Generation M – the “Millennials” – Making a Difference in Many Spheres of Society

Generation M – the “Millennials” – Making a Difference in Many Spheres of Society

G&A's Sustainability Highlights (9.19.2019)
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Monday, September 23, 2019 - 11:30am

For many years, our references to “generation” usually meant that we were speaking about the people living (and able to act) at the time.  For example, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1936 on accepting his party’s nomination to a campaign for second term, ended his remarks with this: “There is a mysterious cycle in human events.  To some generations much is given.  Of other generations much is expected.  This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny…”  President Roosevelt was a progressive and liberal leader. He was cautioning the nation about the need to be on guard to protect our freedoms as fascist leaders came to power (and addressed internal U.S. terrorist threats as well).

Some 28 years later, actor-politician Ronald Reagan (who would soon become Governor of California and then President of the United States) in “The Speech” in October 1964 in a call-to-action for conservatives to move away from Roosevelt’s New Deal policies of the 1930s and 1940s told listeners:  You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. Again, speaking across the spectrum of the audience to “the generation” of the time.

But with the coming of the “Baby Boomers” – born in the postwar, 1946 to 1964 and 77 million in total number – came a departure in the use of the general term and the characterizing of a specific cohort of men and women with defining tastes and cultural leanings (it is presumed).  They were two-and-a-half again in number than their parents (those to be known later as the “Silent Generation” and also as “the Greatest Generation” of WW II).

In the years after WW II each age and demographic cohort has been characterized and given a catchy title in this way.  Baby Bust (the children of the early wave of Boomers).  Gen X, Gen Y, the Millennials (coming of age in the 21st Century/Third Millennia).  

Generally, today’s Millennials were born after 1980/81 to 1996 (they are thus 23 to 38 years of age).  Larger than the GenXers, (today ages 38 to 53), the Millennials now outnumber the Baby Boomers (especially in the workforce) and are busily shaping political, financial, business, cultural, investing, and other spheres of our society. 

The buzz about Millennials goes along the lines of (Morgan Stanley says): Millennials and their younger cohort (teens and younger) will re-shape the financial industry (especially banking) in their tech-savvy, mobile-first image, which has ramifications for all consumers, companies and investors.  (GenX presented the last opportunistic “pocket of growth” coming of age during the 2008 crisis.)

Each week our team led by Editor-in-Chief Ken Cynar captures the essence of sustainability / responsibility news, perspectives and research results that we think you might be interested in.  This week’s Top Story is by Junaid Wahedna, founder and CEO of Wahed Investments via MENAFN, providers of Middle East and North Africa tech networks and related services (the comments published in its newsletter).

Topic:  The impact of the Millennials on the tech industry -- and on investing.  The members of the M generation, the author tells us, are focused on ethical issues, making a difference, and steadily shifting to sustainable & responsible investing approaches.  They are making careful, conscious decisions and achieving results through positive impacts and bringing about real change.

Author Wahedna cites Morgan Stanley and Ernst & Young research of late (focused on the Millennials) and adds his own experience (his firm has Delaware and Amman, Jordan offices).  He concludes:  As long as young investors continue to express a need for social good, and the idea gains traction and familiarity, these ethical investment options remain entirely sustainable alternatives to the traditional confines of the wealth management landscape.

What are your views on the Millennial Generation – are you a member of “the cohort” that will be managing businesses, government and social sector organizations in the years ahead, or running your own business?  If you would like to share your thoughts as a guest writer in how Millennials are shaping today’s society, do send us a note (to hboerner@ga-institute.com).

Meantime, for all our readers, everywhere (and of all ages and generations!), tune in to our Top Story this week, with focus on the wondrous generation that will run things in the 21st Century.

This is just the introduction of G&A's Sustainability Highlights newsletter this week. Click here to view the full issue.