Started by HeroInes for teens. Co-developed by teens.
CG RISING is the brainchild of jack-of-all-trades Eric Schneider, driven by the vision of bringing the solutions, vision, voice, tools and support of the world’s finest teen and adult changemakers to the global young generation, to their global common daily hangout : school, and enable all caring adults to get involved. It’s his solution to empowering the Change Generation.
The spirit & action gap mystery.
Young people in North America are changing lives, laws and industries at record pace and scale, have made creating a good world for all integral part of learning culture at more than 12,000 schools, and their events score 6 hours live on television. Teenage HeroInes are recognized as ultimate role models, celebrated on media, showered with societies’ highest awards, and in high demand as speakers at schools.
But in 200 other countries, youth leadership – “training young people as agents of change in their communities” – is disturbingly invisible, even inexistent – in news media, schools, public space, civil society, children’s literature. According to a german youth activist’s study, there is no real youth participation in any german organization. France does not even permit student clubs. #EpicFail
So, why aren’t youth raising their voice, stepping up, and making a relevant impact that is worthy of media presence?
To us, the reason is very clear. It’s a culture problem, not an opportunity problem. The opportunities are there and the doors are open; many parents and organizations, even media yearn for active youth, many schools support youth initiative, student clubs, awareness and projects on climate, development partnerships, social change. Youth are just not walking through them. Generally speaking, passion and taking action are not a part of youth culture. It doesn’t seem fun, youth are silenced, responsibility is shifted to institutions, and no one else is doing it. And if you are on fire for positive change, where do you go to find other like-hearted youth?
We don’t buy the idea that youth “just don’t care for people and planet” or that the action gap was a matter of age and maturity. Nonsense. If adult generations were achieving as able, active, caring citizens, societies and planet wouldn’t be collapsing. That’s where we are back at point one – adults complain about youth, or wish for them to be active citizens, but in reality, adults are shutting down any serious youth initiative, because they themselves don’t have that spirit. The data and experience agree. Fortunately, we can change that, and it simple.
Sparking the Spirit.
In North America, where youth leadership has been part of civic education, there is no more need for “motivation” or “training”. Young heroInes are popping up everywhere, responding to eco-social causes. The spirit gap is attributable to a “lack of heart” – of vision and passion transformed into action – copy-pasted from the example of adults who do nothing relevant for climate, social justice, rainforests, rape, or children dying from hunger. Donating a penny for X-mas cookie sales is not enough. Waiting for some chancellor to fix it is … the mindset of minions of monarchy. #1910 As a consequence, finding European youth, or even adults, deserving a badass hero award like America’s teens and Ashoka’s grand changemakers … is near impossible. We’ve found four in eighteen years, and we know our turf! Meanwhile, in America, Craig and Marc Kielburger have flipped the public image of activism to #ShamelessIdealists, exciting and adventurous, with WE Schools programs, WE Days and hundreds of celebrities happily, and humbly, cheering them on.
The key is : “80% of human behavior is shaped by role models, much of it subconsciously,“
… and the only region with a sense of civil “heros” is the USA. Now take that quirky passion of “I’m gonna make a million dollars”, or “I’m gonna make it in Hollywood”, and channel it into “I’m gonna change the world!” That is what differs teen heroInes from bystanders, and what you feel in their inspirational videos – and since role models also function via media, we begin to see the spirit spread globally. Now that this is understood we have to massively multiply our efforts to make heroIne role models omni-present + with instant action opportunities + with structure and support to unfold their hero potentials year-round. Then – experience of our Presentations and Workshops shows – youth catch fire to do like their peers. We give them the guidance, tools and support “to play this new sport, this new music” like a champ.
A new subculture.
Created by heroInes, CG RISING’s subculture is heartcore and magical, social and interactive, challenging and exciting. It’s social media driven and closely connected to today’s internet culture. we’re using the internet for what it’s invented for : opening up humanity’s treasures to each and every one of us, without exploiting anyone. The meetups, and Clan Headquarters at school, are more reminiscent of a dynamic social entrepreneurs hub than of a classroom (think comfy, multi-media, yummy treats, music, and bustling with action).
CG RISING is, above all else, a game, with real people, real hero/ines, the real world as our playing field. Youth team up into clans and all are part of the same grand quest in the game. Each player has to complete certain basic missions to achieve Warrior status, missions to “level up” and achieve a higher rank, gaining badges and credits for impact and headlines made. Their activities, interactions and media coverage are vividly chronicled on their social media, inspiring their community, and evolving into fabulous CVs.
By doing so, warriors evolve fantastic skills including public speaking, fundraising, positive news media work, and how to build community. Each player will also work their way through a series of increasingly complex lifestyle challenges and methods, followed by combining them, teaming up with others, freestyling and bringing in own campaigns into our program, backed by the global tribe. An exciting part of life as a warrior is to personally interact and meet LIVE with our staff, fellow warriors and HeroInes – on video, as school and event speakers, at summer camps, and on volunteer visits. An overview of our HeroInes’ causes and solutions is here.
CG RISING is creating all of its own resources and YouTube tutorials with HeroInes’ authentic photos and videos, to bring together both the action, community building and communication aspects of the projects. Solution stories being of great interest on and off the internet, we cross-publish heroInes’ and players’ stories in YOUTH-LEADER Magazine, a world-premiere multimedia zine focussed on teenage changemakers. As a result, our adventures and offers will naturally reach a global public, into homes, cafes and schools – always calling people to get involved. An overview of our Resources is here.
An onramp program.
Here’s how we think of it.
CG RISING is an “onramp” program. The world of youth leadership is a super highway. It moves fast, is full of splendid vistas, and there’s are a lot of miles to cover! If you don’t grow up learning and taking action on global issues, fundraising, public speaking, teamwork, positive news media, facing adults in positions of influence, changing laws, trusting your heart, daring to be kind, cultivating conversations, sensing who speaks truth … it’s hard to catch up as an adult and ever evolve to an able, active, caring citizen. CG RISING is going to fill that gap, giving children and teenage (and also adults) the experience they need to catch up and hit the highway at full speed.
Zero to FIRST.
We are committed to taking kids and youth (and supportive adults) with zero experience and fast-tracking them, giving them the skills they need to act at top local and national level for creating a good world for all.
We’re using mission-oriented high impact youth leadership as an organizing principle. Guidelines are simple, concrete, practical, with quick uplifting tangible results, growing community, generating media presence and demand by teachers. Ace! A young activist’s dream!
We are currently fundraising for launching our first season, closely guiding participating youth, finetuning our offers to their needs, and sharing selected activities with the world. Ultimately, we’ll offer full-time live coverage across social media platforms, print media – and in real-time from our heroInes and warriors – as the epitome of a new species of changemakers stepping into their power wielding the ultimate power tools and spells of the finest adult changemakers on Earth. But don’t wait for it. The Adventure is ON!
One advantage of high impact youth leadership is that it is a pipeline to funding, scholarship, internship, learning journey opportunities, and careers in changemaking. In fact, the demand for people with rock solid integrity, clear priorities for people and planet and multifaceted changemaking experience is growing – in civil society, education, public service, social business – incl launching one’s own or crowdfunded campaigns. The new structures and principles are known – what’s needed is people with the right worldview, psycho-emotional disposition and skillset. Committed Players in our program naturally unfold all the skills that our societies need.
We love our community partners.
We act from an unconditional and pure spirit of SERVICE to our HeroInes – to help boost their initiatives to planetary scale, grow their community and realize their dreams. We invite our partners to do the same.
With YOUTH-LEADER, we’ve partnered with dozens of wonderful folks, changemakers, platforms and institutions on all seven continents through the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development DESD (UNESCO), and we put all our wisdom, resources and relations into CG RISING. Our featured HeroInes share 100’s of our societies’ finest awards between them, incl. the World Children’s Peace Prize, UN Forest Hero, CNN Hero, Gloria Barron Prize, Brower Youth Award, Prudential Spirit of Service, and Girl Scouts Gold Awards. We’ve tested our modules and resources with various settings and age groups, and feedback is excellent. You can view some Feedback here.
We’re attracted applications by 12,000 people from 70 countries, an unreal 10% of the UNITED NATIONS’s Online Volunteering members, to join as writers, translators, editors, artists or community managers. We employed thousands, and two teams have been honored with the UNOV Award, Eric with the prestigious Images and Voices of Hope IVOH Award (among earlier laureates are the founders of Kosmos journal and Frontline, and the Director of TED), CG RISING with Pacemaker status in Ashoka’s re:imagine learning Challenge sponsored by the LEGO Foundation, and YOUTH-LEADER with 4 time status with the UN Decade of ESD.
We are actively working behind the scenes to build partnerships and collaborations with organizations, teachers, and most of all with the greatest untapped resource among adult generations : myriads of caring citizens who are also parents, grandparents, librarians, professionals, business owners, clerks, waiters, stewards, heirs, business leaders, artists, entrepeneurs, celebrities wishing to turn their skills and reosurces and relations into meaningful value for people and planet. NOW & FAST!
We hope to find mentors, donors, sponsors, volunteers, users, and other heroism enthusiasts to support us in our mission.
A scalable model.
We are building CG RISING to be a scalable model that can spread to any community and school on Earth. We are actively creating kickass resources that cannot fail to inspire, equip and empower, and tutorials, online and print publications, and building infrastructure, volunteer team and (a few paid key) staff so that we’re ready to expand whenever opportunities arise. We have plans to take back the planet as fast as we humanly can.
Want to help? Here’s how.
CG RISING, as part of the YOUTH-LEADER’s interconnected media and programs offers plenty (PLENTY!) of opportunity to be part – loosely, partly or constantly. Money helps. In-kind Support rocks. The scope is enormous! View options for In-Kind Support here). Media can tell our unfolding stories and adventures, contribute, become part – adding win-win value to their profession as journalist, teacher, business, inflight program – involving their audience, clients, customers, staff, trainees. You can support individual HeroInes. You can seed our publications to all schools in town, and offer support and prizes to inspired youth teams. You can sponsor their participation in our Summer Camps, or co-host one in your part of the world.
Love it? Wanna figure out what to do together? Get in touch.