It would take the Pony Express about 10 days to get a message from coast to coast, now we can send a text message almost instantaneously. In about five hours you can fly from the Bay Area of California to Washington, D.C., just a few decades ago it would take days on a train. The United States has rapidly evolved in the last century. The Millennial generation has seen significant change. Shamefully, I was privileged enough to have a car phone my freshman year of college, just over a decade later my niece had her own cell phone when she was just eight years old. Cell phones and texting can be convenient, but have they ruined our interpersonal communication skills?
The Millennial Trains Project is a new non-profit which hopes to use a strategic part of American history to explore new technologies and boundaries. The founders hope to do more than to just advance society, but to improve it.
The MTP will stop in 10 cities across the U.S. The riders will be 40 individuals who participated in fundraising through a crowd-funding platform. The first journey is scheduled for departure on August 8, 2013. Don’t get any romantic notions about a leisurely cross country train ride, the participants will have long days and rigorous schedules.
They will have 5 a.m. wake up calls, daily briefings, showcases in each city, an opportunity to work on their own project, a few hours of down time, time to reflect on the lessons of the day, seminars and lectures. The journey begins in the Bay Area of California stopping in Reno, Salt Lake City, Denver, Omaha, Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Martinsburg and ends in Washington, D.C. The participants each have their own project, but MTP hopes that networking will build new joint projects on the journey.
National Geographic Traveler, McKinsey & Company, Startup America Partnership, The Mission Continues, United States Patent and Trademark Office, Think Impact, City Year, National Association of Railroad Passengers and Opportunity Nation are all collaborating on the project. Change is always on the horizon, and the Millennial Trains Project hopes to inspire positive change.
Are you interested in getting on board? Applications and the $5 thousand fundraising requirement is due by July 15, 2013. When will your journey toward transformation begin? You can impact your own life, the lives of those around you and the future of our nation by filling out your own MTP application or supporting an idea that is already trying to get on board.