This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
The Millenials A


s 2015 screams its way to a close with attacks across the globe and as thousands of Syrians continue to fl ee from confl ict only to arrive in chaos, there is one fact that could be easily overlooked in the midst of such uncertainty and tragedy: 2015 was also the year that the “Millen- nial” generation grew even larger than the supersized Baby Boomers to become the largest living genera- tion. This is broadly true of many


places, but focusing on the United States for the moment, millennials (born 1982-2000, aged 15-33) now number 83.1 million and represent more than one quarter of the pop- ulation. As was widely predicted, they have surpassed the 75.4 mil- lion Boomers (born 1946-1964, aged 51-69) and they aren’t done yet, as this group is expected to continue to grow due to a steady and youth- ful immigration that


is outpacing


the death rate of the Boomers and will ultimately make the millennials more diverse than any generation that preceded them. Clearly there is scope for a new ‘generation gap’ - but what does it mean and what does it matter in the face of the currently grim backdrop of world events? The answer: potentially everything. The basic idea of a ‘generation’ is an analytical construct that has been used to establish a consensus as to the boundaries in terms of the atti- tudes and ideas that separate one ‘generation’ from another. The Pew Research Center, one of the most respected research bodies in this area, has established that the oldest ‘Millennial’ was born in 1981, even as they continue to do research and


60 The American


pursue evidence as to precise birth date of the youngest ‘Millennial’ (at the moment deemed to be 1997) and identify the appearance of any new generation on the horizon. However, the terms ‘millennial’


and ‘baby boomer’, ‘gen Xer’ or even the ‘silent generation’ are too often used in the profi t-seeking context of marketing strategies and con- sumer trends. Yet, if we turned our attention away from whether or not millennials are tweeting or ins- tagraming, buying Apple or Droids, and used these ideas to think about other, much more important, issues instead, we may learn about some of the more serious challenges that lie ahead. For example, last summer, the INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute (EMI), the HEAD Foundation, and employer branding fi rm Universum conducted what was called “the largest independent study ever con- ducted on millennials” and surveyed more than 16,000 people


from


across the globe to investigate their fears, hopes, beliefs, and desires. Interestingly, most did not fear


that their standard of living would be low – though a closer examina- tion does reveal a strong geographic correlation. 71 percent of millenni- als worldwide believe they will enjoy a higher standard of living than their parents, but when broken out – that includes 85 percent of millennials in Nigeria who strongly felt they would have higher standards of living than their parents, compared to only 20 percent of millennials in Western Europe who felt the same way. The conclusion was that the mil- lennial ‘take’ on this fear is actually


By Alison Holmes


one of stagnation in terms of their advancement and development, with 40 percent saying they feared getting stuck with no development opportunities, and 32 percent saying they feared they wouldn’t meet their career goals and an equal number fearing they wouldn’t fi nd careers that “matched their personalities”. Perhaps more interesting – and


certainly more fundamental – is the generation gap in terms of basic language. Terms such as ‘liberal’, ‘socialist’, or ‘economic fairness’ are used, but it is crucial that older gen- erations (Gen Xers and Boomers in particular) not mistake the millennial view of such concepts as parallel to their own. This was the conclusion of the study conducted by the Rea- son Foundation and the Rupe Foun- dation that engaged 2,400 18-to- 29-year-olds earlier this year. From their report, 62% of millen- nials call themselves ‘liberal’ – which means they may favor gay marriage and pot legalization and has little or no implication as to their views on government spending. Being socially liberal is, apparently, being liberal. End of story. Indeed, 53% even say they would support a candidate who was socially liberal and fi scally con- servative. Similarly, as millennials have no


fi rsthand knowledge or even mem- ory of the Soviet Union or the Cold War the fact that 42% say they pre- fer ‘socialism’ may not be surprising, but then again, only 16% can defi ne the term as government ownership of the means of production. In fact, when asked whether they want an economy managed by the ‘free mar- ket’ or by ‘government’, 64% want the


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84