Being told you are the generation to change the world is an interesting experience. It is especially interesting when it is backed up by hundreds of years of generational research. GuentherMedia just took a trip to the bay area to hear Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais talk about their latest book, Millennial Momentum. As you might guess, it is about the millennial generation (born roughly 1982-2003) and how we are the generation that will bring this country out of its funk. It is a fascinating book loaded with research about a cycle of generations that appears to be a pattern in this country since its inception.
Now candidly, I was a bit of an easy sell since the book was all about how my generation was going to change the world. However, the majority of the boomers and x-ers in the room, though some skeptical at first, largely embraced this message by the end. Both authors had an amazingly comprehensive understanding of the research. They went as far as predicting what type of health care system is more likely as millennials begin to dominate the voting age population. You will have to pick up the book to learn its other pearls of wisdom and predictions.
If nothing else, this book is a glimmer of hope in a very tough time. It paints a bright picture for the future of the United States, where giving back to your country and community, pragmatism, and equality are the unifying characteristics. At a time when little seems to be progressing, and the government seems more dysfunctional than ever, a generation that is defined by their desire to work for the good of one another seems to be just what we need as a nation.
Only time will tell whether all of these predictions come true. It is hard to estimate how big an impact things like the Internet and access to information have on generational theory. However, the early information we have on the millennial generation seems to say that the cycle is still on track, as millenials are already exhibiting the characteristics that make us more like our great-grandparents than our parents. So for progressives, hope remains in the form of the young people of our country, and lucky for us, history is on our side.