The Position of Power
With big corporations falling like skittles from a rainbow, one can only wonder where the power will pool. Not only have big businesses taken a hit, but so have the middle class "Mainstreeter," and the millennial pre-grad who will soon receive a student loan bill with a piece of paper that couldn't get him a job if it were plated in gold. So many people have lost money, time, and consequently, power. If power is seemingly draining from corporations, 401ks, and college diplomas, who will inherit this power and its attendant freedom?
The high-school graduate will inherit this power. The community college student will inherit this power, for they are the ones who will be entering the so called "real world" without a huge debt on their shoulders. Their homes didn't lose half of their value because these students are too young to own a house, and they have yet to invest in a university and therefore are not saddled with thousands of dollars worth of loans. They are staring into the reforming world with light shoulders and clear eyes.
Incredible opportunities lay ahead for these individuals. My hope for future generations is that these people do what they wish to do, which today is rarely realized due to parental and societal pressures which make kids question their ambitions and dreams. Future generations growing up with social networking, online publishing, and open courseware will be equipped with a completely new set of tools to connect, learn, and create. The real world used to mean get a job, soon it will mean create.
To learn more about the hypothetical future of our youth, see Jeff Jarvis' Hacking Education: Google U.
(Photo from Firelink. The original full-sized color version can be viewed by clicking the photo.)