@Max Noble: it is true that young people see the world differently from adults, but different is not "less". I have found they are actually in tune with topics that are closer to them, such as the environment, education and inequalities. When I tried Terry's approach I got excellent responses, and much more than 20% of students showed engagement. If anything, the lowest response was from the seniors, who are very much focusing on career paths and their upcoming professional choices. This may not change the world overnight, but it works in terms of opening a new window for students and prime them to think of themselves as part of the solution.
Terry, I would like you to know that I have already started implementing your idea. During the typical introductions of the first week of classes, I have asked my students to add "the problem they would like to solve" to the information they gave about themselves. This led to a lively discussion on how to go from the higher level problem to how to become part of the solution. As a segue to this, I have been asked by Student Government to provide a talk/workshop open to all students to develop the idea further! I am very excited about it and thank you for triggering this new line.