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Silicon Valley is now a household name. What if young people had a similarly structured community or neighborhood enclave to turn to, in order to gather skills, information and opportunities to succeed in the world of work?

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As I continue to think about this challenge, I am drawn toward the idea of creating spaces for young people to learn and grow, that are not wholly academic environments, music venues or movie theaters.

Where is their third space? Can a MILLENNIAL ALLEY truly exist?

Throughout the world, young people are asked to join the political process at voting age requirements of 21, 18 and even 16.

Therefore, societies can better support young people by designing 'gated' communities that youth can identify as places for creatively and strategically gathering resources.  There, they can build new skills, hone old ones, and attain fresh and relevant information for employment opportunities and career advancement.

Via the design of an integrated community, MILLENNIAL ALLEY would break down silos by centrally locating the people, resources and organizations in support of youth employment and engagement.

For Example:

Imran's Skunkworks can exist on the 1st floor of Building A while the Subby office exists on the 10th.

LAB21 can be located in Building B, three blocks away.

An individual can then walk another two blocks to Haiyan's YouthCafe while stopping at an intersection to view advertisements for Andrew Li's Interactive Job Map or Lydia's Experience Bank/CV Lifeline...before continuing on to a pit stop at the Career-Coffee Mobile Truck.

Simon's Youth@Concert can take place monthly, bi-annually, etc in a nearby park.

While we're at it, why not also house Simon's YouthHostel in MILLENNIAL ALLEY?

How will your concept support young people as they transition into the world of work?

Whether actively seeking employment, graduating from high school or college, or changing careers entirely, MILLENNIAL ALLEY would exist in the minds of young people as a centralized support system governed by people whose careers revolve around supporting theirs. Rather than searching relentlessly online or visiting several disintegrated and disparate support organizations across towns and cities, young people can start with a visit to MILLENNIAL ALLEY.

What online or in-person components of your concept will best support this transition?

Governments and organizations can support this transition by helping cause related start-ups and businesses take up residence in MILLENNIAL ALLEY. They can also provide incentives for other such existing organizations to relocate to MILLENNIAL ALLEY. This would create a system of relieving schools and governments of the burden of supporting the employment transition of this growing population, thereby allowing the social sector to continually innovate in this area.

My Virtual Team

Haiyan Zhang Lydia Howland Andrew Li Stephen O'Connor Simon Fich Swany Valazquez Imran Malek


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I also agree that there is no substitute for a physical meeting space. It seems like a space like this could also become known among companies looking to hire young people, as the place to go to find new employees? And that, with many young people who would likely be at different stages in their career development, there could be the potential for some informal mentorship and peer-to-peer assistance? Great idea!

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Thanks Jessica. I'm looking forward to fine tuning this concept. The peer-to-peer relationships will be key. I'm glad you made that point. It is friendly competition through friendly encouragement.

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