Yesterday Thursday 23rd September the Albion Society breakfast brought together a panel to discuss Gen Y – shorthand for 16-25 year olds.
First up was our Planning Director Sam Ashken, who presented a brief summary of a thinkpiece which can be downloaded here. The argument is that teenage and early adult years are for Gen Y not a time of rebellion but of personal aspiration.
Eliza Robeiro, the seventeen year old founder of the Lives not Knives project and campaigner with Battlefront comprehensively floored the room with her drive, activism, intelligence and precocious self-assurance.
Mike Butcher Editor of Techcrunch Europe showed that the Gen Y can-do spirit is a European as much as a British thing. A number of key themes emerged from the panellists. Gen Yers tend to be driven by personal mission, don’t sit around waiting for permission to do things and are unconcerned by the cynicism of older generations or the fear or failure.
Gen Y-ers’ innate drive, the panellists agreed, is accelerated by an environment in which it is easier than ever to get hold of tools and capital, and equally easy to make direct connections with contacts and partners all over the world.
All of which makes a Gen X-er wonder whether it’s possible to be a born again Gen Y-er…
The quote of the day was from Eliza who, when asked how much common ground there is between her community and young entrepreneurs like Emi responded in jest that, “A lot of the kids in Croydon are good at business, just the wrong kind of business!”.