Play is serious!

Shot@Life: Play is serious!

Not knowing what the city had in store for us, the Handmade Charlotte team recently took a trip to the  big Apple for the Social Good Summit. After being shuffled into a quaint room with all of the individuals sporting the Digital Media Lounge passes, we found a seat nestled in between the director of Climate Mama and a younger fellow from the One Campaign. An immediate wave of inspiration flooded over me, while I scurried to grab my laptop from my disheveled bag. Pamphlets outlining the day’s events painted the table with topics such as “Revolutionary Women” and “For Kids, Play is Serious.”

To me, The Social Good Summit was a meeting place for revolutionaries all around the world–Jane Goodall and Joe Biden– to gather and share personal stories and experiences. But then, conversation took place around policy-making and rehabilitation for rape victims, medical research and the positive effects of sharing information, and the advantageous effects of climate change and renewable energy. My mind was being blown left and right! These people were the bees-knees; the cat’s pajamas of innovators, thinkers, and bold dreamers.

Shot@Life: Play is serious!

Then, Jorge Casimiro, VP of of Global Community Impact of Nike, struck a chord with me. His discussion began with one question, “What would you do with 5 additional years?” It seemed a bit odd to start here, but a video then streamed of young faces from around the world answering the question with uninhibited responses.

“5 years?” A puzzled boy muttered, “that’s a long time!”

“I would invent something!” Shouted a small, impassioned student.

“I would search dark matter.” A fearless, freckle-faced boy noted.

“I would build a wooden helicopter–but I need to find some wood!” Bellowed a rosy-cheeked girl.

Shot@Life: Play is serious!

These responses were so true, so honest. Nothing was filtered; no answer was muffled by realistic limitations. Casimiro chimed back in with the statement, “the next generation might live 5 years less than their parents. Let’s give them 5 years back.”

We, as social influencers, need to be mentors to the next generation and inspire! We need to encourage families and kids to stay active in order to unleash the full potential of each young mind. Let’s spark creativity & encourage problem-solving with bold thinking. Who says we can’t build a wooden helicopter and explore the dark matter if we want to?

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