When we say "Jewish innovation" these days, we usually mean "Next Gen Jewish innovation." And when we say "Next Gen," we usually mean 20s and 30s. But the truth is that 20s and 30s are a current generation of adults, not an emergent population, at some future point to inherit the Earth. But teenagers? As I was reminded during the recent LimmudLA conference, at which the teenagers had their own track of sessions planned and presented by their peers - teenagers are the real "Next Gen." Now a project has emerged in Los Angeles to remind us of that.
Perhaps inspired by today's emerging Jewish innovation scene, as well as searches for big ideas like the Next Big Jewish Idea (Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles) and the Jewish Futures Conference (convened by top Jewish educational organizations at the November GA), Wednesday, April 6th, 2011 at 7:00 PM the Milken Community High School students are having a "Jewish Futures Conference." This experience will provide them with a chance to network, hear their pitches & presentations and share feedback. The projects are available online for public review - students will pitch their projects to a group of judges.
Here's some explanatory text from the Milken site about the conference - as well as a teaser video:
In a transformation of Jewish education, Milken Community High School students engaged in a laboratory for the Jewish Future, developing projects that will renew and innovate Judaism for the betterment of Jewish society. As these teens depart from their immersion on a strong and vibrant Jewish learning community, they will contribute to the Jewish community through their visionary ideas and developed leadership. This conference will provide a unique opportunity for students to receive feedback and build partnerships with community leaders, allowing these young innovative leaders to take their vision to the next level. These efforts serve as a precursor and practice at combining “real” world practicality with core Jewish values.
I'll be there, and am looking forward to experiencing the energy and innovative creative power of the real next generation.