150+ millennials, plus a few Generation X’ers and Boomers, gathered in Deutsch NY’s Commons to celebrate the second anniversary of The Madison’s Browne Fellowship, with a town-hall discussion titled “Don’t Generalize My Generation.”
Aimed at dispelling some on the commonly-held (and not necessarily flattering) assumptions about millennnials, the event was moderated by Kenji Summers of The Passport Project. Representing the, uh, non-millennials, were Deutsch’s Torsten Gross, group planning director, Nancy Hill, 4As ceo and president. Providing a millennial POV were Juan Carlos Pagan of DDB, and writer/content strategist Cortney Cleveland.
Discussion—millennial stereotypes: entitled, lazy, optimistic, short attention span, coddled by parents, lives on social media, simultaneously lazy and frenetic. Quickly panelist decide being a millennial was less a factor of age, but had more to do with external elements that shape us as individuals.
Discussion—Millennials at work: Torsten cautioned that the multi-tasking tendencies of this generation could have negative consequences, while Nancy countered that there is great value in the curiosity that leads to their diverse interests, and the challenge is to embrace and harness that energy.
Discussion—millennials and social media: The fact that many millennials have seven Twitter accounts ins’t necessarily a reflection of their “A.D.D.” nature, but could be a boon, particularly in our industry. Additionally, it was suggested that your social media footprint could , in fact, become the new resume; millennials just have to demonstrate how that translates into solving a client’s business problems.
Discussion—so what is a Millennial? In contrast to Boomers or Generation X’ers, who usually define themselves by their careers, millennials could also be referred to as “The Slash Generation”, since they usually identify themselves as many things (e.g. “sesigner-slash-musician-slash-editor-slash-photographer, etc.)
Discussion—and we learned? Despite the panels title, there were many generalizations made—who are we kidding, stereotypes exist for a reason, and we all make assumptions based on our individual and collective experiences.
By Simon Abrams, is author-slash-photographer-slash-flash developer-slash-@flysi-slash-Hip-hop connoiseur-slash…you get the picture.