Any advice for a 20-year-old reading this article who wants to "change the world"?
I love young people who want to change the world!
I think we need rebalancing. A large share of the effort has been going to direct technical solutions to poverty. But this has neglected the other option of advocacy and education for rights as an important moral goal. Rights also work to promote development.
It's most effective to advocate for a principle and then protest specific violations of that principle. It's not just about rhetoric or soaring language. It's protesting, for example, the World Bank project in Uganda that burned down farmers' homes and took their land away from them.
The Civil Rights movement inspires me. They were advocating a simple principle: that blacks and whites should have equal rights. Then their advocacy was protesting very specific violations of that principle with sit-ins at lunch counters and the freedom rides on buses. Demonstrations from Selma and Birmingham. They were showcasing rights violations by the local oppressors.
We need to identify our principles and protest specific violations, to get those principles more widely accepted.