It’s Called a Civic Generation

kinnon —  October 24, 2006 — Leave a comment

This morning’s USA Today talks about the civic involvement of Generation Y (oft called millenials or emergents).

A growing body of academic and market research suggests millennials — who are in their mid-20s and younger — are civic-minded and socially conscious as individuals, consumers and employees. This generation, also known as Generation Y and Echo Boomers, has been pressed for its vote, sought for its purchasing power and watched closely by sociologists and historians for insight into the way its members will shape the future.

I talk about this Civic Generation and their difference from Baby Boomers, in my book, A Networked Conspiracy – based on the research of Roy Williams and Strauss and Howe. Read Roy’s Monday Morning Memo from my 49th birthday (two years ago next week).

Baby Boomers were idealists who worshipped heroes, perfect icons of beauty and success. Today these icons are seen as phony, posed and laughable. Our cool as ice, suave lady’s man James Bond has become the comic poser Austin Powers or the tragically flawed and vulnerable Jason Bourne of The Bourne Identity. That’s the essence of the new worldview; the rejection of delusion, a quiet demand for gritty truth. We’re seeing it reflected in our movies, our television shows and our music.

Baby Boomers believed in big dreams, reaching for the stars, personal freedom, “be all that you can be.” Today’s generation believes in small actions, getting your head out of the clouds, social obligation, “do your part.”

A Baby Boomer anchored his or her identity in their career. The emerging generation sees his or her job only as a job.

Baby Boomers were diplomatic and sought the approval of others. The emerging generation feels it’s more honest to be blunt, and they really don’t care if you approve or not.

Boomers were driven, self-reliant and impressed by authority. Emergents are laid back, believe in working as a team, and have less confidence in “the boss.”

This is a huge change in understanding of how we lead, market and engage in community building. The same old boomer-driven leadership style (evident in many corporations and most megachurches) is coming apart at the seems. Millenials aren’t interested in the standard bullcrap – they want to be involved in truth-filled enterprises that have a positive impact on the planet. They are more interested in everyone “living their best life” than in their own personal success. And the world is going to be radically changed as a result.

I find it interesting that USA Today is talking about this today, years after people like Williams have seen it coming. If you’d like to get ahead of the curve (and stay there), might I recommend this course at Wizard Academy. (And if you struggle with the name, read or listen to this week’s Monday Morning Memo.) And, as I’ve said before, make a point of subscribing to Roy’s Monday Morning Memo.

[HT: TP Wire Service]

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

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