All parties must come to an end, even ones that define whole generations. Today, there are signs that the economic bash that defined the latter half of the 20th century may well be over. It was fueled by the post-war optimism of a recovering world, and was executed with speed and scale as the hulking industrial war machine shifted on a dime, turned swords into plowshares, and drenched consumers in a torrent of stuff that our newly minted advertising industry convinced us was essential. The party of growth has been frenzied and the economic rewards rich.
But as meagre growth continues while mountains of debt, ecological and climatological issues pile up, consumer exhaustion grows. More and more of us are wondering if something big and profound and fundamental is changing. Still carrying the latch-keys that were an essential feature of childhood, millennials are leading a revolution of sorts. They have figured out that they will have a mess to clean up from their forbears, and that it will get worse if they keep asking for the same tonic as their parents – and so they have turned to ask business to start playing a very different tune. They now represent the largest generational demographic of its consumers and employees, so for this and many reasons, it is starting to listen!
The music from the party we’ve known may have stopped, but the distant sounds of a more hopeful one are beginning. It is a creative populism, of sorts, not a destructive one. In For Goodness’ Sake: Satisfy the hunger for meaningful business, we explore this new movement that is re-purposing business from its role as economic optimizer to social impact agent. Come create something new with us.