Youth and Opportunity

What Should We Do for Future Generations to Thrive?


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THIS DISCUSSION GUIDE IS DESIGNED TO HELP AMERICANS DELIBERATE TOGETHER about what we should do to address unprecedented challenges that may hinder future generations from leading successful and economically secure lives. The guide outlines three different ways of considering the issue. Each suggests actions we might take, along with trade-offs we would have to accept. Altogether, these options allow participants to explore important values and tensions shared by many. Information in this guide raises crucial questions for which there are no easy answers.

  • Will the next generation, like those before it, be able to build an economically secure future, or will it face too many unprecedented challenges that undercut its prospects?

  • Should present-day priorities be more important than our obligations to future generations?

  • Is the next generation receiving the education and support it needs to succeed?

  • Are there disparities that we should be addressing today to enable future generations to prosper tomorrow?

Bolstering the chances of success for future generations requires us to consider choices that cut across conventional partisan lines and generational differences. What course of action should be a priority as we plan for the future?

The research conducted in developing this guide included a review of policy ideas and polling data from across the political spectrum, interviews and conversations with Americans from all walks of life, focus groups with young people, and appraisals of initial drafts by experts with diverse views and experiences.


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