I am increasingly asked to speak on Generation Y – the bumper crop of 18-28 year olds who are reshaping our cultural and consumption patterns. Numbering 68 million in the U.S., Generation Y is increasingly the most influential generation today, even above Baby Boomers (78 million) or Gen X (20 million). In Europe, Generation Y numbers 140 million strong! What are the implications of this generation on the future of organizations? More posts on this topic later.
For starters…let’s talk about the name Generation Y. Admittedly, it’s a rather awkward or non-intuitive moniker for this Generation. Thankfully, the Journal of Quebec proposes one theory, as illustrated in the cartoon to the left. But in all seriousness, the name “Generation Y” is most likely a lazy derivation as the Generation that follows “Gen X” (ages 30-48). Still, it’s no wonder we’re all a little confused about what these generations are called, or at what ages they officially start or end.
With that in mind, here’s a Pop Quiz: with some of the other names and references to Generation Y:
- Millenials – Year 2000 reference
- Gen Why?- They sure do question everything
- Internet Generation – Few if any remember life before web sites or cell phones
- Gen Next – Forward focused in perspective
- MyPod Generation – Besides the digital music reference, they expect mass customization
- Baby Boomlets – Most are the progeny of the Baby Boomer generation
- Echo Boomers – Same as above, with additional reference to wide impact of Gen Y on society
- Boomerang Generation – Many are returning home after college, still trying to find their way
- Generation Now – Little patience for accepting things they way they are
- Generation Waking Up – Raising the bar on global sustainability and change
What other names for Generation Y do you think belong on this list? Please post your suggestions in the comments section.
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