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Looking at the Millennial Generation

04/30/08
Americans born between 1983 and 2003 are the subjects of a meeting at the Davidson Conference Center.
By LeRoy Hudson
Morley Winograd will be one of two keynote speakers at Friday's conference.

Photo/JCH Studios
As the so-called “millennial” generation enters the U.S. workforce, it promises to upend long-standing corporate hierarchies, approaches to technology and methods of doing business in ways that are only beginning to be understood.

To examine these changes, the Institute for Communication Management Technology at the USC Marshall School of Business will hold a half-day conference on Friday featuring top speakers on millennial demographic, technological and business issues.

“Millennials are only now beginning to hit the workforce in significant numbers, bringing a great work ethic, understanding of technology and collaborative approach but also a sense of entitlement and disdain for hierarchy that challenge the way business gets done,” said Morley Winograd, executive director of Communication Management Technology. “Business, marketing and technology leaders need to start understanding the implications for this transformation and to adapt the way they operate.”

Though exact demographic dividing lines are subject to some dispute, millennials are generally described as that cohort of Americans born between about 1983 and 2003. They are generally a generation with high self-esteem, intense interest in new communications technologies such as social networking and instant messaging, a close relationship with highly protective and involved parents, a sense of entitlement and an indifference to traditional hierarchical authority structures.

Winograd, co-author of Millennial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube and the Transformation of American Politics, is one of two keynote speakers at the upcoming event at USC’s Davidson Conference Center. He will examine whether organizations can “successfully adopt a ‘peer-to-peer’ culture” as their own.

Winograd will be joined as a keynote speaker by Pete Markiewicz, co-author of Millennials and Pop Culture and chief technology officer of Indiespace, a pioneering consultancy focused on how companies can use online tools to market and sell music, movies and other entertainment. Markiewicz will discuss millennial consumers, who rely on social-networking technologies, instant messaging and text messaging to stay in close contact with their peer group and family members.

The conference also will feature panels on “New Corporate Information Systems for the Millennial Worker” and “Exploiting Enterprise Social Networks for Corporate Productivity.”