As the end of the year comes to a close, industry leaders are already preparing for what’s next and refining their 2016 strategies to stay on top of the market. With baby boomers retiring and millennials being the most studied generation to date, market leaders can gain insight from the next generation, Generation Z.
At my keynote for Blissdom Canada, a conference comprised of Canada’s top social media influencers, I emphasized the importance of having a clear mission when trying to engage young leaders under 30. I challenged the audience to consider their purpose and the mission behind their work and business.
It was during the audience-participation portion of the presentation that I had the distinct delight of Maddy’s contribution. Maddy is a 7-year-old entrepreneur with a mission to spread love across our world. As the her note shares, Maddy’s purpose is: “To share my love with the world…I love how I just know I love making a difference with my world.”
Maddy’s sentiment exemplifies the essence of young leaders today. With 75 per cent of millennials believing it is important that a company gives back to society and 61 per cent of Gen Z feeling personally responsible for creating a solution to today’s problems, social purpose is a driving force for leaders under 30, myself included.
It is not only the desire to make a difference that sets our younger generation apart from the past; it is the entrepreneurial drive to take matters into our own hands that provides so much promise.
For example, take Maddy. She is currently the founder of The Love Exchange, a charity that encourages children to share love by donating their clothes and toys to kids in need from all over the world. As a young entrepreneur with a clear purpose, Maddy has already lined up corporate sponsors and is raising money to ship the clothes by selling bracelets. She has also organized several school rallies to share her mission with her peers.
Maddy’s determination and mission is impressive and is also becoming a new norm among our generation. For instance, teenage inventor, Deep Prasad, started engineering mobility devices to improve the lives of the disabled while he was in high school. And young scientist, Jessie MacApline, started working on a new drug for Malaria at the mere age of 18-years-old. Then, there are the social entrepreneurs and activists, like Maddy, that continue to follow their mission before they even leave grade school!
If Maddy and the stories of our peers reveal anything about our future, it is that a double bottom is no longer going to be a trend, but instead, a necessity for all business. We are moving towards a social-focused economy where purpose and transparency are becoming essential pillars for business, and leaders under 30 are the ones taking the reigns.