Below trends illustrate a profession due to the radical transformation already happening today – by Patricia A. Young, Professor of Literacy, Culture and Instructional Design & Technology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

At a large private university in California, a business professor uses an avatar to lecture on a virtual stage, meanwhile, at another university, graduate students in an artificial intelligence (AI) course discover that one of their nine teaching assistants is a virtual avatar, Jill Watson, also known as Watson, hinting at IBM’s question-answering computer system.

Of the 10,000 messages posted to an online message board in one semester, Jill participated in student conversations and responded to all inquiries with 97% accuracy.

At another institute, students interact with an AI chat agent in a virtual restaurant set in China to learn the Mandarin language.

These examples provide a glimpse into the future of teaching and learning in college. It is a future that will involve a drastically reduced role for full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty who teach face-to-face.

As a researcher who specialises in educational technology, I see three trends that will further shrink the role of traditional college professors.

1. The rise of AI

According to a 2021 Educause Quick Poll report on AI, many institutions of higher education find themselves more focused on the present limited use of AI – for tasks such as detecting plagiarism or proctoring – and not so much the future of AI.

AI’s use in higher education has largely been concerned with digital assistants and chat agents. These technologies focus on the teaching and learning of students.

In my view, universities should broaden their use of AI and conduct experiments to improve upon its usefulness to individual learners. For example, how can colleges use AI to improve student learning of calculus or help students become stronger writers?

However, most universities are slow to innovate.

According to a 2021 poll, some of the challenges to acquiring AI included lack of technical expertise, financial concerns, insufficient leadership and biased algorithms.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are leading the way with new uses of AI. In an immersion lab staged as a food market in China, Rensselaer virtually transports students learning Mandarin Chinese into this market to interact with AI avatars. MIT has devoted millions of dollars to faculty research in AI. One of MIT’s projects – called RAISE, for Responsible AI for Social Empowerment and Education – will support how people from diverse backgrounds learn AI, and human learning in general.

Professors from the baby-boom generation are retiring, and I expect some of their jobs will not be filled. In many cases, these coveted positions will be replaced by part-time and temporary faculty. I believe the rising use of AI will contribute to this trend, with universities relying more on technology than in-person teaching.

2. Erosion of academic tenure

Tenure is a status that grants professors protections against being outright fired without due cause or extraordinary circumstances. However, the pandemic became a means to dismiss, suspend or terminate tenured faculty. For example, the Kansas Board of Regents in January 2021 voted to allow emergency terminations and suspensions – including for tenured faculty – to alleviate financial pressures placed on universities by the pandemic.

News reports continue to show a steady decline in the number of tenured faculty positions. According to an American Association of University Professors report, the proportion of part-time and full-time nontenure-track faculty grew from 55% in 1975 to 70% in 2015. Conversely, the proportion of full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty fell from 45% to 30% in that period.

Universities used the pandemic as a reason to override and diminish the power of shared leadership with faculty. That included voiding faculty handbooks, regulations and employment contracts.

Ultimately, the pandemic was an opportunity for universities to downsize unproductive faculty and keep “active practitioners.”

3. The flipped classroom

The flipped classroom provides students with opportunities to view, listen and learn at their own pace through video instruction outside the classroom. It has been around since at least 2007.

This teaching approach is similar to the way people learn from one another by watching videos on YouTube or TikTok. However, in college the flipped classroom involves prerecorded faculty lectures of course content, whether that be on the causes and effects of the Civil War or the origins of white rice. In class, students build on the professor’s prerecorded lecture and work on activities to assist discussions and expand knowledge. The classroom becomes a place for social interaction and understanding course content. The flipped classroom maximizes instructional time for the professor and students because the lecture comes before the course’s in-class session.

As an example of the operation of a flipped classroom, a professor records a video on a subject area. This allows the same video to be viewed by one student or thousands of students. A human teaching assistant, avatar or chat agent conducts all in-class activities, tests and group work. No additional professors are needed to teach multiple sections of the same course. Professors, in this example, serve a limited role and ultimately will be needed less.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

It’s the 800-pound gorilla in the pandemic. The debate over forced vaccination with an ever-waning vaccine is cresting right around the time when the debate should be moot for a lot of people. Among the most fraudulent messages of the CDC’s campaign of deceit is to force the vaccine on those with prior infection, who have a greater degree of protection against all versions of the virus than those with any of the vaccines. It’s time to set the record straight once and for all that natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2 is broader, more durable, and longer-lasting than any of the shots on the market today. Our policies must reflect that reality.

It should be noted that this exercise is not even necessary now that our own government concedes that immunity from the vaccines, particularly the Pfizer shot, wanes each month. With the Mayo Clinic researchers suggesting, based on old data that likely got even worse since, that Pfizer’s efficacy against infection is only 42%, there is no reason to even attempt to compare this degree of immunity to the near-perfect immunity of prior infection, even against Delta. It should be obvious to any intellectually honest person that an unvaccinated individual with prior infection is exponentially safer to be around than someone who had the vaccines but not prior infection.

Remember, a significant portion of the population already got infected, and when the latest Delta wave is over in the South, the region will likely reach clear supermajorities of the population with immunity, as was found in India following the circulation of this very contagious strain of the virus.

Now consider the fact that studies have shown those with prior infection are associated with 4.4x increased odds of clinically significant side effects following mRNA vaccination. Thus, it is as scandalous as it is unnecessary to vaccinate those with prior infection, even if one supports vaccination for those without prior immunity. But as you can imagine, that would take a massive share of the market off the table from the greedy hands of Big Pharma.

To that end, it’s important to clarify once and for all, based on the current academic literature, that yes, people with prior infection are indeed immune, more so than those with vaccines. Here is just a small list of some of the more recent studies, which demonstrate the effectiveness of natural immunity — even from mild infection — much later into the pandemic than the study window of the vaccines:

Conclusion: What this means in plain English is that effector cells trigger an innate response that is quicker and more durable, whereas memory response requires an adaptive mode that is slower to respond. Natural immunity conveys much more innate immunity, while the vaccine mainly stimulates adaptive immunity.

Read the 15 studies here:

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The importance of ACLS certification can’t be overstated. Our lives and the lives of those we care about may depend on it. The American Heart Association’s Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) course is designed for healthcare professionals who provide emergency treatment to victims of sudden cardiac arrest or stopped breathing, as well as other life-threatening emergencies. This certification consists of a two-day class followed by an online test and hands-on skills practice, which must be completed within one year. Now more than ever, it’s important to know that you’re ready with lifesaving knowledge and skills in case tragedy strikes our family or community.

1. What is Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)

The Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) course is designed for healthcare professionals who provide emergency treatment to victims of sudden cardiac arrest or stopped breathing, as well as other life-threatening emergencies. This certification consists of a two-day class followed by an online test that you can take at, and hands-on skills practice, which must be completed within one year. Now more than ever, it’s important to know that you’re ready with lifesaving knowledge and skills in case tragedy strikes your family or community.

2. Why Is ACLS Certification So Important

There are many reasons why obtaining the ACLS certification is so important. The first reason is that it provides you with the knowledge and hands-on skills to help people who are suffering from cardiac arrest or other life-threatening emergencies. The American Heart Association has compiled a comprehensive two-day course that doctors, nurses, paramedics, EMTs, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, dentists/oral surgeons, medical students, and many others have come to rely on. The course provides a minimum of 32 hours of instruction, including both didactic and skills practice sessions, which is the national standard for advanced cardiac training in many healthcare professions.

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There are many steps you need to take in order to become an ACLS Certified Healthcare Professional:

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4. Why It Is Important To Keep Your Certification Up-To-Date

The American Heart Association updates its guidelines for resuscitation periodically, which means you may be required to participate in a re-certification course every two years or so to ensure your knowledge is up-to-date with the latest guidelines. As a certified healthcare professional, keeping your certification up-to-date will not only help others if needed but also gives you peace of mind that you’re ready for anything.

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Its own in-depth research shows a significant teen mental-health issue that Facebook plays down in public.

-This is an excerpt from the Wall Street Journal

About a year ago, teenager Anastasia Vlasova started seeing a therapist. She had developed an eating disorder, and had a clear idea of what led to it: her time on Instagram.

She joined the platform at 13, and eventually was spending three hours a day entranced by the seemingly perfect lives and bodies of the fitness influencers who posted on the app.

“When I went on Instagram, all I saw were images of chiseled bodies, perfect abs and women doing 100 burpees in 10 minutes,” said Ms. Vlasova, now 18, who lives in Reston, Va.

Around that time, researchers inside Instagram, which is owned by Facebook Inc., were studying this kind of experience and asking whether it was part of a broader phenomenon. Their findings confirmed some serious problems.

“Thirty-two percent of teen girls said that when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse,” the researchers said in a March 2020 slide presentation posted to Facebook’s internal message board, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. “Comparisons on Instagram can change how young women view and describe themselves.”

For the past three years, Facebook has been conducting studies into how its photo-sharing app affects its millions of young users. Repeatedly, the company’s researchers found that Instagram is harmful for a sizable percentage of them, most notably teenage girls.

“We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls,” said one slide from 2019, summarizing research about teen girls who experience the issues.

“Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression,” said another slide. “This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups.”

Among teens who reported suicidal thoughts, 13% of British users and 6% of American users traced the desire to kill themselves to Instagram, one presentation showed.

Ms. Vlasova traced her eating disorder to Instagram.PHOTO: HANNAH YOON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Expanding its base of young users is vital to the company’s more than $100 billion in annual revenue, and it doesn’t want to jeopardize their engagement with the platform.

More than 40% of Instagram’s users are 22 years old and younger, and about 22 million teens log onto Instagram in the U.S. each day, compared with five million teens logging onto Facebook, where young users have been shrinking for a decade, the materials show.

On average, teens in the U.S. spend 50% more time on Instagram than they do on Facebook.

“Instagram is well positioned to resonate and win with young people,” said a researcher’s slide posted internally. Another post said: “There is a path to growth if Instagram can continue their trajectory.”

In public, Facebook has consistently played down the app’s negative effects on teens, and hasn’t made its research public or available to academics or lawmakers who have asked for it.

“The research that we’ve seen is that using social apps to connect with other people can have positive mental-health benefits,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at a congressional hearing in March 2021 when asked about children and mental health.

In May, Instagram head Adam Mosseri told reporters that research he had seen suggests the app’s effects on teen well-being is likely “quite small.”

In a recent interview, Mr. Mosseri said: “In no way do I mean to diminish these issues.…Some of the issues mentioned in this story aren’t necessarily widespread, but their impact on people may be huge.”


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He said he believes Facebook was late to realizing there were drawbacks to connecting people in such large numbers. “I’ve been pushing very hard for us to embrace our responsibilities more broadly,” he said.

He said the research into the mental-health effects on teens was valuable, and that Facebook employees ask tough questions about the platform. “For me, this isn’t dirty laundry. I’m actually very proud of this research,” he said.

Some features of Instagram could be harmful to some young users, and they aren’t easily addressed, he said. He added: “There’s a lot of good that comes with what we do.”

What Facebook knows

The Instagram documents form part of a trove of internal communications reviewed by the Journal, on areas including teen mental health, political discourse and human trafficking. They offer an unparalleled picture of how Facebook is acutely aware that the products and systems central to its business success routinely fail.

The documents also show that Facebook has made minimal efforts to address these issues and plays them down in public.

The company’s research on Instagram, the deepest look yet at what the tech giant knows about its impact on teens and their mental well-being, represents one of the clearest gaps revealed in the documents between Facebook’s understanding of itself and its public position.

Its effort includes focus groups, online surveys and diary studies in 2019 and 2020. It also includes large-scale surveys of tens of thousands of people in 2021 that paired user responses with Facebook’s own data about how much time users spent on Instagram and what they saw there.

from the files

from the files

from the files

Source: 2019 Instagram slide presentation called ‘Teen Mental Health Deep Dive’

The researchers are Facebook employees in areas including data science, marketing and product development who work on a range of issues related to how users interact with the platform. Many have backgrounds in computer science, psychology and quantitative and qualitative analysis.

In five presentations over 18 months to this spring, the researchers conducted what they called a “teen mental health deep dive” and follow-up studies.

They came to the conclusion that some of the problems were specific to Instagram, and not social media more broadly. That is especially true concerning so-called social comparison, which is when people assess their own value in relation to the attractiveness, wealth and success of others.

“Social comparison is worse on Instagram,” states Facebook’s deep dive into teen girl body-image issues in 2020, noting that TikTok, a short-video app, is grounded in performance, while users on Snapchat, a rival photo and video-sharing app, are sheltered by jokey filters that “keep the focus on the face.” In contrast, Instagram focuses heavily on the body and lifestyle.

The features that Instagram identifies as most harmful to teens appear to be at the platform’s core.

The tendency to share only the best moments, a pressure to look perfect and an addictive product can send teens spiraling toward eating disorders, an unhealthy sense of their own bodies and depression, March 2020 internal research states. It warns that the Explore page, which serves users photos and videos curated by an algorithm, can send users deep into content that can be harmful.

“Aspects of Instagram exacerbate each other to create a perfect storm,” the research states.

The research has been reviewed by top Facebook executives, and was cited in a 2020 presentation given to Mr. Zuckerberg, according to the documents.

At a congressional hearing this March, Mr. Zuckerberg defended the company against criticism from lawmakers about plans to create a new Instagram product for children under 13. When asked if the company had studied the app’s effects on children, he said, “I believe the answer is yes.”

In August, Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Marsha Blackburn in a letter to Mr. Zuckerberg called on him to release Facebook’s internal research on the impact of its platforms on youth mental health.

In response, Facebook sent the senators a six-page letter that didn’t include the company’s own studies. Instead, Facebook said there are many challenges with conducting research in this space, saying, “We are not aware of a consensus among studies or experts about how much screen time is ‘too much,’ ” according to a copy of the letter reviewed by the Journal.

Facebook also told the senators that its internal research is proprietary and “kept confidential to promote frank and open dialogue and brainstorming internally.”

A Facebook spokeswoman said the company welcomed productive collaboration with Congress and would look for opportunities to work with external researchers on credible studies.

“Facebook’s answers were so evasive—failing to even respond to all our questions—that they really raise questions about what Facebook might be hiding,” Sen. Blumenthal said in an email. “Facebook seems to be taking a page from the textbook of Big Tobacco—targeting teens with potentially dangerous products while masking the science in public.”

Mr. Mosseri said in the recent interview, “We don’t send research out to regulators on a regular basis for a number of reasons.” He added Facebook should figure out a way to share high-level overviews of what the company is learning, and that he also wanted to give external researchers access to Facebook’s data.

He said the company’s plan for the Instagram kids product, which state attorneys general have objected to, is still in the works.

When told of Facebook’s internal research, Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University who has published research finding that social media is harmful for some kids, said it was a potential turning point in the discussion about how social media affects teens.

“If you believe that R.J. Reynolds should have been more truthful about the link between smoking and lung cancer, then you should probably believe that Facebook should be more upfront about links to depression among teen girls,” she said.

Race for teen users

When Facebook paid $1 billion for Instagram in 2012, it was a tiny startup with 13 employees and already a hit. That year, Facebook for the first time had observed a decline in the number of teens using its namesake Facebook product, according to the documents. The company would come to see Instagram as Facebook’s best bet for growth among teens.

Facebook had been tracking the rise of buzzy features on competitor apps, including Snapchat, and in 2016 directed employees to focus on winning what they viewed as a race for teen users, according to former Instagram executives.

Instagram made photos the app’s focus, with filters that made it easy for users to edit images. It later added videos, feeds of algorithmically chosen content and tools that touched up people’s faces.

Before long, Instagram became the online equivalent of the high-school cafeteria: a place for teens to post their best photos, find friends, size each other up, brag and bully.

Facebook’s research indicates Instagram’s effects aren’t harmful for all users. For most teenagers, the effects of “negative social comparison” are manageable and can be outweighed by the app’s utility as a fun way for users to express themselves and connect with friends, the research says.

Destinee Ramos, left, and Isabel Yoblonski said the obsessive use of Instagram had potential health drawbacks.PHOTO: LIANNE MILTON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

But a mounting body of Facebook’s own evidence shows Instagram can be damaging for many.

In one study of teens in the U.S. and U.K., Facebook found that more than 40% of Instagram users who reported feeling “unattractive” said the feeling began on the app. About a quarter of the teens who reported feeling “not good enough” said the feeling started on Instagram. Many also said the app undermined their confidence in the strength of their friendships.

Instagram’s researchers noted that those struggling with the platform’s psychological effects weren’t necessarily logging off. Teens regularly reported wanting to spend less time on Instagram, the presentations note, but lacked the self control to do so.

“Teens told us that they don’t like the amount of time they spend on the app but feel like they have to be present,” an Instagram research manager explained to colleagues, according to the documents. “They often feel ‘addicted’ and know that what they’re seeing is bad for their mental health but feel unable to stop themselves.”

During the isolation of the pandemic, “if you wanted to show your friends what you were doing, you had to go on Instagram,” said Destinee Ramos, 17, of Neenah, Wis. “We’re leaning towards calling it an obsession.”

Ms. Ramos and her friend Isabel Yoblonski, 18, believed this posed a potential health problem to their community, so they decided to survey their peers as a part of a national science competition. They found that of the 98 students who responded, nearly 90% said social media negatively affected their mental health.

Ms. Yoblonski and Ms. Ramos took a selfie. PHOTOS: LIANNE MILTON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

In focus groups, Instagram employees heard directly from teens who were struggling. “I felt like I had to fight to be considered pretty or even visible,” one teen said of her experience on Instagram.

After looking through photos on Instagram, “I feel like I am too big and not pretty enough,” another teen told Facebook’s researchers. “It makes me feel insecure about my body even though I know I am skinny.”

“For some people it might be tempting to dismiss this as teen girls being sad,” said Dr. Twenge. But “we’re looking at clinical-level depression that requires treatment. We’re talking about self harm that lands people in the ER.”

‘Kick in the gut’

Eva Behrens, a 17-year-old student at Redwood High School in Marin County, Calif., said she estimates half the girls in her grade struggle with body-image concerns tied to Instagram. “Every time I feel good about myself, I go over to Instagram, and then it all goes away,” she said.

When her classmate Molly Pitts, 17, arrived at high school, she found her peers using Instagram as a tool to measure their relative popularity. Students referred to the number of followers their peers had as if the number was stamped on their foreheads, she said.

Now, she said, when she looks at her number of followers on Instagram, it is most often a “kick in the gut.”

For years, there has been little debate among medical doctors that for some patients, Instagram and other social media exacerbate their conditions. Angela Guarda, director for the eating-disorders program at Johns Hopkins Hospital and an associate professor of psychiatry in the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, said it is common for her patients to say they learned from social media tips for how to restrict food intake or purge. She estimates that Instagram and other social-media apps play a role in the disorders of about half her patients.

“It’s the ones who are most vulnerable or are already developing a problem—the use of Instagram and other social media can escalate it,” she said.

Lindsay Dubin, 19, recently wanted to exercise more. She searched Instagram for workouts and found some she liked. Since then the app’s algorithm has filled her Explore page with photos of how to lose weight, the “ideal” body type and what she should and shouldn’t be eating. “I’m pounded with it every time I go on Instagram,” she said.

Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business and co-author of the bestseller “The Coddling of the American Mind,” has been concerned about the effects of social media on teens since he started studying it in 2015. He has twice spoken with Mr. Zuckerberg about Facebook’s effects on teen mental health, the first time after the CEO reached out in 2019.

Mr. Zuckerberg indicated that on the issues of political polarization and teen mental health, he believed that the research literature was contradictory and didn’t point clearly to any harmful causal effects, according to Mr. Haidt. He said he felt Mr. Zuckerberg at the time was “a partisan, but curious.”

“I asked Mark to help us out as parents,” he said. “Mark said he was working on it.”

Lindsay Dubin found that in two minutes of watching Instagram stories, she saw 33 stories of accounts she follows as well as these 14 ads, many of which were focused on physical appearances.

In January 2020, Facebook invited Mr. Haidt to its Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters, where Mr. Mosseri and Instagram staff briefed him on the platform’s efforts to combat bullying and reduce social pressure on the platform. Mr. Haidt said he found those efforts sincere and laudable but warned that they likely weren’t enough to battle what he believes is a mounting public-health epidemic.

“It was not suggested to me that they had internal research showing a problem,” he said.

The Facebook spokeswoman declined to comment on the interaction.

Some Instagram researchers said it was challenging to get other colleagues to hear the gravity of their findings. Plus, “We’re standing directly between people and their bonuses,” one former researcher said.

Instead of referencing their own data showing the negative effects of Instagram, Facebook executives in public have often pointed to studies from the Oxford Internet Institute that have shown little correlation between social-media use and depression.

Other studies also found discrepancies between the amount of time people say they use social media and the amount of time they actually use such services. Mr. Mosseri has pointed to these studies as evidence for why research using self-reported data might not be accurate.

Facebook has in the past been a donor to a researcher at the Oxford institute, which is part of the research and teaching department of Britain’s Oxford University.

Oxford’s lead researcher on the studies, Andrew Przybylski, who said he didn’t receive funding from Facebook, said companies like Facebook need to be more open about their research. “The data exists within the tech industry,” he said. “Scientists just need to be able to access it for neutral and independent investigation.”

In an interview, Mr. Przybylski said, “People talk about Instagram like it’s a drug. But we can’t study the active ingredient.”A recent experience on Ms. Dubin’s Explore page, which is filled with photos and videos curated by Instagram’s algorithm.

Facebook executives have struggled to find ways to reduce Instagram’s harm while keeping people on the platform, according to internal presentations on the topic.

For years, Facebook experimented with hiding the tallies of “likes” that users see on their photos. Teens told Facebook in focus groups that “like” counts caused them anxiety and contributed to their negative feelings.

When Facebook tested a tweak to hide the “likes” in a pilot program they called Project Daisy, it found it didn’t improve life for teens. “We didn’t observe movements in overall well-being measures,” Facebook employees wrote in a slide they presented to Mr. Zuckerberg about the experiment in 2020.

Nonetheless, Facebook rolled out the change as an option for Facebook and Instagram users in May 2021 after senior executives argued to Mr. Zuckerberg that it could make them look good by appearing to address the issue, according to the documents.

“A Daisy launch would be received by press and parents as a strong positive indication that Instagram cares about its users, especially when taken alongside other press-positive launches,” Facebook executives wrote in a discussion about how to present their findings to Mr. Zuckerberg.

When Facebook rolled out Project Daisy, Mr. Mosseri acknowledged publicly that the feature didn’t actually change much about how users felt.

In the interview, he said he doesn’t think there are clear-cut solutions to fixing Instagram. He said he is cautiously optimistic about tools Instagram is developing to identify people who are in trouble and to try to “nudge” them toward more positive content.

Facebook made two researchers available to discuss their work. They said they are also testing a way to ask users if they want to take a break from Instagram. Part of the challenge, the researchers said, is they struggle to determine which users face the greatest risk. The researchers also said that the causality of some of their findings was unclear, and noted some of the studies had small sample sizes.

Sylvia Colt-Lacayo at her childhood home in Oakland, Calif., last month.PHOTO: TALIA HERMAN FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

“I think anything and everything should be on the table,” Mr. Mosseri said. “But we have to be honest and embrace that there’s trade-offs here. It’s not as simple as turning something off and thinking it gets better, because often you can make things worse unintentionally.”

Zeroed in on selfies

In the internal documents, Facebook’s researchers also suggested Instagram could surface “fun” filters rather than ones around beautification. They zeroed in on selfies, particularly filtered ones that allow users to touch-up their faces. “Sharing or viewing filtered selfies in stories made people feel worse,” the researchers wrote in January.

Sylvia Colt-Lacayo, a 20-year-old at Stanford University, said she recently tried out a face filter that thinned her cheeks and made them pink. But then Ms. Colt-Lacayo realized the filter had minimized her cheeks that she inherited from her Nicaraguan father, and made them look more European. That gave her “a bitter taste in my mouth,” she said.

Ms. Colt-Lacayo uses a wheelchair, and in the past Instagram made her feel like she didn’t look the way she was supposed to, or do the things that other teen girls on the app were doing, she said.

Ms. Colt-Lacayo’s selfie, which she put through an Instagram filter.PHOTO: SYLVIA COLT-LACAYO

She said she began following people who use wheelchairs, or who are chronically ill or refer to other disabilities, and the platform became a place she could see images of older disabled people just being happy.

In March, the researchers said Instagram should reduce exposure to celebrity content about fashion, beauty and relationships, while increasing exposure to content from close friends, according to a slide deck they uploaded to Facebook’s internal message board.

A current employee, in comments on the message board, questioned that idea, saying celebrities with perfect lives were key to the app. “Isn’t that what IG is mostly about?” he wrote. Getting a peek at “the (very photogenic) life of the top 0.1%? Isn’t that the reason why teens are on the platform?”

A now-former executive questioned the idea of overhauling Instagram to avoid social comparison. “People use Instagram because it’s a competition,” the former executive said. “That’s the fun part.”

To promote more positive use of Instagram, the company has partnered with nonprofits to promote what it calls “emotional resilience,” according to the documents. Videos produced as part of that effort include recommending that teens consider daily affirmations to remind themselves that “I am in control of my experience on Instagram.”

Facebook’s researchers identified the over-sexualization of girls as something that weighs on the mental health of the app’s users. Shevon Jones, a licensed clinical social worker based in Atlanta, said this can affect Black girls especially because people often assume Black girls are older than they are and critique the bodies of Black girls more frequently.

“What girls often see on social media are girls with slimmer waists, bigger butts and hips, and it can lead them to have body image issues,” Ms. Jones said. “It’s a very critical time and they are trying to figure out themselves and everything around them.”

Teen boys aren’t immune. In the deep dive Facebook’s researchers conducted into mental health in 2019, they found that 14% of boys in the U.S. said Instagram made them feel worse about themselves. In their report on body image in 2020, Facebook’s researchers found that 40% of teen boys experience negative social comparison.

“I just feel on the edge a lot of the time,” a teen boy in the U.S. told Facebook’s researchers. “It’s like you can be called out for anything you do. One wrong move. One wrong step.”

Many of the teens interviewed for this article said they didn’t want Instagram to disappear. Ms. Vlasova, who no longer uses Instagram, said she is skeptical Facebook’s executives have tried hard enough to make their platform less toxic.

“I had to live with my eating disorder for five years, and people on Instagram are still suffering,” she said.

Ms. Vlasova said she no longer uses Instagram.PHOTO: HANNAH YOON FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

—Design by Andrew Levinson.

the facebook files

A WSJ series offering an unparalleled look inside the social-media giant’s failings—and its unwillingness or inability to address them: VIEW THE FULL SERIES

A resume is a key that can get you your desired job. This document is your representation in front of the hiring manager. Now you must know that the first impression should be very powerful on the minds of HR, which today is possible with the help of an attractive resume. Looks matter a lot when it comes to creating a powerful resume.

If you don’t know how to create a powerful and inviting resume, you should read this article. In this article, we have discussed how your resume should look like in today’s times!

Features of a good looking resume that you should focus on!

Here are some of the features of a good-looking resume that you should religiously consider while creating yours.

●     Resume should have a good font style

A resume is based on textual information, and so you have to make sure that the textual presentation is up to the mark. You can make a good impression on the mind of the recruiter by simply improvising your font style. The best way to highlight your resume in front of the recruiter is by making it easy to read. The hiring team would only be interested in your resume if it has an elegant, clear, and formal font style. The font size on the resume should not be more than 10 and 12 pt. Also, know that consistency is very important in a resume. After selecting the font style, you have to stick to it in the whole document.

●     The resume should be evenly margined on all sides

Another important feature related to the look of the resume is optimizing the resume margins. We have seen many newbie applicants play with their resume margins to make them funky. Well, you must understand that a resume is an utmost professional document. So you have to make sure it is well-aligned. The resume margins should be the same on all sides, and the ideal size should be one inch from the borders. You can also check resume margin examples by using resume builder online tools.

●     The resume should have consistent line spacing

Now another important element related to the outlook of a resume is the line spacing. The spaces between each line on the resume should be single or 1.15 in all sections. Uneven line spacing can ruin the look of the resume and can give an unprofessional outlook. You might not have to worry about the line spacing of the resume if you are using resume templates offered by online resume maker tools.

●     The resume should have highlighted section headings

Your resume should speak for its contents. By highlighting all the sections in the resume, you can easily attract the recruiter to go through your details. You can highlight sections by making the headings of the sections slightly bigger than the rest of the text. You can also write the headings in all CAPS. You can take an idea of optimizing the headings by seeing the resume templates using free resume builder tools.

●     Leave enough white space on the resume

If you are using a resume builder tool to make your resume, you would see that all of the templates offered by these tools would have enough blank or white space. Stuffing the resume with unnecessary information and overloading it with text will piss off the recruiter. This is why you need to provide a breathing space to the viewer with the help of white space.

●     Never add graphic content in resumes

Today things have become much more advanced. Recruiters would first scan your resume with the ATS scanning system to check whether the doc has the information that aligns with their requirements. Adding images can fail the ATS scan and can get your resume rejected. So you should never add images or photos to your resume.

●     Keep the resume to one page

The ideal-looking resume is the one that is based on only one page. A single-page resume interests the recruiter most, and so you should make your resume doc clear, straightforward, and relevant to the job you are applying for. Single page resume is best for newbie applicants or the ones who have a few years of experience. A highly experienced applicant can use a two-page resume to highlight their work experience and skills. A resume builder tool can suggest the ideal page length and template that can cater to your personal and professional details.

What are the elements of a standard resume template?

While creating a resume from scratch or using a resume builder tool, you have to make sure that you focus on adding all the important elements. We have listed the elements of a standard template in the order you have to list them in the CV.

  1. First comes the resume heading, which would include your personal contact information.
  2. Then comes the summary of your qualifications or a well-written career objective.
  3. After that, you have to list out your work experience under a proper heading.
  4. After work experience, you can tell them about your education in detail.
  5. After education comes professional and personal skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for.
  6. In the extra sections, you can add awards, certifications, and interests!

After reading this article, you will know how a professional resume looks and how you can create one for your job application.

We would like to share our (10+ years of) experience on bringing students through the famous ´AIDA´ process (Awareness – Interest- Desire and Action), i.e. in simple Student Recruitment terms that the Right students find you, qualifying them, get those matching to apply and actually enroll :). As we helped hundreds of universities and business schools from more than 50 different countries recruit new international students, we can boil it down to 4 steps:

The 4 unique steps to bring student conversations to conversions:

1. IP-GeoTargeting: all Marketing starts with defining your Strategy and your goal, i.e. besides Channels you need to know your audience. Only when connecting the right student to the right program you ensure everybody is happy  This starts with targeting the right markets. IP-GeoTargeting is a good way to do this (amongst other tactics). We do this via an actual website-filter (similar to Netflix, who decides what you see in which country), so our large traffic of students through >230k followers in Social media as well as organic/ blogs and partners gets routed to the right information for them. So that brings me to the next point of actually driving quality traffic:

2. Quality-content: perhaps one of the most important but time-consuming steps in Student Recruitment is creating content. From website- and program information to insights, blogs and videos, student-testimonials and webinars etc. Where do you start? Well, although all of the above are key, you might not have the budget to do everything yourself. Here is where outsourcing could actually give a better ROI. Nevertheless, the content needs to still be authentic, resonate with your audience and have CTAs (Call-To-Actions). You can check out what some Universities are doing here. 

To give you already some more insights here are some of our tips when creating content:

  • GIFs: although a pictures says more than a thousand words, a video does even more. However these can be either too large, not fit for your purpose or too long for your (short attention-span) student. In our experience a GIF i.e. moving image, can be a great option providing the best of both worlds.
  • Student-led: instead of spending hours of your staff and budget, get to the source of the real student-experience: your own students! They are often on Instagram/ YouTube etc. spitting out content every day. Get them involved and that way get actual first-hand, authentic content from social media to blogs and webinars.
  • Webinars: as mentioned before, we would like to highlight this unique channel as webinars offer a unique mix between being live, interactive & engaging as well as on-demand video-like content. Important is to follow some simple rules: not too long, interactive (polling/ CTAs), engaging (videos/ stories/ students) and easy to use (no plug-ins to download, unlike Zoom(!), clear interface and focus on On-demand functionality).

3. Qualification: a key step in the process is to qualify the students who show an interest. Once you have created good quality content and have traffic driving to your program-pages, you need to qualify and ensure the right students end up in the right programs for them. We identified basically 2 ways to do this: first to ensure you have detailed registration-pages where students leave their details (can be to request more info, brochures, webinars etc.). This is the moment to get good data i.e. as much insight as realistically possible, without becoming annoying, as it allows you to qualify the students. We ask questions such as: When do you want to start your study, what is your background, why do you want to study this or that, English-level, can you financially support this program etc. As you see many questions, which are however key and of course which ones depends on your channel and goals.

Secondly, we actually call students in person to qualify and check the quality of the students in terms of their background, interest-, English-level etc. and verify if they match the webinar i.e. program they are looking to apply for.

Web2Present Update: Now you can integrate your University’s CRM System with our webinars!

4. Conversion: As we like to say `conversations lead to conversions´, we mean this in all ways, i.e. from your website-/ social media- and other communication ´conversations´ towards getting in touch with the students. This last step we do via both technology, emails, bots, especially webinars (incl. polling) but also actual personal calls to especially students who are ready to apply. This last one is definitely far under-utilized in most Universities, which we understand as it takes a lot of time and people-resources. Therefore, again, outsourcing could be an option, whilst still collaborating to ensure a quality-control.


Whether it is Targeting and filtering the right students, creating the right quality content or qualifying and converting the students to apply, and ultimately enroll, make sure to have technology help you. We give you just a brief list of useful tools that can make your life easier, as we know it does ours, but do let us know any comments below on your tools, tactics and experience in this –  as sharing is caring!

Here are some of our insider tips to qualifying and converting students in Student Recruitment:

  • A good CRM: key to monitor your leads and traffic. We like Hubspot.
  • Canva: a great, easy tool to create quality content. Their library has lots of pìctures/ videos, but just as easy mix and upload your own with great templates to work from. Also converts easily to GIFs!
  • Facebook/ IG advertising: a no-brainer to use, but are you filtering enough by background/ interest of your target-audience? Do you meet new iOS and Privacy criteria? Is your reach sufficent to attract enough qualified leads and optimize your budget?
  • Linkedin-groups: although advertising on Linkedin can definitely work for especially Master/ MBA programs, we established partnership with huge interest-groups (of often up to 100k) who can promote on our behalf.
  • Webinars: although already mentioned before, live/ on-demand webinars offer a unique mix between interactive, engaging content through CTAs, videos, personal (student) stories and its on-demand benefits, as long as you pick the right platform with preferably no plug-ins to download (unlike Zoom(!) for optimal mobile-friendliness and a clear interface with On-demand benefits: just get in touch and we can advise 🙂
  • Partnerships: don´t try to do everything yourself. Just as you likely have partner-universities you work with, and can use to share/ co-create content etc., we do so by using local partner-websites. Not only we then find the students where they look for information, we also save hugely on time and cost and in turn improve your ROI! 🙂

We hope you found this useful, contact us if you would like to know more or do let us know your feedback in the comment-section.

Life insurance medical exams can be very daunting, especially if you’ve never had one before. A life insurance exam will typically be arranged and handled by a third-party service. Once you’ve applied for life insurance, the third-party service will reach out to you and arrange a date for your exam. Ordinarily, the exam would take place at your work or in your home. Because of the pandemic, you will probably have to attend an exam center, where social distancing can be observed.

This article will tell you what you can expect to happen at your life insurance exam:

Identity Check

The first check you’ll undergo after your arrival at the exam center isn’t a health test, but an identity check. This is to make sure that you aren’t sending somebody in your place, who is in better health. Surprisingly, this used to happen quite a lot. At the identity check, you will have to present a driver’s license or a passport. You might also have to answer some questions about yourself, such as your phone number, birth date, email address, and home address. It might be worth attending a free life insurance practice test to familiarize yourself with the process. The organization arranging your exam will notify you of which documents are required when they invite you for your exam.

Blood Sample

The organization responsible for handling your life insurance exam will want to take a blood sample so that they can test for any infections, illnesses, deficiencies, or indicators of disease. Your blood sample results won’t come back instantly. They generally take a week or so to process. They will also check your cholesterol levels and your blood sugar levels. If you have high blood sugar levels, it could indicate diabetes, which means that you might not be able to get life insurance. The blood test will also check how your liver and kidneys are functioning.

Urine Sample

Urine tests are performed to check for infections (like urinary tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases). They’re also used to check for protein in your urine, which could be a consequence of kidney damage. If proteins are present in your urine, the organization will likely refer you to another healthcare provider for further tests. When you arrive, the receptionist will probably give you the sample jar and a brown bag. It’s good to get this done before you see the doctor so that you don’t waste time. Make sure you drink plenty of water beforehand.

Height Measurement

The doctor seeing you will measure your height. Your height is used in combination with your weight to calculate your body mass index (BMI). If your BMI is too high, you might still be able to get life insurance. This is because BMI doesn’t take fat distribution into account, which is the most important factor. High fat doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re unhealthy, because not all body fat is the same. Additionally, BMI doesn’t take sex and age into account. BMI also doesn’t differentiate between fat and muscle.

Weight Check

As we mentioned a moment ago, they will check your height and your weight to calculate your BMI. If you are overweight, you might struggle to get life insurance. This is because being overweight leads to health problems, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure (which can be caused by stress), high cholesterol and atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, asthma, and strokes. If you’re overweight, it’s worth getting out and exercising before your exam. Bringing your weight down before your exam can help you to pass it, and ultimately get life insurance.

Pulse Check

The doctor will also check your pulse, usually using a pulse oximeter. If they don’t have a working pulse oximeter (which is unlikely) then they might do it by hand with a stopwatch. Your pulse is checked to see how your heart is working. Your pulse rate indicates how well your heart is pumping blood around your body. If you have an irregular, rapid, or slow heartbeat, then the doctor could forward you on for further checks. All of these things can indicate some kind of problem with your heart.

Blood Pressure

A blood pressure check is a standard part of a life insurance exam. It’s very simple and will probably be the first thing that the doctor will do when you walk into the room. A blood pressure test will measure the pressure in your arteries, as your heart pumps. If your blood pressure is too high, it can put a strain on your blood vessels and organs like your heart, kidney, eyes, and brain. Constant high blood pressure can contribute to a multitude of health problems and lead to heart disease, strokes, and heart attacks. If you have persistent high blood pressure, you will probably not be able to get life insurance.


An ECG (electrocardiogram) is a test that’s conducted to check your heart’s rhythm and electrical activity. If your heart rate is too high (or too low) the doctor might do this. It’s not performed on everybody. Primarily, the test will be performed on seniors and people that want a large payout after their death. An ECG is when sensors are attached to your chest. The sensors detect electrical signals that are produced by your heart every single time that it beats. You should go to your appointment accepting that you might have to have an ECG performed, so dress appropriately.

Health Questions

After all of the aforementioned checks, the doctor will ask you a series of health questions. These health questions might not make sense or seem irrelevant, but they are designed to screen your risk for health problems. If you’re uncomfortable with the questions that the doctor is asking you, then you must bring this up with them at the time. Try to answer as many questions as you can, however. The quicker you answer the doctor’s questions, the quicker you will get a response about your life insurance.

If you’re wondering about what to expect from your life insurance test, then we don’t blame you. It can be very stressful preparing for one of these exams, which is why you should practice beforehand.

Young adults (ages 15–24) around the world are experiencing their second major global crisis within a decade:1 they entered youth in the throes of the financial crisis,2 and are now exiting at the outset of a pandemic not seen in generations. They will face serious challenges to their education, economic prospects and mental health.

The outlook for this generation had already been diminished by environmental degradation, rising inequality (of many types – gender, intergenerational, economic and ethnic), varying degrees of violence, and social disruption from the tech-enabled industrial transformation. While the digital leap forward (see Chapter 2, Error 404) unlocked opportunities for some youth, many are now entering the workforce in an employment ice age.

This is an excerpt from Source:

In May 2020, the World Economic Forum’s COVID-19 Risks Outlook warned of a “next lost generation”.3 According to the Global Risks Perception Survey (GRPS), “youth disillusionment” is a top neglected risk that will become a critical threat to the world over the next two years (see Figure II, Global Risks Landscape). For younger respondents to the GRPS—the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers—“youth disillusionment” is also a top blind spot (see Box 3.1). Hard-fought societal wins could be obliterated if the current generation lacks adequate pathways to educational and job opportunities.

Box 3.1: Risks Landscape 2021: The Global Shapers’ Perspective

The Global Shapers Community is the World Economic Forum’s network of young people driving dialogue, action and change. Their responses to the GRPS show higher aversion to risks than the multistakeholder sample (see Figure 3.1). There are some similarities, however: Global Shapers also rate climate-related risks as the most likely and most impactful long-term risks and “youth disillusionment” as a top global blind spot.

The Shapers’ perceptions of critical threats to the world show a telling pattern. They see personal risks as immediate threats, macro risks in the medium term and fundamental geopolitical risks in the long term.

Top risks by horizon

  • Short term (0–2 years): “mental health deterioration”, “livelihood crises” and “infectious diseases”
  • Medium term (3–5 years): “IT infrastructure breakdown”, “resource geopolitization”, “price instability”, and “asset bubble burst”
  • Long term (5–10 years): “weapons of mass destruction”, “multilateralism collapse” and “state collapse”

Top blind spots

  • “Climate action failure”, “mental health deterioration” and “youth disillusionment”

A scarred generation

Today’s youth already bear the scars of a decade-long financial crisis, an outdated education system, and an entrenched climate crisis, as well as violence in many places.

Growing disparities
Global fiscal policies following the Great Recession led to unequal prosperity gains across societies and generations. Large-scale financial stimulus packages were insufficient for younger generations to regain their footing, and austerity measures hampered investment in education, narrowing an important channel of mobility. As a result, many young people have lingered in precarious service jobs that are vulnerable to major shocks. Pre-COVID, children and youths accounted for two-thirds of the global poor.4 COVID-19 has severely worsened this situation.5 While the share of youth is expected to increase across Africa—where the median age currently stands at just 19.7 years—and Oceania, Europe and South-East Asia will see declines in their youth populations by 2050,6 adding to the demographic challenges of unemployment and ageing in those regions.

Regional inequalities persist beyond fundamental economics; these disparities are visible in access to education, health systems, social security and protection from violence and conflict. Pre-pandemic, almost 44% of girls and 34% of boys from the poorest strata of society did not complete primary school.7 In recent years, gains in youth retention rates have slowed.8 Health has also deteriorated for youth: non-communicable diseases—which carry long-term health risks through adulthood and older age—grew starkly among adolescents, and more young people are facing the effects of overburdened health systems in their countries.9

Violence compounds these structural challenges. Decade-long conflicts hampered youth prospects in Central Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and West and Central Africa. As a result, a record number of children and youths are now among the world’s refugees.10 In advanced economies, youths are beleaguered by threats of gun violence, domestic terrorism and deep-running societal frictions that could escalate to more violence.

Youth disenfranchisement has been amplified by disappointment at the slow economic recovery from the 2008–2009 Financial Crisis, frustration at ostensibly corrupt and ineffective elites, and socio-economic fault lines that have exposed deep-rooted injustices. This discontent has been evidenced by the growing number of youth-led movements that have erupted in the past decade—among them the Arab Spring, global climate strikes, and civil rights movements seeking more social and racial equality.

Fragile education systems
The year 2020 saw unprecedented challenges to the global education system. During the first wave of pandemic lockdowns, 80% of students globally were out of school, as traditional classroom teaching was rendered mute. Despite worldwide adaptation for remote teaching via television, radio and internet,11 there were stark regional differences in capacity;12 at least 30% of the global student population lacked the technology to participate in digital and broadcast learning.13 While adaptive measures allowed schools to re-open eventually, many challenges remained throughout subsequent waves of COVID-19 because of ineffective or slow government responses.

School closures aggravated youth inequalities between and within societies because young women and those of disadvantaged socio-economic statues were hit hardest. Students in high-income households potentially benefited from more targeted and individualized learning arrangements,14 but resource-strapped youth struggled to participate in educational opportunities in the absence of digital connectivity, adult support or adequate space to study at home.15 For others, border closings complicated educational mobility.

Home schooling and home working increased household stress and the incidence of violence against young adults.16 In areas where school provides access to food and a safe space, school closures put students at higher risk of child labour, recruitment by organised crime,17 human trafficking,18 and gun violence.19 In the Sahel region in Africa—where schools were already under threat of violence—COVID-19 forced safe schools to close, leading to an increase in physical violations against children and recruitment into fighting.20

School closings have had devastating consequences on young women. Gender-based violence has increased globally during the pandemic,21 and rapes rose in advanced and developing countries alike.22 Teenage pregnancies are expected to increase, from Latin America to East Asia and Africa23—previous health crises suggest that some of these girls might be prevented from returning to school.24 Globally, COVID-19 and its “shadow pandemic” on girls and young women risk reversing 25 years’ worth of global gains in girls’ education,25 exposing girls to a higher chance of underage marriage.26

Employment turmoil
Although many economies recovered from the 2008–2009 Financial Crisis, those hit hardest by the Great Recession never did fully. As a result, youth unemployment has risen globally since 2008.27 National policies still fail to lift up youth in many cases. Weak structural transformations have largely failed to reduce stubbornly high, systemic youth unemployment, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa.28

The increase of unbound job schemes originating from the “gig” economy, unpaid or low-paid internships and continued high numbers of youth in the informal market have spurred young workers to jump between low-paid short-term jobs. At the same time, labour market distortions narrowed employment opportunities for young adults: a deficit of employment opportunities for highly educated youth in some sectors, and a “skills crisis” in others.29

Policy responses to COVID-19 further exacerbated the marginalization of young workers. The global economy plummeted in the second quarter of 2020 (see Chapter 1, Global Risks 2021), disproportionately affecting the incomes of young adults. In many economies, they were the first to lose their jobs to lockdowns. Many young adults work in the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic (see Table 3.1)—such as the service industry and manufacturing—often on part-time or temporary contracts with limited job protection.30 The informal sector, where almost 80% of the world’s young workers are employed, was particularly impacted.31 Altogether, the number of young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET), already at 21% in early 2020, is likely to rise in the coming year.32

Young adults’ employment prospects were being challenged by automation,33 as well as by disruption from the Fourth Industrial Revolution,34 before interrupted education opportunities and job losses set them further behind. Youth unemployment may increase across regions,35 given that more sectoral restructuring and shifting consumer habits (see Chapter 5, Imperfect Markets) are expected to trigger mass layoffs.36 Low-wage jobs—which could provide a safety net for young workers starting their careers—are also projected to decrease.37

Table 3.1: Global Estimates of Youth Employment in Hard-Hit COVID-19 Sectors

Source: ILO. 2020. ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work. Fourth edition. 27 May 2020. International Labour Organization. p. 2.—dgreports/—dcomm/documents/briefingnote/wcms_745963.pdf

Note: Impact ratings are based on the ILO’s assessment of real-time and financial data (see the second edition of the ILO Monitor, released on 7 April 2020), ILOSTAT baseline data on sectoral distribution of employment (ISIC Rev. 4) and ILO Harmonized Microdata.


Turbulent paths

“Pandemials” are at risk of becoming the double lost generation of the 21st century. Lack of opportunities for future economic, societal and political participation could have long-lasting global consequences.

A narrowing pathway for youth
Lockdowns may cause an education loss of at least one semester,38 which, like absenteeism, could affect future academic performance,39 increase dropout rates and induce riskier health behaviours.40 This could make it harder for students at the secondary and tertiary levels to acquire the necessary skills to pursue further education or vocational training, or even to secure entry-level jobs. And such further education or training is even more important for “jobs of the future”.41 Youth from low-income households are at risk of missing out on education altogether if they are sent to work rather than back to school.42

Young women face the risk of being kept out of school for household or agricultural work,43 not being able to finish their secondary education, or not being able to return to work after leaving during the pandemic for caregiving responsibilities;44 young men could face increased financial pressure in societies where they are the sole financial contributor of the household. A widening of educational, socio-economic and gender inequalities can be expected.

The 2008–2009 Financial Crisis has shown the persistence of youth unemployment—young adults have continuously struggled to integrate into and align their skills with a grim job market. This struggle can leave long-lasting marks on their livelihoods. As the world starts to recover from COVID-19, young adults are likely to face such challenges again, this time amplified by the world’s digital leap forward (see Chapter 2, Error 404). Entry-level jobs today require more skills than they did a decade ago,45 and, at the same time, there are fewer available because of automation.46

The consequences of rapidly changing markets (see Chapter 5, Imperfect Markets) make youth more vulnerable to unstable contracts, career instability and limited promotion prospects. This can lead to a higher risk that they will miss out on social safety benefits, job protection and re-skilling opportunities. More importantly, a stunted employment outlook complicates young people’s ability to consolidate economic capital and social mobility. Young students are expected to face increased debt burdens as student loans continue to reach record levels,47 and graduates entering the workforce in an economic crisis are more likely to earn less than their peers.48 For young workers, one month being unemployed at age 18–20 can cause a permanent income loss of 2% in the future.49 In economies where informal work is predominant—mostly because of high shares of agricultural and services industry professions—lack of social protection increases youth’s risk of sliding into poverty quickly. Malnutrition and poorer health are immediate effects of such a slide, but the consequences of youth entering into poverty would also cascade to their children.50


Fear, anger and backlash
Young people have become more and more vocal in the past decade, in the streets and in cyberspace. Their concern and proactivity with key issues such as economic hardship, persisting intergenerational inequality, failure in governance and rampant corruption is inspiring;51 but they have also expressed anger, disappointment and pessimism.52 The multitude of youth protests embody an increased sentiment of betrayal by the generation in power over insufficient action on social and climate justice, political change and corruption.53 COVID-19 has added a new criticality to youth disillusionment with their dire economic outlook, missed educational opportunities and disapproval of government emergency response.54 These confrontations and the associated potential disruptions could become constant if the underlying causes are left unaddressed.

Limited economic and educational prospects are likely to exacerbate youth frustrations. The compounding trends of lower intergenerational mobility and widening socio-economic inequalities, exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, have markedly deteriorated youth’s mental health. Loneliness and anxiety among youth in developed economies had already been described as an “epidemic”,55 but since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, mental health has deteriorated for 80% of children and young people across the globe.56

Such discontent risks exploitation by reactionary actors. Organised crime,57 extremist groups,58 and recruiters into armed conflicts59 could prey on a more vulnerable youth cohort with diminished job opportunities in developing countries.60 Prolonged lockdown loneliness and job loss stresses61—resulting in higher rates of depression, anxiety,62 and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)63—could make youths more susceptible to alluring but divisive ideas in developed economies.64 More radical youth movements could lead to heightened inter-generational tensions and deepen societal fragmentation along new fault lines. “Social cohesion erosion” compounded by “youth disillusionment”—critical short-term threats to the world in the GRPS—would challenge fragile national institutions or even destabilize political and economic systems altogether.

At the same time, dire prospects for economic and social mobility will likely force more young workers to migrate abroad in search of better opportunities—adding to the current 31 million youth migrants across the world.65 This would induce the real brain drain of the 21st century. However, young migrant workers could see such opportunities diminished if stricter migration policies implemented during the pandemic are slow to relax or become permanent in receiving countries (see Chapter 4, Middle Power Morass).

Passing the baton

The pandemic has exposed youth’s vulnerability to widespread economic and societal shocks. Political and economic systems will need to adapt globally to directly address youth’s needs and minimize the risk of a lost generation. Investment in improving education sectors and in upskilling and reskilling, ensuring adequate social protection schemes, closing the gender gap and addressing mental health scars should be at the centre of the recovery process.

New ways of learning have the potential to be more inclusive, adaptive and comprehensive, enabling students to develop 21st century skills such as creativity, innovation and advanced inter-personal skills. However, it is more critical than ever for the public and the private sector to invest jointly in ensuring connectivity for all youth. Given the fast-changing nature of the job market, more investment is also needed in vocational and on-the-job training. Investment in educational technology must be accompanied by adaptations of the physical educational infrastructure so schools can continue to offer in-person services while harnessing the potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. To be successful, schools must maintain their critical role in providing nutrition and physical and psychological health services, and in acting as safe havens for at-risk children and adolescents.

The current crisis has also revealed and exacerbated gender inequalities in education and work. Recognizing this gap is the first step in closing it. Schools and employers need to adopt measures to close the gender gap, such as adopting flexible and remote work, ensuring that young women can return to school or the workplace after lengthy absences for caregiving, and implementing support programmes for victims of gender-based violence.

The mental and physical health situations of youths need to be addressed from the outset of economic and societal recovery to minimize the yet-unknown long-term effects of the pandemic and its consequences. The digital leap forward and emerging digital tools can increase youth accessibility to support measures and reduce the stigmatization of mental health issues originating from these chaotic and uncertain times.66

Beyond these short-term investments, more needs to be done in the long run. Young people are demanding more egalitarian, equitable and sustainable societies, yet they continue to face unnecessary barriers and blocked pathways. Channels must be strengthened to enable youth to make their voices heard in all levels of government, on company boards and in multilateral organizations—which will in turn foster an intergenerational transfer of experience, knowledge and skills; serve as a bridge builder against societal frictions; and decrease youth frustrations. Youth must be guaranteed a say in the global recovery. Failure to ensure youth a seat at the table risks entire societal and economic systems being rejected by this generation.

Those in power must steward a global effort to open pathways for youth to acquire the necessary tools, skills and rights for a more sustainable post-pandemic world.

Figure 3.1: Risks Landscape 2021: The Global Shapers’ Perspective


What is your opinion on this topic? Comment and let us know!

What do you need to prepare before going to college? It’s a question that often gets asked and we’re here to answer it. One of the most important things is your budget, so be sure you have enough money for tuition and books. You should also plan out how many hours per day you will study (many students underestimate this). And don’t forget about your personal life; make plans with friends and family members when they can visit!

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1. What are your goals for college and why do you want to go there

First and foremost, prepare your goals. If you have a goal in mind, it’s much easier to prepare for college.

– Your reasons should come from deep inside of you and not just because everyone is going or that you feel pressured to go. It needs to be something that makes sense when looking back at it later on in life.

– Do some research about the colleges – what they offer, their ranking (if any), etc… Ask yourself if this school will help me achieve my ultimate goal (beyond making money).

– What is your financial situation

If you have a lot of money saved up, it’s easier to prepare as you can afford things like overseas trips for research purposes. But if not, try and find the cheapest way to prepare so that it doesn’t hinder other major life changes such as having kids or buying a house.

– Plan ahead: don’t delay anything until the last minute – even though college applications need time (esp. difficult ones), they will take up all of your free time and energy; therefore plan certain deadlines well in advance instead of cramming at the end when there are more important things happening.

2. Talk to people who have gone through the process of applying to colleges

Ask them about their experiences and what they wish they had known before going into the process. These people can be family or friends that have gone through the experience, as well as professionals who work in admissions for schools such as teachers, guidance counselors, etc.

This is one of the most important steps because you will learn a lot from those people who are already experienced with college life and know what to prepare yourself for! Plus you might even get some great advice on your essays if you need it to.

3. Research what’s required for the school you’re looking at

Making sure you can afford everything you need to prepare for college is the first step.  Researching the right university and realizing all of the things you’ll need once you get to college is the next step.

Research what a school will cost before applying, and prepare enough money for tuition, housing, food, and other expenses. Many schools require students living on campus to have a meal plan, so make sure that can be factored into your budget as well.

A very good way to start your research about type of study, country and university can be done through interactive Webinars. They have the benefit that you can get lots of information in a short time, hear/ ask questions from similar students like you and ask any doubts you may have (often even to students/ alumni who join!). You can start here:

4. Make a list of everything that will be needed in order to get into college

Realizing which items need to be purchased or prepared can prepare you for the expenses ahead. In order to make a list, check with your college as they should have many of these items listed on their website.

– Get rid of all unnecessary clutter from around the house and work area in general – this will prevent an overwhelming feeling when moving into a new space that is smaller than what was previously occupied.

– Create a budget based on research found online or through talking with parents about how much things cost where they went to school.

– Decide what kind of lifestyle one wants once going away to college – prepare yourself by exploring different options beforehand so any necessary purchases are not made too early without proper consideration,

– Create a list of all college necessities, including the type of food that will be eaten regularly.

– Think about how many hours per week are needed to prepare for homework and studying at home.

– Prepare your schedule in advance by planning out when assignments need to be completed. This is especially important before receiving syllabi from professors ahead of time – it can become quite stressful if too much work needs to get done within such a small amount of time.

5. Prepare financially by saving money or getting help from family members or scholarships

One of the most important things to prepare when going to college is how you will pay for it. It can be very expensive, so to be prepared for going to college, you also have to prepare financially by saving money or getting help from family members if they are able to do so. If not, there are scholarships out there that might be available specifically for students who want to go into certain professions like teaching or engineering.

–  If having a car on campus would make life easier while attending school, then get one before entering college!

– Also think about what classes you should take in high school and whether the teachers at your current high school give good enough advice that could impact these decisions (if this applies). You don’t necessarily have to worry too much about taking AP courses because some colleges only require two years of the same foreign language while others require more than that.

–  When it comes to deciding on what specific classes you should take, think about your future career so you can prepare yourself for the demands of your chosen profession!

6. Figure out how long it will take you to commute each day and plan accordingly

Last but not least, prepare for the time it will take to get to and from school. Depending on where your campus is located in relation to your home, you may have anywhere between a 15-minute walk or multiple-hour commute each day.

Plan accordingly so that you prepare yourself enough travel time each way! If not, then there’s nothing wrong with taking an Uber or Lyft (if legal) when necessary.

Getting into college is a big deal. It’s not just about academics anymore, it’s also about socializing and making friends as well as figuring out how to balance work-life while on campus. The best way to figure all of this out is by doing your homework! Once you’ve done that, there are some mistakes we want you to avoid when applying for colleges like expecting every school will accept the same test scores or grades (they won’t!), don’t forget things like tuition and housing fees, and make sure you’re prepared financially before beginning the process.

If you want to read about key benefits of applying early, check out this post here:

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