By Ryan Adell, NGP Founder/Executive Director – Jan. 22, 2018
Next Generation Politics officially launched in January of 2017. We started with a basic Weebly website, a disorganized GroupMe chat, and a few high school chapters scattered around New York. Today, thanks to word-of-mouth, social media and lots of emails, NGP has over 1,000 members and 50 chapters across 15 states and 4 countries, with the majority of chapters taking the form of chartered school clubs in high schools.
We’ve made a footprint on social media, with 22K Facebook likes, 3K Twitter Followers and 1.8K Instagram followers, and our Blog, with over 25K subscribers, continues to grow, boasting contributors with views so varying that they definitely break the confines of the “political spectrum.”
But it all started when NGP hosted its first event one year ago: a debate—the electoral college vs. the popular vote—held at the South Huntington Public Library on Long Island, New York.
We quickly identified a major flaw in the debate’s structure: it was engineered to expose disagreement between two distinct viewpoints and offered no opportunity to reconcile those viewpoints. During the debate, it was deemed a sign of weakness to concede to another debater’s point of view in hopes of finding some level of common ground—you’d be ostracized by the people on your side. That’s not too far off from how our government operates today.
So we restructured our events to actually promote the values of our mission: bipartisanship and civic engagement. Our roundtable discussions, town halls, and Blog all function to create compromise and to uncover the common hopes for the future of government among Generation Z that transcend geography, religion, race, and partisanship.