We The Geeks White House Initiative Needs More Youth

My dog Leia is only 2, so she counts as a young geek.

My dog Leia is only 2, so she counts as a young geek.

We all know that the White House is full of geeks. The administration has hosted science fairs, responded to petitions for a Death Star, and Obama himself created a new fusion of Star Wars and Star Trek with a "Jedi Mind Meld". It's fitting that the White House has started a new initiative called We The Geeks, a Google+ Hangout series to have conversations about STEM and how it fits into the administration's overall Strategy of Innovation.

The initiative has assembled a great panel that is unfortunately a little heavy on folks that have already accomplished a ton in their career. This creates the risk of alienating folks that haven't accomplished as much. Hearing from Google, IBM, and other industry powers is great, but we need to hear from more young folk in the early and middle stages of their careers.  Hearing about their struggles, particularly in this era of education reform and a tough economy for new grads, would really help make the talk relevant to more people.  Check out the participant list:

  • Cristin Dorgelo, Assistant Director for Grand Challenges, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE  Watson  National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars ProgramSebastian Thrun, a research professor at Stanford, a Google Fellow, and a co-founder of Udacity, to discuss Google’s self-driving car and Google X
  • Now, I'm not saying to completely remove the more accomplished from the discussion.  Let's just turn the tables a bit - instead of their being one recent college grad surrounded by folks far in their careers, how about reversing that?  I'd rather hear mostly from younger millennial folks in their teens and 20s with one or two more advanced folks there to help guide the conversation and give advice. Break the videos into bite sized chunks so that they can be easily shown in sections to a kid in a community center, or a classroom, or just a curious individual who happens to be on my website. We need to do a better job of engaging our youth directly. 

    Check out the video below!

    This post also appears on TWIB.