Do you see what I did there? This blog won’t be all about young people – quite the opposite. And it’s one of many revelations that Michael Young has shaped.
It’s a name I vaguely knew and now being a part of The Young Foundation’s Reimagining Rent accelerator programme I felt it was time to reflect on just how much of my life he has touched.
Having attended The School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) as part of their start-up and then scale-up programmes, I became aware of Michael Young. A Labour politician under Clement Atlee, he was a man with a lot of fingers in a lot of pies. When I think about how much SSE has shaped who I am today, can Michael have known just how many lives he touched?
Thanks to my time this year with The Young Foundation I’ve had revelations about the work we do and not needing to focus just on young people to have impact. SSE set the foundations for this iterative learning style and The Young Foundation are helping it to continue. It’s provided a clarity of vision, mission, purpose and with a renewed level of focus.
There are so many institutions that we have Michael to thank for, from The Open University to Language Line.
One of my personal favourites is Samizdat. As a graduate of Russian I was a particular fan of this ‘self-published’ movement. It enabled hitherto banned materials to be circulated in the Soviet Union. It was one of those words that used to crop up frequently in late night translation exercises!
I didn’t know of Michael Young’s involvement when I was an undergraduate or that he would keep cropping up in my life through the choices I made.
But I’m rather glad to have made his acquaintance and wish I could thank him.