Briefs: Generations + Life Stages

The Future of Gamification


Gamification is the addition of gamelike elements to tasks or activities in the workplace, in points of business-consumer interaction, and in people’s daily lives. It is seen as a way to increase consumer and employee engagement and enlist emotion, and thereby change behaviors or motivate people to act. Any activity that can be tracked or measured can be gamified.

Some respondents to a Pew Internet & American Life Project survey on the topic felt that gamification’s ability to engage and motivate would make it important to education, even if there are limitations to how far it might spread into other parts of everyday life.

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A Dozen Surprises About the Future of Work

Eye-Tracking Peter_Sheik_Flickr

By Dr. Andy Hines

1. Hey, that’s cheating. Augmented or enhanced human characteristics will present challenges for organizations and individual talent.

2. Emerging markets rewrite the rules of work and work culture. As emerging markets improve their positions, they will influence the culture of work.

3. Intelligence shows up in unusual places. Information technology (IT) will create new forms of intelligence that will migrate into infrastructure, devices — or persons (wearables or implants), or all of the above.Read more…

Millennials and Parenting: New Approaches in the Digital Age

Flickr_Michael Coghlan

The Millennial generation has delayed such traditional milestones as getting married and having children. Yet over the last decade, more than 20 million Millennials have become parents. And in the coming 10 to 15 years, tens of millions more will join them, leading to perhaps the biggest parenting generation in US history.

Soon to become the largest cohort of adults in the United States, the 80 million Millennials have been shaped by an array of forces — including the digital age, the lingering recession, and the unemployment of their teens or early adulthood — that earlier generations did not experience.

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Millennials and Money: A Generation of Savers?

Money!by Vincent Diamante

The Millennial generation is earning, saving, and spending more money every year.

The oldest Millennials, now in their mid-30s, are entering their prime earning years, while younger Millennials — many of them well-educated and with high earning potential — are still joining the workforce. Millennials already account for 21 percent of consumer discretionary spending — pumping $1.3 trillion into the economy. And by 2017, the Millennial generation is projected to surpass the boomer generation in spending power — and become the most active spenders of the first half of the 21st century.

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American Parents’ Changing Attitudes: New Roles, New Needs


The values and attitudes of American parents about their parental roles, their children, and their careers are changing — driven by economic realities, shifting gender roles, and generational transitions.

Major trends underway include:

  • US parents are extraordinarily focused on their children’s cognitive development.
  • The roles of mothers and fathers are converging more than ever.
  • Mothers’ attitudes toward work-life balance are splitting along economic lines.
  • Both genders feel more stressed by juggling work and family.

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Is Average Over?

Brandon Martin-Anderson

Tyler Cowen, a professor of economics at George Mason University and a popular economics blogger, made waves with his bestseller Average Is Over, a controversial and compelling forecast that maintains that the modern world is on the cusp of a sea change, brought on largely by the rise of artificial intelligence (AI).

“The basic look of our lives … hasn’t been revolutionized all that much in 40 to 50 years,” Cowen writes. “That’s about to change.”

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Land of the Setting Sun: Japan’s Time Bomb

Japan_LandofSettingSun_Max max Flickr

Japan, the third largest economy in the world, is experiencing dramatic and potentially disastrous demographic shifts. Japan’s population, already old, is aging rapidly.

But in recent years, Japan has begun facing another demographic challenge: In addition to aging, the country’s total population has now begun shrinking. As a result of this overall decline, the senior share of the population is growing even more quickly. While the senior population continues to grow, the population of children and working-age adults is dropping.

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China’s Post-2000 Generation: Understanding the Kids Today

Image: Flickr, creative commons for creative use

Most of today’s Chinese children were born during the 2000s. The 154 million members of the post-2000 generation live in unprecedented prosperity, with resources never before lavished on a generation in China — enhanced for many by their status as only children.

As they enter their teen and young-adult years, members of this generation will face a range of challenges, including meeting their own and their parents’ high expectations, and navigating life in a middle-income country that still constrains many personal freedoms. This clash could set the stage for change in China.

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Top Global Risks: Is the World Riskier?


The world is slightly more at risk in 2013 than it was in 2012, according to Global Risks 2013, the eighth annual edition of this authoritative series on global risk from the World Economic Forum (WEF).

According to the 1,000-plus experts surveyed by WEF, almost all of the top 50 global risks identified in 2012 are deemed more likely to manifest in the next 10 years than they were in 2012. Many were seen as having greater potential impact than a year ago as well.

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The Next Generation of Stay-at-Home Dads

flickr_Mateus Lunardi Dutra

The past decade has seen the emergence of a new twist on the traditional nuclear family: mothers who work full time (like their fathers did), while fathers stay at home and take care of the day-to-day responsibilities of parenting.

And although the Great Recession may have accelerated this trend, studies have shown that the majority of men who engage in full-time parenting have not been forced to do so by difficult economic circumstances, but, rather, have chosen to do so.

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The Connected Family: Technology Is the Tie That Binds


The modern American family is increasingly reliant on technology for internal communication, coordination, entertainment, and household management. As digital devices, applications, and media multiply, acquisition costs fall, and market penetration grows, each family member — from the youngest to the oldest — is more and more able, and likely, to choose his or her own digital road when it comes to spending time at home.

Digital technology is also helping to ease household management for busy families, as well as stretching the boundaries of the physical household and making it easier to seamlessly integrate distant grandparents or kids away at college into everyday family life.Read more…

Kevin Osborn’s Four Futurist Forecasts on The Future of Fatherhood

Eduardo-Merille_Flickr copyMen’s attitudes towards everything from work and education to marriage and raising children have been changing over time. What’s driving these changes in attitude? Are men approaching fatherhood differently than previous generations? How should businesses market to these new dads?

To answer these and other questions, we turn to Kevin Osborn, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Fatherhood — as well as The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Bringing Up Baby, and The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Parenting a Preschooler and Toddler.

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The New American Grandparents


As demographers and market analysts have been trumpeting for years, the baby boomers — who have transformed virtually every life stage they have gone through — are now entering their retirement years.

The oldest boomers have already turned 65, and some 10,000 more will turn 65 each day of the next 16 years. And while many analysts have already turned their attention to how boomers will alter retirement, most boomers — as well as many older members of Gen X — have already reached, and begun to change, another significant life stage: grandparenthood.

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Taking It Slow: Understanding the Slowness Movement

michael pollak slow flickr

Life is moving too fast. In our always-on culture, more and more people are saying that they feel overwhelmed: too much to do, too much information, too many responsibilities, and, above all, not enough time. These feelings have sparked a growing movement to slow down the pace of life.

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Millennial Women at Work: Progress and Struggles in the American Workplace

flickr_ITU Pictures

The roles, opportunities, and treatment of women in the American workplace have been gradually shifting for many decades. Issues such as equal opportunity and equal pay for equal work have been addressed across several generations, yet remain unresolved. The Millennials are the latest generation to encounter these workplace hurdles. In October 2013, Pew Research Center surveyed 2,002 adults, including 810 Millennials (ages 18 to 32), asking questions pertaining to gender and work. Pew combined the results with analysis of Census data to create a picture of the roles and attitudes of men and women in the US workplace.Read more…

Millennials and Health: Seven Trends

Healthcare Apps for Android Tablets - Intel Free Press

Members of the Millennial generation, born between 1979 and 1998, are 16–35 years of age in 2014. Like every generation before them, Millennials have been shaped by the parenting style of the generation that raised them (the boomers) and by a unique set of life experiences. As they head off to college, enter the workforce, and start families, Millennials are poised to bring their desires, values, and style to every aspect of society.

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