Awakin Calls » Joshua Gorman
Joshua Gorman: Youth Activist
Jan 21, 2017: Generation Waking Up
Read: Call Transcript
Joshua Gorman is a writer, speaker, changemaker, community builder, and a voice championing the paradigm-shifting role of the Millennial Generation. He is the founder of Generation Waking Up, an organization that ignites young people to bring forth a thriving, just, and sustainable world. Generation Waking Up has focused on systems change through three strategies: awakening in young people a generation-wide identity and global calling by using arts, media, and interactive workshops that support them in seeing who they are as a generation, the global challenges and opportunities before them, and their unique role in shifting the course of humanity; empowering young people to function as thriving, 21st-century agents of change by offering trainings to impart to them See full.
Joshua Gorman is a writer, speaker, changemaker, community builder, and a voice championing the paradigm-shifting role of the Millennial Generation. He is the founder of Generation Waking Up, an organization that ignites young people to bring forth a thriving, just, and sustainable world. Generation Waking Up has focused on systems change through three strategies: awakening in young people a generation-wide identity and global calling by using arts, media, and interactive workshops that support them in seeing who they are as a generation, the global challenges and opportunities before them, and their unique role in shifting the course of humanity; empowering young people to function as thriving, 21st-century agents of change by offering trainings to impart to them knowledge, skills, capacities, and support for creating lasting social change while deepening their own personal transformation; and mobilizing young people around shared purpose, holistic vision, and collaborative action by creating networks to connect young people and youth initiatives across issues to create whole-systems change.
“There’s a new generation of young people waking up and coming of age all across the planet, a generation rising between an old world dying and a new world being born,” Joshua says. “We are the make-it-or-break-it generation. The all-or-nothing generation.” From education, politics, the environment, to even religion, “the new story is playing out in every sector and we all have a role to play. Young people are finding their gifts, finding their passions, realizing that ‘hey, we’re all in this together and we’re going to make it happen’. That’s why we’re here, right? That’s why we’ve been born at this time to take the largest step that humanity has ever taken before, right? To step from an old world dying into this new world that’s being born.”
Joshua grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Recounting his own awakening and call to action, he has described: “When I was [around 14], I started to really begin to wake up. I started to really suddenly pay attention to the wider world around me, and I was really deeply troubled by what I confronted. My family was having a really hard time; in my community I just saw a lot of unhappiness and a lot of suffering. And I looked out at the state of the world and I saw how hard things were and it just overwhelmed me, and it troubled me. … I went through a kind of existential crisis. … So I spent many years traveling and studying and researching and learning from other people …. I had this really powerful vision one day where I just saw so, so clearly the role that we can play as young people today. We are not just a generation born into the end times to watch the world fall apart. We’re actually a generation born at this significant moment in history where a new chapter is opening up, and we get to be the authors if it. We get to write that story. We get to create a new world.”
Through speaking, workshops, and leadership trainings, Joshua has the opportunity to connect with thousands of people each year. A student of human development and transformational education, Joshua specializes in the experiences, knowledge, and skills that people need to thrive in the twenty-first century. He self-designed a major titled 'Global Youth and Social Change' at George Mason University and supports youth-led projects and movements internationally. He is a founding member of Youth Passageways, a network of individuals and organizations working in the fields of youth and community development, contemporary rites of passage, intergenerational collaboration, and cultural renewal.
Currently, Joshua is working on a number of projects relating to the future of religion, spirituality, and secular culture with a focus on Millennials and the religiously unaffiliated called 'the Nones'. Noting that one out of every three Millennials belong to this cohort of spiritually unaffiliated, Joshua speaks about how the next generation is redefining our sense of purpose, spirituality, and meaningful community. He is a co-founder of Thrive East Bay, a new kind of purpose-driven community bringing people together at the intersections of science, spirituality, and social change.
Joshua lives in Oakland, California where he is completing a book titled Generation Waking Up: The Rise of Global Millennials and A Thriving New World.
Five Questions for Joshua
What Makes You Come Alive?
Engaging in meaningful conversations about life, purpose, and the mystery of being and becoming. Science, nature, music, truth, earnest seeking, kindness, creative expression, awakenings to our true nature.
Your Greatest Inspiration?
When I was 21 years old I moved to the Big Island of Hawai'i for three years. I arrived a lost and dark soul. I left awake and on fire to help transform our world.
An Act of Kindness You'll Never Forget?
My first experience hitch-hiking ever, in Alaska, when my driver took me home to meet his family, fed me a delicious meal, and then drove me out of his way to the exact destination that I was traveling to.
One Thing On Your Bucket List?
To visit the ring-tailed lemurs of Madagascar.
One-line Message for the World?
Life is a mystery, a miracle, a mad-rollicking mystical adventure.
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