Millennials On The Move: How Communities Can Retain Them

From Forbes, By John Zogby


It is now a cliche that cliches become cliches because they are so true.  What has been sewn on cushions for hundreds of years is now perhaps more true than ever. “Home is where the heart is.” Of course it is. We know many personal stories plus narratives from great literature about individuals who have traveled the world or been relocated to another community only to long for the simplicity and personal succor that they can only receive from family and community. Essentially, this longing for home base, for the comfort and security for both loved ones and familiarity surroundings makes us human in many ways.

But I have been dealing with a different dimension of this cliche in recent years. As the internet of everything in life has taken hold, geography and space have become less relevant in our lives. As 32% of Millennials — and most likely a larger percentage of Generation Z — tell us that they have an avatar, just what exactly is place, zone, and geography? And as 46% of Millennials and even more of Gen Z tell us that they “expect” to live and work and live in a foreign capital as some point in their lives, the idea of being tied down by geographic limitation becomes less and less possible.  We have Skype to link us to our colleagues, mobile sons and daughters, and grandchildren. And we can still on a regular basis, be connected to the communities we love. Thus, if I have moved from the East Coast to California, I can still keep up with my home town news, Facebook friends, and sports teams. I can still get my kielbasa from Buffalo, my Stegmaier beer from Wilkes-Barre, my tomato pie and half moons from Utica, and my cheese steaks directly from South Street in Philly.

This is a message for the locally based Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Clubs, United Ways, and even local governments — all of whom ask the question: “How can we retain our young people?” My message to all of these locally-based groups has been the same ever since I began my deep dive into Millennials. Just because young people are mobile, some filled with wanderlust, others merely following opportunities, does not mean they are still not attached to a community where they have lived. A young person who has relocated to another state (or even abroad) should not be seen as a lost resource. Home is not necessarily where you pay your property taxes, it is a place that has captured your heart, holds your interest, still takes some of your food and retail dollars, accepts your cheers for each local run scored and hat trick made. Chambers can draw from the vision and talent of young people. Rotary Clubs simply have to redefine membership away from the “Tuesday luncheon” attendance and more toward the wonderful cause they support, United Ways can still figure out a way to receive contributions to a local charity, and local governments can maintain good staff — all from people who live elsewhere. The technology not only enables long distance participation, it welcomes it. Locally-based institutions must change their mindset and develop their own agenda to incorporate it. A solid social media program can find these resources, nurture, survey their interests, and provide opportunities for them. Smart communities and smart local leaders will discover a way to find and keep good people.


Coming Soon: Who’s Your Tribe? The only app you’ll need to discover your Neo-Tribe.



Trump Report Card: Rose To The Occasion After Baseball Shooting

From the Washington Examiner, By John Zogby


President Trump began the week feeling “vindicated” for not having been under investigation by the FBI and has ended the week definitely being under investigation for firing ousted FBI Director James Comey. While the flurry of testimonies — including from the sitting attorney general — continues, we learn that both the president and the vice president have lawyered up.

However, tragedy at a practice baseball field dominated the news and has produced at least a moment of reflection among both lawmakers and partisans. The annual Congressional baseball charity game went on and the tone was one of mutual respect and symbolic gestures of friendship. And the president rose to the occasion by addressing the nation and the fans, visiting the wounded House Republican leader Rep. Steve Scalise, and sending his daughter to the game.

No evidence yet that this will produce a new tone of collegiality and toned down rhetoric — but at least for the moment it is good to see a renewed spirit of national community.

Grade: C

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