WTF?: (What's The Future) Of The Millennial Generation
by Nick Shore, Dec 11, 2012, 7:16 AM
As the largest generation in American history, Millennials will no doubt create tidal waves of change in society for many years to come as they come of age and become consumers, producers, citizens and leaders.
Raised in more “democratic” households (“hey, what shall we have for dinner kids?”) by more non-hierarchical parents (“can I help you with your homework, son?”) they are opening systems, flattening hierarchies, and fostering collaboration at every turn…while at the same time looking at a pile of college debt, a tough mother of an economy and let’s not forget Hurricane Sandy. It’s a heady mix....
Here’s 5 predictions for 2013 from the @MTVInsight crystal Tumblr:
1) Smartphone, the movie! – From Cinemagram to Action Movie FX to 8mm, we’re seeing an increasing number of vehicles for Millennials to become mini-Spielbergs with just their mobile phones. We’ll see more “mobile phone productions” go center-stage, and maybe even the first mobile phone video creation made by Millennials will hit the big screen
2) Death to the Brainstorm, all hail the Hackathon – Schools, non-profits, businesses and even the government will begin to use hackathons as an approach to solving real-world challenges. …hack the lesson plan, hack the fund raiser, hack the bill…. Brainstorms just generate a bunch of “ideas”….Hackathons generate tangible, actionable solutions. People in boardrooms will stop saying “Hey, maybe we should brainstorm it…” and saying “Yes, let’s hack it!”
3) YouTube U – As “slashitude” becomes a way of life in the job-challenged economy (as in “I’m a graphic designer/ accountant/ DJ/ pastry chef”) we’re seeing Millennials pick up mad skills wherever they can. They’re busy supplementing formal education with peer-to-peer learning (e.g. Skillshare), entrepreneurial skills training at places like General Assembly, and taking MOOCs (massively open online courses) from institutions anywhere in the world. In 2013, we’ll see an influx of new online vehicles for collaborative learning, like peer-taught courses on YouTube
4) The post-apocalyptic product – The show Revolution gave us a prescient peek into a world without power, Walking Dead showed us unshaven guys in suits wandering around empty cities, and then suddenly, there was Sandy! One of the most tweeted about pain points for Millennials was an inability to recharge iPhones. Much talk of products like the Biolitestove that allows you to burn twigs and re-charge your iPhone with the energy generated. And a UVA sophmore is seeking a patent for Power Sole, a shoe he hacked in his dorm room that generates enough power to recharge a phone from just walking around. 2013 may see a new market emerge in how to stay connected all day, even after the end of days.
5) First art in MOMA where the artist is “Everybody”: We’ve seen the wisdom and power of the crowd leveraged to predict outcomes, inform, and ever more to create things…. from fashion design (e.g ModCloth) to innovative household products (Quirky). Millennials in particular intuitively know that no one is as smart or creative as everyone. In 2013, we’ll see a whole slew of crowdsourced “firsts” emerge, maybe including a work of art in MOMA where the name of the artist is “Everybody."
Nick Shore is senior vice president, strategic consumer insights and research, MTV