Friday, 31 October 2008
Why I love Gen Y
I just interviewed Penny Power, founder of Ecademy, the business networking site (what a superhero-style name!). We were discussing the Interpersonal Economy (I will blog about this properly soon). This is a theory by the futurologist's futurologist Ian Pearson. He says that as work increasingly becomes automated and outsourced, what is left are the jobs that require human and emotional skills and these will become more important to the economy. Some of these jobs already exist, such as nurses and life coaches, others haven't been invented yet.
The Interpersonal Economy will be based on supportive, sharing, like-minded communities and networks. As Penny says, 'People will help each other in this economy because this is what really matters. Ultimately, people know if they build a likeable reputation, that's their insurance for the future.'
Anyway, in relation to this trend, Penny told me a wonderful story about her teenage daughter who had diligently revised for her GCSE mocks over the holidays. It turned out her daughter's classmates weren't quite so diligent and the teachers' were panicking that the class was unprepared. Her daughter came home and shared this with Penny who took the Gen X view of 'all the better for you then'. Her daughter however, decided to upload all her revision notes to Facebook and share them with her classmates because she wanted 'everyone to be at the same place and go forward together.'
I think this is such a striking and rather lovely example of how distinctive Gen Y's attitudes are towards work, collaboration, and sharing than previous generations.