The youth as agents of social change require a high sense of strategic thinking to help contribute to making the world a better place to be. Arguably, the youth on the global scale are considered to be the next generation and have characteristics such as enthusiasm and vitality that can contribute to discovering new things and developing a better environment for all. The youth are considered as agents of social change as well as key drivers that engender change through strategic thinking. The increasingly dynamism associated with the world requires strategic thinking to help meet this change (Zimmerman, 2001).
Nonetheless, the United Nations for Social Policy and Development Youth estimated that 200 million youth live on less than $1 a day. An estimated 130 million of the world’s youth are illiterates with 10 million of them living with HIV. An estimated 88 million of the world’s youth are unemployed (Culled from https://givingcompass.org/article/youth-agent-change-society/). Despite these rising global challenges, the youth are expected to be strategic thinkers to contribute their quota to the growth and development of the world and the next generation.
This article aims to evaluate the concept of social change and strategic thinking among the youth. The benefits of strategic thinking and strategies to become a strategic thinker have been discussed in the article.
Concept of Social Change
On the global scale, change is inevitable both among individuals and institutions. Social change involves changes in human interactions and relationships that lead to the transformation of cultural and social institutions (Nolan and Lenski, 2009). In view of the youth aiming to becoming global citizens especially in the wake of the effects of globalization, it is important for their interactions with others to be rather aimed at transforming existing trends for better future growth and development.
Social change is inevitable and tends to have consequential impact on society in the long term. It is therefore, important for such interactions leading to social change to be rather positive and result in society’s future growth and development (Watts, Williams and Jagers, 2003). With the youth’s general exuberance, it is important for the youth to know when and how to interact to influence change in society. This brings to the idea of strategic thinking that requires that the youth learn and have adequate knowledge and information to make the required decisions as well as participate in interactions that encourage social change. Global citizenship encompasses the ability to be individuals who contribute to social change.
Concept of Strategic Thinking
Strategic thinking includes a valuable and effective tool that enables an individual to be able to think, assess situations and develop future plans that help solve challenges that arise. Strategic thinking requires an individual to be proactive and take pragmatic steps to developing a rather beneficial future for all. As an effective and valuable tool, strategic thinking can contribute to an individual developing his or her personal or professional life.
Through strategic thinking, individuals can contribute to developing an improved society with changes that meet the dynamism associated with globalization. Strategic thinking clearly positions an individual and in this case the youth to be an immense contributor to societal change.
Strategic thinking requires the individual to be both logical and creative in the approach towards solving problems. Logic and creativity requires confidence as it tends to promote a tremendous value that enables the individual to contribute social change. It takes pragmatic steps to developing a strategic thinking system that allows the individual to consistently communicate ideas that supports the vision of a globally peaceful and economically viable environment.
As part of strategic thinking, it is imperative that the youth equips themselves with accurate and credible information as well as facts to help develop them strategically. Accurate and credible information helps in decision making since it serves as a basis for acquiring adequate knowledge for strategic thinking. It is equally necessary for accurate and credible information to be acquired by the youth as they serve as the basis for coordinating theories and evidence required for social change (Keating, 2004).
An evaluation by Chall (2000) identified that strategic thinking requires an equal amount of strategic communication that enables the youth to effectively communicate their ideas and plans out. Effective communication requires a critical assessment of the objectives to be achieved as a result of social change.
Benefits of Strategic Thinking
Strategic thinking has several benefits that can be associated with both the individual and the entire society. Strategic thinking promotes the environment for the youth to critically evaluate society on a rather global scale. In view of this, plans and critical evaluation are carried out to meet the diverse social trends (Hansen, Larson and Dworkin, 2003).
Subsequently, strategic thinking helps evaluate what is been done and the reasons why decisions are taken in line with a series of outlined objectives. Strategic thinking helps evaluate how objectives are going to be achieved. Subsequently, strategic thinking helps evaluate the possibility of providing data – driven information that can be accepted for subsequent implementation.
Through strategic thinking, a high level of clarity is presented for future uncertainties pertaining to various social issues. A strategic thinker can successfully ascertain the outcome of a social change. Successful predictions can subsequently help improve the implementation of social change programmes.
Strategies to Become a Strategic Thinker or Social Activist
Several factors and skills require critical evaluation and development respectively to improve an individual’s ability to strategically think. They include the following:
As a youth and a strategic thinker, one must improve upon their listening skills. It is imperative to have access to credible and accurate information. This helps provide information from feedback from others to help improve a plan.
Also, strategic thinkers must be able to improve upon their questioning skills which help them ask questions that provide responses that can be used for social change. Questions posed must be directed towards obtaining information that helps develop strategic skills to address a situation.
Again, the youth must dedicate time to ensuring they improve their strategic thinking skills. This includes making time to read and access information as well as communicating with a mentor. Time spent to develop strategically must include introspection of one’s skills and knowledge.
Globalization has significantly impacted societies. However, the youth also considered as the future generation pose as an effective tool that can be used as agents of social change. These can be achieved through the use of strategic thinking that requires the individual to critically evaluate situations and communicate effectively to ensuring that the impact of globalization positively affects society.
In a nutshell, there are vast opportunities at London School of Management Education (LSME) for students to become strategic thinkers and to become agents of social change for a better and prosperous future. LSME dedicated lecturers and facilitators are ready to support you in diverse ways to enable you become strategic thinkers to make the future bright for all.
We entreat you to show your innate skills and be part of the forward thinkers to make the world a better and prosperous place for all. If you want to start any new club or association which in your opinion and strategically would inure to the benefit of the youth, we entreat you to contact us because LSME vision and mission statement is achieved when the youth of today is empowered and educated to tackle societal and environmental issues to make the world a better place now and the unborn generation.
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It is also imperative that the youth develop various skills such as listening and questioning skills as well as self-assessment on regular basis. There is the need for the youth to prepare and educate themselves as agents of social change.
- Hansen, D., Larson, R., & Dworkin, J. (2003).What adolescents learn in organized youth activities: A survey of self-reported developmental experiences. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 13, 25– 55.
- Keating, D. (2004). Cognitive and brain development. In R.M. Lerner & L. Steinberg (Eds.), Handbook of adolescent psychology (pp. 45–84). New York: Wiley.
- Nolan, P and Lenski, G (2009). Human Societies: An Introduction to Macrosociology. (11th Ed.) Boulder. CO. Paradigm.
- Watts, R.J., Williams, N.C., &Jagers, R.J. (2003). Sociopolitical development. American Journal of Community Psychology, 31, 185–194
- Zimmerman, B.J. (2001). Theories of self-regulated learning and academic achievement: An overview and analysis. In B.J. Zimmerman & D.H. Schunk (Eds.), Self-regulated learning and academic achievement: Theoretical perspectives (pp. 1–37). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.