This Case Foundation-sponsored discussion paper focuses on the rise of Millennials—a Net-native, globally oriented generation whose cause lifestyle is redefining how we view activism. The paper investigates the potential impact of this group on the civic landscape and raises provocative questions about their role in affecting positive, lasting change.
In early 2008, the Case Foundation released Social Citizens, a blog and nontraditional discussion paper, which brought with it a unique platform for discussions on how the Next Generation — and Millennials in particular — are changing the nature of social change.
With the creation of the Social Citizens initiative, we recognized that Millennials were poised to reshape activism, engagement, service and philanthropy as we knew it. While we did not know how this shift would manifest itself exactly, we knew that we had to be bold and take a risk to try and spark dialogue and new forms of engagement that at the time did not yet exist between Millennials and the nonprofit sector.
While we did not know what the outcome of our efforts would be back in 2008, we can now recognize the many ways in which Social Citizens, as an initiative, has helped to define not only our own Foundation’s work, but also cross-sector efforts to explore the impact of the next generation. Our Social Citizens white paper was just the beginning of our own multifaceted effort to explore the potential of this generation — leading to the hundreds of blog posts we’ve written and curated exploring the latest issues on social changemaking; multiple mini-grants and competitions we’ve administered; daily conversations with more than 330,000 followers via the @SocialCitizen Twitter handle; dynamic, innovative ambassadors who exemplified the power and potential of Millennial leadership; and fruitful partnerships promoting the next generation.
In 2013, the Foundation announced that Social Citizens would move to a new home with the Collaborative Fund in the belief that this transition will allow for the continued expansion of Social Citizens’ mission—and ultimately help inspire, activate and empower the next generation of changemakers.
The Case Foundation continues to support next generation initiatives through its work with the Millennial Impact Project, including MCON13, and the Millennial Impact Report; and through Be Fearless Next Gen Forums; posts on CaseFoundation.org; and promotion of Cause for Change.