Published on Voices

How is your life different from that of your parents?

© You Ji/World Bank
© You Ji/World Bank

Yunus owns a fabric store in Blantyre, Malawi. The store was founded by his grandfather, who immigrated to Malawi in 1927, and has now been in his family for three generations. Business is good, Yunus said, but that the cost of essential services like electricity and water has gone up since his grandfather and father owned the store. Even so, he remains optimistic.
Marija Bosheva is a student at an agriculture and forestry vocational high school in Kavadarci, Macedonia. Like many high school students around the world, she takes daily lessons in history, math, biology, and chemistry. However, unlike many of her peers, she is also studying oenology — the art of making wine.
Are you carrying on a family tradition, like Yunus? Do you work or study in an entirely new field that didn’t exist when your parents were your age? How has life changed for you compared to your parents or grandparents when they were your age, and how do you see your children’s lives and possibilities compared to your own?  Are you in the same position vis a vis your peers as your parents were vis a vis theirs?
Share your story, using the hashtag #InheritPossibility.  

How to participate

It’s simple. Tell us your story in two to three sentences and post a picture with your family using the hashtag #InheritPossibility on your Twitter or Instagram account. 
Maybe you are the first one in your family to attend college, or the first one to migrate to the city for work. Perhaps you have a different kind of job than your parents had—maybe even one that didn’t exist when they were your age. 
Or perhaps, things have become more difficult for you, and you have concerns about your or your children’s future. Maybe you have fewer opportunities than your parents or grandparents did, or you see rising inequality impacting your chances for a quality education and a good job.
Whatever your story, we’d love to hear it; we’ll feature it here alongside others from across the world.

Why are we talking about this now?

We kicked off a global conversation on economic mobility across generations last October on End Poverty Day, previewing new evidence that the prospects of too many people are still too closely tied to their parents’ social status rather than their own potential. We found that increases in education from generation to generation have stalled over the last half-century, which has real consequences for growth, inequality, and poverty reduction today and for the next generation. After all, doesn’t everyone deserve a fair chance at success?
The full report will come out on May 10, covering not only a wealth of global data on intergenerational mobility, but also looking at some of the drivers of and constraints to economic mobility from generation to generation.
But we know that data and analysis only paint part of the picture. The stories you share will help complement what we’re seeing on paper with what’s happening on the ground, and hopefully spark a global conversation on how poverty and inequality are passed down, what that means for the future, and how countries of all kinds can break that vicious cycle.
Need some inspiration? Check out a selection of stories from all over the world that might spark some ideas and motivate you to join the #InheritPossibility conversation. 
So, what’s your story?


Venkat Gopalakrishnan

External Affairs Officer, Global Media Team

Maura K. Leary

Communications Lead, Office of the Chief Executive Officer, The World Bank Group

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