By Lauren Olsen
More than 500 chamber members from Carmel, Fishers, Hamilton North, Noblesville, Sheridan and Westfield attended the Third Annual Hamilton County Chambers Collaborative Luncheon on April 23 at the Ritz Charles to hear Patricia Martin give her keynote presentation on “Will the future like you?”
Martin is CEO of LitLamp Communications and the author of RenGen, and Tipping the Culture. Her presentation focused on the millennials (ages 18 to 31) and how the lack of strong personal identity due to the digital era and the quest for continued knowledge can be drawn upon to create a strong and connected community here in Hamilton County.
“If you made this county a place where everyone graduates employable, highly successful and highly prepared. There needs to be lots and lots of ways to learn, because here’s the sad truth about growing up in a period of elongated uncertainty, it had taught milennials one hard lesson, that they will learn and learn and learn because they don’t want to turn out to be like their parents who are 50 and fired, because they didn’t have skills that would translate for the future,” said Martin.
RDS Office Furniture owner Dave Sicklesteel, 58, found Martin’s presentation to resonate with some issues he deals with daily as a business owner.
“I thought the speaker they chose was very appropriate. Boomers like myself don’t understand millennials, we tend to assume we can’t connect with them. Martin gave examples of great ways we can learn to connect,” he said.
Those same sentiments seemed to resonate with the vast majority of the chamber members in attendance.
Jana Denninger, an advertising and branding specialist of Living Well Magazine, had similar feelings about the topic.
“I felt that the speaker was incredibly enlightening and though provoking. It got me thinking about how we can relate more effectively to millennials in tangible ways,” she said. “In business you need to learn how to relate to many different age groups.”
The speaker sent a strong and powerful message to business community in Hamilton County. We need to continue to strive to have excellent and continued education and continue to focus on improving and expanding our downtowns. The new generation of baby boomers, the Millennils, are looking to build a continuous bank of knowledge and have places in their community where they can socialize outside of the digital realm.
So, to answer the question: Will the future like us?
“If we can work together and we can cooperate, the future will like us,” Martin said.