GenX: The Swing Vote for the Connection Economy

On February 10th, 2015, I was honored to be a part of a Google Hangout that looked at Generation X, and how we (yep, I’m a proud member of GenX) look at Volunteerism and Philanthropy.  The panel was a really great group of thought leaders who had some insightful and important points in talking about a group of 50 million strong – and how this segment of our population has very often been overlooked and undervalued.  Pew Charitable Trust wrote an article where GenX was called “Generation X: America’s ‘The Middle Child‘” and showed that even with its impact and influential age (the first GenX-ers are turning 50 this year!)… very often the emphasis is still on the Baby Boomers and the Millennials.

But don’t count our flanel-wearin’, angst driven selves out quite yet, people.

Time_Magazine_Cover_Generation_XGeneration X is in an unique position as we enter what I believe is The Connection Economy. Our history, skills, passions, and yes our angst/attitudes perfectly position us as both leaders and innovators; supporters and collaborators; designers and creators.  We are the Swing Vote in the election of the new economy.

And it’s an election year, y’all.

The report from Pew Charitable Trust shows the potential power of the sector – namely that as the bridge-demo between two larger demographic group (Baby Boomers and Millennials) puts us in an interesting position. You know how in politics and polling uses “mean”and “averages” to report? Welp, as a middle group, we can often be a great example of a “mean” or “average” for what is being considered. We’re tech savvy but not against “old school” methods as much as our younger brothers and sisters. We believe in strong government but not a whole lot of it. We fit right in the middle on so many topics and issues, it is like we were destined to be the best focus group in our community’s history. But we don’t have to sit in that little room with a one-way window and bad coffee.

The Connection Economy is going to need three major component for its success: (1) leaders with passion; (2) leaders with innovation; and (3) leaders with the ability to bridge the gap between generations (see a trend here? leadership.)

Helloooo, GenX.


PS – and yes, I am a fan of Pearl Jam.
Photo of PEARL JAM