With more than 1,000 movers and shakers preparing to make the pilgrimage to Mackinac Island for the Detroit Regional Chamber's conference May 29-31, I couldn't help but wonder: What if the Gen Y-ers were in charge of this event?
You know, the sons and daughters (even some grandkids) of boomers. The ones weaned on the Internet, who prefer tweeting about things rather than waxing poetic in newspaper op-ed pieces.
Instead of talking about the woeful state of public transit in the state as often happens at the conference, there's little chance the Gen Y-ers would have tolerated the endless chatter.
If there is a hallmark of this generation, it is impatience.
In their frenetic 24/7 world, they would have dealt with this issue years ago and moved on to others.
Not since our grandparents and great-grandparents' time has a generation been so smitten by the entrepreneurial bug and focused on the need to start endeavors they can call their own.
Perhaps their independent streak stems from seeing what happens when you rely on outside entities. Many have had front row seats to seeing what the Generous Motors culture has done to their parents. They also have grown up in the post-9/11 world.
It's wonderful some Gen Y-ers will be among boomers during an entrepreneurial panel at the conference. And they're making their way onto leadership boards.
But it would be more interesting to see what would happen with them at the throttle. They are already making a difference in the state.
Folks like Rishi Jaitly, 29-year-old director of the Knight Foundation, who moved here with his wife, Anuja, leaving a career at Google to co-found Michigan Corps, www.michigancorps.org, Kiva Detroit,www.kiva.org/detroit, and be a part of Detroit's rebirth.
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.