SXSW Interactive 2014

Generation Mash-Up: Y Bother?


Never has the spotlight shined so brightly on a single generation. But in today's transformational workplace, Generation Y not only gets the light, they have the might and through their social media expertise, they claim the right to be the center of the conversation. In a lively debate about Gen Y at work, Pete Cashmore, the Scottish Millennial who founded Mashable and is now its CEO, joins together with the quintessential French Baby Boomer, Olivier Fleurot, CEO of global PR firm MSLGROUP, and former CEO of The Financial Times.
Pete and Olivier are from different generations, have different styles and their own strong opinions on the values Generation Y brings to the world of business, how to manage the Gen Y geniuses in their midst and how Millennials are changing business. While they may not agree about the business impact that Millennials will have on the future, Pete and Olivier are both passionate about their own businesses and the need for Millennials to make their mark.

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  1. How is Generation Y changing the world of business? At the end of the day, what will be the legacy of Generation Y in the workplace? Will it be about their innovation around new technology? Will it be about how they build new businesses? Will it be how they apply social influence to drive business success? What has this generation brought to work that we find so attractive? Pete and Olivier will explore how Gen Y is leaving its mark on the business world?
  2. How has Generation Y's preference for communicating across social media changed the workplace? Is the technology isolating, or does it build a stronger workplace community? How should companies approach internal social media systems? How can these be deployed for greater collaboration, speed and growth? How do companies manage the downside of social systems at work?
  3. What’s the perception about Gen Y vs. the real deal? Is the media to blame for creating the belief that Millenials are self-absorbed, validation-seeking and sorely lacking in any work ethic? Or, is there truth to this theory? Where is the line between myth and reality when it comes to Gen Y? What do you think, Olivier and Pete?
  4. How can employers bottle the special sauce that Generation Y brings to work each day and use it to spice up their business? Gen-Yers are known for being tech-savvy, family-centric, achievement-oriented and team players? How do employers work with these attributes to create a next-generation workplace? What do older colleagues think of all this? Are they swinging to the Generation Y tunes or resisting change? Olivier Fleurot and Pete Cashmore offer their perspectives.
  5. Is Generation Y simply better at creating and building new businesses? There have been many who have done like Pete, and built an amazing business from their bedroom or dorm room. How different is this from previous generations? Are Gen-Yers freer thinkers and less beholden to stodgy social norms? Is technology the vehicle of freedom that their forebears never had? To be successful, what kind of help must Gen Y-ers get from those in other generations?



Michael Echter, Director of Corporate Communications, MSLGROUP

Meta Information:

  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: Work and Career
  • Track 2
  • Level: Advanced

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