education, the economy, and global security.

Because of its model – identifying and engaging the best and brightest in solutions to the most pressing challenges of the day – Gen Next is bringing a new perspective, energy, and sets of resources to the table.

Comments are closed.