I’m not sure that I knew what I had sign up for when I agreed to show a Rational Middle film at the Eco-Marathon in Detroit. To me and Team Rational Middle, we get asked to do events all the time, so this event took its place alongside all the others. We knew it would be fun, we knew we would have an engaged and energized (pun intended) conversation, but I had no idea of the awesomeness I was about to experience.
The Shell Eco-Marathon is a global competition where kids (high school and college) design, create and drive cars. Winners are determined by who can make their vehicle go the farthest on the least amount of energy. While that is cool in itself, it’s only a part of what makes this event so amazing.
What astounded me about the Eco-Marathon is embodied in the participants. These kids are some of the smartest, most engaged I’ve ever experienced. Not only are they engaged in their vehicles, they all seem to be acutely aware of energy, the impending energy future and their potential role in helping to manifest the energy future.
I know I’ve been known to whine about millennials and their lack of focus. I know I’ve said that I wasn’t fully confident in the next wave leadership and their ability to create the path to the energy future. All that said, and being privileged enough to to be here and show my films, I have to take it all back. The groups here are engaged, curious and smart. Eco-Marathon has made me a believer in this next group of young adults and a huge believer in our ability to create and execute the clean energy future.