My job was to help them integrate some of their experiences into an action plan of next steps towards figuring out how they wanted to make an impact in the world. One of the things that struck me was that unlike my generation, Gen X, where a room full of "do-gooders" would have all been people majoring in education, sociology and other social sciences, many of these students were majoring or interested in engineering, product design, symbolic systems and business. They wanted to integrate social responsibility into their work, and make a decent living.
Indeed this may be the biggest point of departure between the generations when it comes to giving and changing the world. Gen Y isn't afraid to ask the "Why not?" kinds of questions and seek to blaze a new trail or combine sectors and people and jobs that have never been in the same ballpark before in order to initiate and bring about a new kind of change.
For me, that's why I've jumped in with both feet when it comes to the social entrepreneur world and why I believe our old models of giving and change must be drastically altered or else the biggest problems of our time will continue on.
It's past time for a new kind of charity, a new kind of nonprofit, a new kind of public/private partnership and a new kind of difference-making.
I, like Bravo, firmly believe that Gen Y will be the ones to make it happen. Indeed, they already are.