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Words of Wisdom from 2016

Over the course of 2016, we’ve had the opportunity to speak with some incredible entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and industry innovators. As we look back on all that we’ve learned this year, here are some of our favorite words of wisdom from the friends and mentors of Purpose Generation.

"I see the pressure millennials are under to constantly job hop and seek out new professional experiences, but I think there can be so much room for growth and opportunity at a company or organization if you stay for two to three and a half years. When you give a bit more of your time to something, it can completely change your career trajectory."

Susanne Slater, President and CEO at Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C.

"Millennials are drawn to clean ingredients and products that tell a story. First and foremost, a product needs to taste good and be good for you. Nobody buys a product just to support women in West Africa – but they are probably more likely to share it on social media or tell a friend about the brand because of that impact. As a result, brand loyalty is much higher when people are proud to consume your product."

Lisa Curtis, Founder of Kuli Kuli

What I love about [the millennial] generation is their massive desire for social good – and they have the education, technology and innovative minds to do it. But to go from ideas to action requires a real challenger mindset – a willingness to not only see things that are broken and the need to fix them, but also the drive and resilience to go after solutions regardless of the weeks, months and possibly years of naysayers, failures, and setbacks. 

Sarah Robb O’Hagan, Founder of EXTREMEYOU

"If you know your customer, and you know the person that’s going to be super excited when they find out about your product or service, you’ll want to share your service with as many of those people as possible. That’s healthy growth."

Justin Mares, Co-Author of Traction

"With an emphasis on slow food and experiential investments over purely commercial investments, I think [the millennial] generation appreciates buying less things and making each purchase more meaningful."

- Elizabeth and Kathryn Fortunato, Co-Founders of Lizzie Fortunato

"Start with your passion, and where you stand today. If people tell you that lack of capital is the issue, they're not passionate enough because there's capital everywhere. Money is not the issue. It's passion, vision, drive, determination. Capital is the byproduct of having the right mindset and addressing the right issues and challenges."

- Nate Morris, CEO and Founder of Rubicon Global

"Millennials are the first generation not to have been taught by their parents how to cook. As a result, they are the most adventurous when it comes to trying new food trends. It has taken a long time to convince people that processed foods loaded with sugar and wheat are not very good for you, but millennials are listening."

- Robert Grieg-Gran, Co-CEO of Mindful Chef

"Millennials are thinking differently, challenging the status quo, and pushing boundaries. Their willingness to remain open to new possibilities is driving businesses to continue to evolve, innovate and move forward. I am excited about their commitment to work-life integration and the belief that you can have it all - a career, a family, love, and passion."

- Denise Morrison, President and CEO of Campbell Soup Company

"Never before has a generation had more access to information through the proliferation of the internet and smart devices, but access doesn’t necessarily translate into education. It’s a fascinating dichotomy to be the generation with the most access to information, yet potentially be the least informed. This creates a compelling opportunity for true, objective thought leaders to capture the mindshare of millennial clients."

- Patrick Biggs, Financial Advisor at RBK Group Morgan Stanley

"Millennials are not afraid to ask the tough questions. They are not satisfied by the 'because that’s the way we have always done it' answer. Their capacity to problem solve, connect across socioeconomic boundaries, and embrace technology to drive change is inspiring. I think they are capable of coming up with creative solutions to some of the world’s most challenging problems and will do so with a unique sensitivity for equality, tolerance and social justice."

- Bill Woodley, CEO of Deutsche Bank Americas

"It's been amazing to see more and more millennials running for office to try and be part of the solution. Millennials are problem-solvers, do-ers, and fixers. We’re pragmatic idealists, who will change the dynamic in Washington once we make up more of its ranks."

David Burstein, Founder of Run for America

"Community to us is about respecting others, working towards a common goal, and believing that the work created by a community is stronger than the work created by an individual."

Mackenzie Barth, Co-founder and CEO of Spoon University