“We’ve got a rising generation of talented, striving, innovative young people…And what we’re seeing here is the way that technology is changing not just how you do business, not just how you buy products, but also how you interact, how you organize politically, how you get involved in the community and how you solve problems. And all of that can support millions of new jobs.” President Barrack Obama at Cross Campus, 10/9/14.
As an investor in Cross Campus, and a member of the Board, it was an honor that the President of the United States hosted a town hall meeting last week at Cross Campus’ Santa Monica campus. Cross Campus is a membership-based, collaborative work environment and business event venue with locations in the heart of Silicon Beach and a new venue opening in Pasadena, CA. It is based on the premise that “productivity wins” and “creative collisions” drive innovation. It’s membership is very diverse but it is clearly being driven by The Millennial Generation (those born after 1980 through 2010). As President Obama stated about Millennials “in some ways, entrepreneurship is in the DNA of this generation.”
The Millennial Generation is the largest generation in U.S. history and makes up a third of our U.S. population. There are some impact facts about this generation that is markedly different than Gen X (1965 to 1980) or the Baby Boomers (1945 to 1965):
Access to the Internet: This is the first generation to have had access to the internet during their formative years;
Most Diverse Generation: 42% identify with a race or ethnicity other than non-Hispanic white, around twice the share of the Baby Boomer generation.
Best Educated Generation: About 61% of the Millennial Generation has attended college, whereas only 46% of the Baby Boomer generation attended college.
Impacted by the Global Recession 2007-2009 The oldest Millennials have come of age during a very difficult time in our economy. As unemployment surged from 2007 to 2009, opportunities to join established companies or start ups were few and far between. The Great Recession has had a tremendous impact on Millennials – the oldest of this generation were in their mid twenties when they entered the job market. For most, a parent’s tale of economic opportunity in exchange for a college degree, met a harsh reality. Prior generations were very willing to “stand in” line for career advancement. But with little economic opportunity, Millennials have taken a far different approach for their ambitions and their careers.
Innovation through the use of technology drives opportunity: As we approach 2015, it is becoming clear that the Millennial generation views innovation, through the use of technology, to be the key factor in creating opportunity. The “old” rules need not apply when you create a better widget. The most obvious examples are the game changers like Facebook and Twitter, but this drive for innovation continues to fall down the social and economic “ladders”.
As real estate developers and investors, RRP is focused on finding opportunities that move and drive innovation. Whether it be the environment that we have created at PacMutual or our newest project, 87 Raymond, in Pasadena – we are focused on fostering environments that drive innovation and appeal to the Millennial Generation.