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Susan V. Bosak TEDx Talk – Building a 7-Generation World
What is a 7-Generation World?
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YOU 177 Dream Bigger
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YOU 177 Dream Bigger

Dream Bigger, Create Legacy

YOU 177 is a journey from dreams to legacy, from aspirations to action. It's about moving toward a bigger way of thinking and acting, a 7-Generation World.

Albert Einstein famously once said that "we cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them." The big challenges in our world demand even bigger thinking.



What's Your Dream?

All generations can dream bigger – create and share Dream Stars

When you're trying to transform your life, your community, our world, you start by Dreaming Bigger.

What's your dream for yourself and your community? That's a big question. It deserves careful consideration. You need to discover – or perhaps rediscover – what really matters to you.

When you're building physical infrastructure, like homes and roads, you need tools like backhoes and bulldozers. When you're building psychosocial infrastructure, like greater connection and meaning between all generations that will help us thrive and innovate, you also need tools. But few exist. So we needed to invent one. It's called Dream.


Dream is a story for all ages to share about hopes and dreams across a lifetime, through history, and into the future. It may look like a simple little book, but it's a transformational tool developed over five years by an international team that included educators, librarians, and social researchers. It's a small package with a big message.

Stories inspire us, getting to the head through the heart. They enable us to discover and share what really matters. Too often we get stuck in little stories that fail to sustain us or effect real change. YOU 177 is about discovering a bigger story, so we think it makes sense to start with a story.

Join in the community read program Generations Dream using Dream to connect us across communities, cultures, and generations. Self-discovery and real community begin in conversation. By participating in Generations Dream, you can start a big-picture dialogue that inspires us all to dream bigger. Each of our dreams may be different, but they can grow from a common experience and our connected humanity.


Illustration © Shaun Tan from Dream by Susan V. Bosak

Dream is illustrated by 15 top artists from around the world. Art can inspire us and take us to new places. This illustration from Dream is by Academy Award-winner Shaun Tan. It's you in a "bigger" place, a 7-Generation World. You're climbing the mountain of life. Behind the mountain is the sweep of history – from the Lighthouse of Alexandria on the left, built in 250 BC, to a modern time icon on the right, Big Ben in London, England. At the top of the mountain is a multidirectional signpost, symbolizing an unknown future with many possibilities. You, in a 7-Generation World that connects past, present, and future in a powerful way.



7-Generation Thinking

Springboarding from the Dream shared reading and intergenerational dialogue experience, 7-Generation resources and ideas help you
reframe and expand your life, school, organization, or community story. Bigger, better, longer-term thinking is rare and difficult in today's fast-paced world. 7-Generation Thinking is a way to make bigger thinking more commonplace and accessible.

Generations are a way to touch Big Time

Generations are a way to get beyond yourself at this single moment in time. They are a way to touch Big Time. With increases in longevity, more of us than ever before in history will personally know 7 generations – our own generation; three generations before us (parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents); and three generations after us (our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren). Generations are a living big-picture time perspective.

7-Generation Thinking combines intellect and creativity, using the left and right brain; builds empathy and perspective-taking skills; looks for bigger patterns and new connections; allows for reflection to translate knowledge into wisdom; travels time, learning from the past and making informed predictions about the future; and reaches for a higher level, a metaperspective.

People often talk about needing a new paradigm to solve complex, interconnected problems. A paradigm is essentially a mental model – for example, shifting from a flat-Earth to round-Earth understanding of this planet. But what we really need for transformation is a metaperspective – seeing the Earth not from itself but from the universe, from the stars. A metaperspective is a bigger way to understand and ultimately act.

The LegacyCubed concept offers a foundation for bigger thinking. It reflects the three levels of a bigger picture: the level of the individual lifetime, physical as well as psychosocial; the level of interactions between people, lifetimes across generations; and the collective systems that make up communities from generation to generation across time.

As you Dream Bigger using 7-Generation resources, the YOU 177 journey then moves to
Creating Legacy.

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