Gen Y Dominates Field Now


20161116_164738Just 11 months after they became the largest generation in the workforce, Gen Y interests and needs are now dominating the field of lifelong learning.  From the big LERN annual conference in Baltimore, here are some of the ways the change is evident now:

New Customer Base    Gen Y is now the focus of a new customer base moving forward, reports LERN’s Julie Coates. And Gen Y needs as staff members in lifelong learning programs is now taking over as managers seek to develop leadership and expertise in their younger staff members.

Customers and Staff    While Gen X and Boomer senior executives had a large if not dominant presence at the big LERN conference, the attention is now on both  1) serving Gen Y customers;  and 2) developing Gen Y staff.

Mirrors Business World    It’s an amazing transition from just 24 months ago when Baby Boomers were the largest generation in the workforce.  And it mirrors the larger business trend in society of a total switch in attention to Gen Y as customers and as employees.

LERN Conference Changing    The LERN conference itself is being transformed to be responsive to the interests and needs of Gen Y. Session content ranges from more advanced tech sessions to fundamental skills sessions for newbies in the field.  More Gen Y presenters are conducting sessions. LERN’s first Gen Y pub crawl was a big success.

App plus Roundtables Big      But the biggest transition taking place is how sessions are delivered.  The conference app is now an integral part of every session.  More roundtables and panel-led sessions are planned. And then there’s the big change: the development of a whole new concurrent session format.  The new concurrent session format will premiere in next year’s annual conference in Gen Y-land, the city of Portland, Oregon, November 15-18, 2017, right downtown at the Hilton Portland.

Photo: Emerging Leaders Council, led by Kelly Regan and Brandon Tucker this year, meet at the LERN Conference in Baltimore.