Dear Old People Who Run the World,
My generation would like to break up with you. Everyday, I see a widening gap in how you and we understand the world — and what we want from it. I think we have irreconcilable differences.
You wanted big, fat, lazy "business." We want small, responsive, micro-scale commerce. You turned politics into a dirty word. We want authentic, deep democracy — everywhere. You wanted financial fundamentalism. We want an economics that makes sense for people — not just banks. You wanted shareholder value — built by tough-guy CEOs. We want real value, built by people with character, dignity, and courage.
You wanted an invisible hand — it became a digital hand. Today's markets are those where the majority of trades are done literally robotically. We want a visible handshake: to trust and to be trusted. You wanted growth — faster. We want to slow down — so we can become better. You didn't care which communities were capsized, or which lives were sunk. We want a rising tide that lifts all boats. You wanted to biggie size life: McMansions, Hummers, and McFood. We want to humanize life.
You wanted exurbs, sprawl, and gated anti-communities. We want a society built on authentic community. You wanted more money, credit and leverage — to consume ravenously. We want to be great at doing stuff that matters. You sacrificed the meaningful for the material: you sold out the very things that made us great for trivial gewgaws, trinkets, and gadgets. We're not for sale: we're learning to once again do what is meaningful.
There's a tectonic shift rocking the social, political, and economic landscape. [...] Here's what it looks like to me: every generation has a challenge, and this, I think, is ours: to foot the bill for yesterday's profligacy — and to create, instead, an authentically, sustainably shared prosperity. Anyone — young or old — can answer it. Generation M is more about what you do and who you are than when you were born. So the question is this: do you still belong to the 20th century - or the 21st?