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Coming of Age: Millenials, our new cultural apprentices

9BiZ6fThe latest Strategy+Business briefing claims that in a new marketing and media eco-system, some will fail, some will thrive: all will definitely have to evolve. Digital Darwinism may well come into play:

An ecosystem is an appropriate metaphor for today’s marketing environment. It is a dynamic, complex, and interconnected community in which marketers, advertising agencies, and media companies depend on one another, to a certain extent, to survive and thrive. But it is also a brutal, competitive arena, where a kind of “digital Darwinism,” or survival of the fittest, holds sway, rapidly distinguishing winners from losers.

In order for organisations in the cultural sector to have the power to evolve, digital knowledge and skills are needed – quickly. To do this rapidly, we can either train up the digital migrants, or value the digital natives in our organisations (anyone under the age of 28 who has “grown up digital”, with always on computing via many devices).

Andy Burnham has pledged this week to create 10,000 new entry-level jobs in the cultural sector. The Stage reports:

The positions, which will be paid at least at National Minimum Wage, will primarily take the form of apprenticeships or on the job training for people aged between 18 to 24 who have been out of work for up to a year. Theatres and other arts institutions will be able to make applications to the Department of Work and Pensions for a slice of its £1.1 billion Future Jobs Fund, which was unveiled at the recent Budget.

So that now gives arts organisations better access to an apprenticeship scheme. But more importantly, imagine being able to tap into the momentum, energy, prodigious digital skills of the digital natives – who are Millenials/Generation Y. Unlike Gen X-ers (me :-), they are confident in and very trusting of public institutions. They are ultra-community minded, and understand the power their voices have, especially through maximising the power of digital networks.

Generation Y are a great opportunity. Lets not be dinosaurs about this. Lets work with the Millenials and use their passion, voices and networks to avoid extinction.