“What adults can learn from kids” by Adora Svitak

For our 1st Real World Wednesday of 2016, we want to amplify the voice of a young person! Nearly all of our conversations on our Facebook page pertain to young people, but we rarely hear from and listen to their actual perspectives. We recognize that this is a big problem and are committed to continuing to reflect on and address the ways in which our Forum perpetuates adultism in policy and practice.

So today we are featuring Adora Svitak. According to her official bio:

“Since the age of four, Adora has been exploring what she can do with the written word: everything from championing literacy and youth voice to working with the UN’s World Food Programme to raise awareness about world hunger. Hoping to instill her love of writing in others, she taught her first class at a local elementary school the year her first book, Flying Fingers, debuted; since then, she has spoken at hundreds of schools, classrooms and conferences around the world.

In 2010, she delivered the speech “What Adults Can Learn from Kids” at TED. The speech received over 3.3 million views on TED.com alone, and has been translated into over 40 different languages. That same year, Adora started organizing TEDxRedmond. Over the course of years of speaking, her audiences have included teachers, CEOs, entrepreneurs, artists, students, and delegates at the United Nations Economic and Social Council’s Youth Forum.”

Adora’s important TED Talk starts:
“When was the last time you were called ‘childish’? For kids like me, being called childish can be a frequent occurrence. Every time we make irrational demands, exhibit irresponsible behavior, or display any other signs of being normal American citizens, we are called childish. Which really bothers me. After all, take a look at these events: Imperialism and colonization, world wars, George W. Bush. Ask yourself, who’s responsible? Adults.”


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