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Friday, March 26, 2004

Generation Y Pop Culture: Personal Rules Rule

Yesterday I was attending a very inspiring presentation made by Irshad Manji at the Entrepreneurship Skills Development event in Fredericton, NB, Canada. Irshad’s view emphasizes one thing: young adults no longer accept to conform to rules; they like to create their own personal rules according to what they expect from life.

GenY is web-savvy, embraces diversity and has compassion. Young adults no longer want to wait until the society thinks that they are ready before taking an active role in it. They have strong opinions and beliefs and are more than willing to share it with the world. Irshad was mentioning that GenY individuals are not interested in sacrificing their time and energy on jobs that don’t fit with their views about life. So employers, get ready. If the positions you offer are boring and debilitating, you will have a hard time filling them even if you pay well. The question here is not to know if this new attitude is a good thing or a bad thing, but how to adapt to it.

In order to become a teacher, it’s always been assumed that you had to learn for a significant period of time (decades) before becoming sufficiently “competent” to deserve the right to teach. GenY is tired of waiting. They want to teach now. It’s then not surprising to see how tools such as webblogs are getting increasingly popular. Webblogs allow people to express themselves, or to teach in some way, at the same time that they learn.

As I was listening to Irshad depicting the coming generation, one word came to my mind that seems to describe quite well what young adults are actually looking for: empowerment. We are at a point in history where people reclaim the use of their full potential. Let our society become a living creature adapting itself as world changes. A creature made of a collection of small, but powerful and influential cells.

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