LookUp and The Social Dilemma Announce Impact Partnership
A Call to Action for Youth-Led Solutions: How Gen Z is Balancing Tech's Promise and Peril FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: CONCORD, MA– A youth-led movement is building to address the root cause and negative effects of social media on the nation's youth. Two leading forces, LookUp, a youth-inspired social enterprise, and the Netflix Docu-drama, The Social Dilemma, are teaming up to embolden Gen Z to take action and pitch solutions via a StartUp Grant Competition and the Youth 4 Youth Summit, the latter of which will be held on October 24th. There is no doubt that technology has added considerable value to society, yet our society is becoming more and more tech-dependent, and it's backfiring. Young people are succumbing to the pressure of hyperconnectivity and the harmful effects of social media, which are fueling alarming rates of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Self-harm for girls aged 10-14, for example, that resulted in emergency department visits increased 189% between 2009 and 2015 [JAMA, 2017], and college students in one 2019 study reported feeling depressed (40%), hopeless (51%) and overwhelmingly anxious (60%) in the last 12 months [American College Health Association]. The Youth 4 Youth Summit and Startup Competition are designed to discover and bring young social innovators together to address these complex issues. Susan Reynolds, Co-Founder of LookUp, believes “those who grew up with the evolution of social media are best positioned to create the movement to shift social norms away from hyper-connectivity to a more humane and ‘real’ world.” Two teams in the StartUp Competition will win seed grants for $2,500 for designing solutions that realign technology with the interest of people not profits. They are also accepted into LookUp’s coveted Leadership Lab. The Youth 4 Youth Summit will convene and mobilize youth from across the globe for candid conversation about how youth can #resetech. Award-winning filmmaker, Jeff Orlowski, who directed The Social Dilemma and who will give the Summit keynote address - believes we should look beyond big tech for solutions. “There is a saying — a problem won't be solved by the same thinking that created it. And I do believe this is where greater diversity of perspective, greater diversity of awareness of how society functions and how humanity functions would inform better technology. Youth should have a voice in designing the technology of the future.” The Social Dilemma and LookUp share a vision that technology platforms should be designed to serve the interests of people, not profits - so young people can achieve deeper, more personal connections to their family, friends, and community. LookUp, a fast-growing nonprofit, seeds, supports, and amplifies youth-led innovations aimed at solving some of Gen Z's most troubling digitally-induced problems. It’s sole purpose is to give young people the opportunity, platform, and agency to thrive in a digital world. Exposure Labs is the film & impact production company behind The Social Dilemma a film that blends documentary investigation and narrative drama to disrupt the disruptors, unveiling the hidden machinations behind everyone’s favorite social media and search platforms.