Former President Barack Obama described how “a million young Barack Obamas” could aid “human progress” at a conference Sunday in Japan.
As the Washington Examiner reports, Obama told the crowd about his current work after leaving the presidency — leading the Obama Foundation’s efforts to get the young people of the world talking to each each over the internet.
“If I could do that effectively, then — you know — I would create a hundred or a thousand or a million young Barack Obamas or Michelle Obamas,” Obama said. “Or, the next group of people who could take that baton in that relay race that is human progress.”
Obama pointed to Saturday’s March For Our Lives anti-gun protest as evidence of the great work he says young people are doing in the U.S. and around the world. He also took aim at the “old men” who he thinks cling to power.
“A lot of our problems are caused by old men. No offense, men, who are old,” he said.
Obama returned to one of his favorite themes, dueling political narratives on social media that enable people to only read the news that they agree with. Obama said he wants to create a more “civil debate” though his foundation.
“One of the things we’re going to be spending time on, through the Foundation, is finding ways in which we can study this phenomenon of social media and the Internet to see are there ways in which we can bring people from different perspectives to start having a more civil debate and listen to each other more carefully,” Obama said.
Obama is in the midst of a week-long trip throughout Southeast Asia that includes visits to Australia and New Zealand and a planned event in Singapore.