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

by Hank Boerner – Chair & Chief Strategist, G&A Institute

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 (in the depths of the Great Depression), 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 who worked to save our democracy and in fact, capitalism. He was cautioning the nation about the need to be on guard to protect our freedoms as European fascist leaders such as Hitler and Mussolini came to power (and addressed internal U.S. terrorist threats as well).

The “generation” hearing his words would go on to fight for the nation and the free democracies of the “united nations” standing with the U.S.A., England, France and other countries in World War Two.

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 political 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. And especially to voters in all age cohorts.

But with the coming of the “Baby Boomers” — those men and women born in the postwar, 1946 to 1964 and 77 million strong 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 got a name — Baby Boomers. (The birth rates were high 3 million to 4 million during their 18 years’ of coming into the world.)

And so they were two-and-a-half again in total number in size than their parents’ generation — those to be known later as the “Silent Generation” and also as “the Greatest Generation” of WW II, as profiled by author Tom Brokaw (the former NBC-TV Network news anchor).

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 (born 1965-1980), Gen Y, the Millennials (coming of age in the 21st Century/Third Millennia).  Gen Z is a current fascination – they are the next wave of 21st Century leaders.

Generally, today’s Millennials were considered to be born after 1980/81 to 1996 — they are thus 23 to 38 years of age.  Larger than the GenXers, (today ages 38 to 53/54), the Millennials now outnumber the trendsetting Baby Boomers (especially the Boomers still 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 (what Morgan Stanley describes): 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 were 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 State of 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.

Top Stories

Millennials are changing the investing landscape, one ethical choice at a time   
Source: MENAFN – With the growing consciousness regarding ethical and sustainable investment choices, particularly from the millennial generation, we expect this sector to continue to grow in the coming years

For more on this fascinating topic, take a look at some of Morgan Stanley’s research at:

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