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Out of Our Minds
Thursday, April 08, 2004 4:47 PM
Making a (Net) Impact
Kevin Salwen on Making a Difference

There is a very interesting organization called Net Impact -- a group with about 9,000 members of primarily business-school students. The mission of the group is to use 'the power of business to create a better world.'

Recently, the group has been branching out beyond its student roots and growing its membership of young professionals. It is finding that companies are willing (and even, dare I say it, sometimes eager) to change when they can see a real case being made. Net Impact members and alums are the types of people helping to drive change in Corporate America, as this Fortune magazine article shows.

I'd love to hear some thoughts on this: Is the 20-something generation more socially conscious as a whole than prior generations or am I misreading their stage of life for a seachange?

1 comment

Curt Rosengren - 4/8/2004 6:08:17 PM
I get the sense that the pendulum is swinging back to the more socially conscious end of the spectrum, not just with the younger generation, but across the board.

There's an interesting article recently in the Toronto Globe And Mail that mentions the trend towards a more socially conscious view among those in their 20's and 30's:

As operations co-ordinator for the Green Party of Ontario, Michael Pilling, 31, sees the enthusiasm of this generation and its search for meaning in work. Leading up to the last Ontario provincial election, Mr. Pilling placed a small ad in a local Toronto weekly seeking volunteers and contract workers. He was inundated with responses.

'The talent we saw was incredible,' he says. 'These were the most talented people of their generation and every person we interviewed said the same thing: 'We don't want to work in some job for a company we don't believe in.' We had a young lawyer from a top law school come to us. She had just been called to the bar and here she was applying for a $10-an-hour contract work writing press releases on our communication team.'

This generation, he says, is searching for 'meaning and experiences . . . it's not at all about money. That we are changing the world is very appealing to many young people who we otherwise couldn't afford to hire.'

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