Millennials will change the world

Be present, go to the meeting, write the blog, volunteer for the cause you’re passionate about, change someone’s mind, organise, build, ideate, do - not - settle.

Millennials are lazy, they don’t know what real work is. Back in my day we worked and saved our money. Young people now a days are such snowflakes. Give me a break.

Millennials are the generation that will work harder, for less, in worsening conditions and on a planet that is basically dying with the sixth great extinction upon us. The post-war generation’s in this country and around the world have done too little to create a sustainable society or way of life, even when the facts became increasingly clear. There were some who tried their hardest and are still trying - but too few listened. The mantra of consume all at an ever-increasing rate became the accepted ethos. Luckily that’s changing. Groupthink is now moving in the right direction thanks to its most receptive audience - Millennials.

Research presented by the Philanthropy Impact Group has shown that UK millennials adjusted for average earnings and wealth give more of their time and money to charities and not for profits than any generation previously at this age. There are ongoing studies into the propensities of millennial philanthropy and next gen wealth once inherited, but from what I have seen in my experience volunteering, on philanthropy courses and working with charities and fundraisers a few things are clear; Millennials tend to want to give to distributive solutions that aim to solve something with a compelling visual case for support, and that we are more likely to give one off cash gifts rather than set up a regular payment. What we want for that money is to be more involved in the cause and to get regular, easy to digest updates - that’s how many nibbler charities are thriving such as Help Refugee.

We’re a generation of disruptive activists who have been told we can do anything, be anything. We have seen from a young age the ever-increasing pace of technological change and growing prevalence of progressive views in society, tackling old stereotypes. It is this experience, knowledge and buy-in to the pace of change that will mean we have the outlook and ability to ride the next wave and come up with the disruptive innovative solutions needed to push back the negative impacts of humans on our planet.

Ignorance is no longer a tenable position for people to have. There are a huge number of activists who are trying to change public opinion and campaign to push the dial. But there is a lot of lag in the system we need to disrupt, whether it’s business, governments or people.

The increasing rate of behavioural change in younger people I believe is driven by the level of data we have available at our fingertips and the knowledge that the legacy we’ve been given is good in some ways but that we have some existential threats to the very survival of our species. We must act on climate change, repair our natural environment, stop striping the oceans clean, replenish bio-diversity and do all we can prevent the catastrophic failure our bio-sphere - all this whilst raising people out of poverty, preparing for the next wave of new jobs in the fourth industrial revolution, building the homes of the future and many more things. We can only do this by working together to harness the very power of human innovation that has got our species this far. It will be down to Millennials to change the world - and the early signs are that we have the capacity to do it.

My call to action is a simply one. Be present, go to the meeting, write the blog, volunteer for the cause you’re passionate about, change someone’s mind, organise, build, ideate, do - not - settle. We must save our little blue and green lifeboat, because it's the only one we’ve got.


Adam Allnutt is the Local Government Liaison officer on the Young Fabian National exec. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamAllnutt

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