Two girls who are in their twenties take photos of the food they are eating. The photo is soon uploaded onto Facebook with the comment “Healing with delicious food!” In this way, “healing” has become an important buzzword for the youth of the 21st century. In an effort to discover the problems of youth, youngsters today seek answers in the lectures of people who have successfully navigated their youth. Lectures have become part of the youth’s journey in healing their souls.
There seems to be no limit to the growth in the popularity of youth lectures. More and more lectures and organizations that host these lectures have emerged. One of the most famous lectures is “Passiontalk” hosted by Young Samsung. Samsung has said that “Our 'Passiontalk' concerts are entirely free of charge. We want the youth of Korea to foster their dream and passion through our talk concerts.”
▲ During Samsung’s “Passiontalk”s. Provided by Goham20
Such thirst for youth concerts is attributed to a couple of things. The most primary is that people mature later than before. Those in their twenties today are nurtured delicately by their parents and not much responsibility is required of them. Only good grades and high pay have become symbols of maturity when actually they are not. In this chaos, the youth today are seeking answers in their lives through experienced people in talk concerts and they often receive peace of mind as a result. With more and more concerts opening up, it is only right for the youth to delve into the diverse opportunities provided for them.
Lim Soo Young (’10, Psychology) talked about her experiences with youth lectures. Lim is not an avid follower of youth concerts but from time to time she attends lectures that catch her interest such as art and music. “Youth lectures are much easier to connect with because they are aimed at people my age. However, sometimes such lectures can become very clichéd,” she said. Indeed while youth lectures can be a powerful motivator for young people, most talks are about how youth should work harder and not lose faith.
Uncertainty among the youth is a natural feature. Thus the lectures should be centered on the youth themselves, but the lectures are gradually becoming tainted with corporate minds. Lee Byeong Yeob (’13, English Language and Literature) enjoys lectures from time to time, but said that “There is no answer to life but sometimes the lecturers try to make their lives the answer.”
Youth Lectures By Youth
Youth have reacted to this problem by hosting their own concerts for people their own age. One group that hosts talk concerts is We Ask. Even though they do not seem able to rival the concerts of corporations, more than 200 people have visited each of their talk concerts. There is no doubt that their talk shows have been successful.
Representative of We Ask, Jeong Seung Wan (23, JoongAng University) is very passionate about his group. Jeong was initially motivated to create We Ask after two years of failure on college entrance exams. He realized that going to a prestigious university was not the answer. He wanted to hold lectures and talk concerts that are hosted by youth instead of those hosted by companies.
“We cast lecturers whom youth could easily relate to. Such as Social Networking Service (SNS) poet Ha Sang Wook or director Lim Kwon Taek,” said Jeong Seung Wan. We Ask had held a lecture in Korea University (KU) by poet Ha Sang Wook in 2013. The student body had provided lecture halls for We Ask. “The student body even gave us drinks and snacks to hand out to students who attend the lectures,” said Jeong enthusiastically.
▲ Representative of We Ask, Jeong Seung Wan. Photographed by Yoo Seung Joo
These lecturers participate out of a sense of charity, or noblesse oblige since everything is free of charge for students. He said, “Since we act out of a noble purpose for the youth of today, nearly everyone responds positively.” Indeed, lecture halls were provided free of charge for the lectures.
A special feature of the lectures of We Ask is that they are entirely made up of questions and answers from the students and lecturer. This method is made possible by requiring the people who sign up for the lectures to submit at least three questions. Two keywords are chosen from the numerous questions and given to the lecturer to aid him or her in talking about the issues that people are curious about.
This method has been largely successful and students who have participated have been satisfied that their questions have been answered. Unlike lectures hosted by corporations, entertainment was not the main point. The lectures are recorded and edited into 15 minute segments. The 15 minute lecture is then posted on Facebook, Twitter and Youtube so that more and more youth can listen to it and heal their souls. We Ask aims to give opportunities to a wide variety of people.
The crucial issue Jeong Seung Wan wanted to impart to the youth of today is to have faith in themselves and have courage about their choices. He added, “The lecturers have already gone through or are at the end of a successful youth. They are able to teach us the biggest assets of youth which is courage and achievement.”
Youth lectures create a synergy effect that lights up the society by collaborating what is missing in youth with what exists in the lecturers. After all, it is passion that rebuilds the world for youth.