The Millennial Moment

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


Sebastian Ridley-Thomas

Attempt delay if you like, it will only hasten the inevitable.

The year 2017 finds the Golden State struggling to manage challenges of modernity, scarcity, innovation, and demographics as these realities cause great unease. While all this occurs, a new generation has arisen: the millennials. The largest generation in American history (topping some 92 million people) is positioned to redefine every facet of life.

Housing, education, marriage, employment, homeownership, consumerism, multiculturalism, art, culture, sport, technology, and retirement are just a small sample of the important topics that are impacted by this unique generation.

The GenForward Survey in coordination with the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago and The Associated Press Center for Public Interest Research found in September 2016 that economics drive the public concerns of this generation. This generation is diverse, more non-White than White, and the vulnerabilities of non-Whites with respect to the economy are very pronounced.

Goldman Sachs, always scrutinizing emerging trends, suggested more than three years ago that the consumption patterns of this massive generation were changing consumer goods and wellness patters. A little over 2/3 of American adults disapproved of cigarette and alcohol consumption in 1998. Some 15 years later, when the children who watched CSPAN coverage on television and archives online came of age, some 83% of adults disapproved.