Generation Change

Watching the headlines tell tales of our global economic apocalypse, it is hard not to speculate on our future, and reflect on what is actually happening. Evidently something very big is going on, and although it is manifest in the financial turmoil, I think there is a sense that something greater is taking place.

I think what we are seeing is not merely the shake-up of our economy - we are experiencing the transition between old and new generations.

Once you start thinking about world events in this light everything starts falling into place. Last year President Obama was voted into office, the fundamental message in his manifesto was change. Using technology and by building a grassroots community, he managed to draw out young voters by their thousands. In a sense he epitomised the new generation. He was sick of the corruption and politics of the previous administration, and, touting a blackberry, he is well aware of the fundamental game-change that technology has brought.

Our generation has grown up in a world that has come to rely on the ubiquity of technology. While the previous generation struggle with the new concepts that the internet has brought, we struggle to imagine a world without them. We take for granted the ability to instantly communicate with someone thousands of miles away. In our generation, physical location is of little importance.

And crucially we are tired of the old way. As the economy collapses and companies that became complacent about their existence flounder, I don't think I'm alone in feeling a sense of optimism about our situation. We are happy for them to fail because it opens the way for new companies, companies that place more emphasis on our generation's values - the environment, technology, resourcefulness - progress.

For too long our generation has been written off as a whining spoilt child, poisoned by a sense of entitlement. I believe we have a lot to offer, and the ungratefulness that was perceived in us belied our dissatisfaction with the status quo. Now we have a chance to prove ourselves.

I believe there are signs indicating how our generation will approach the challenges ahead. Take for example the 'flash mob' phenomena. Ordinary people organising themselves using new technology to do something wonderful - rediscover humanity's playful side.

Or how about the rise of social networks? Does this not suggest that our generation is trying to re-establish the communities that suburbanisation has destroyed?

The transitional period will be difficult - watching the British government floundering about, denying responsibility for the dire state of the economy, and engaging in the old tit for tat politics is like watching the writhing of a dying fish. And with the inevitable unemployment that this change will bring, many people will face lives without the luxury to which we have become accustomed. But perhaps this is a good thing too. Simpler lives are more conducive to empathy, and a greater value in more meaningful things - friendships, hard work, beauty.