Here come the millennials to the polls

Check out my Tumblr blog for an .mp3 link to a great podcast discussion from BusinessWeek on the millennial generation’s participation in this coming presidential election.

It will be very interesting to see if the young generation’s vote comes through in November.

This discussion not only sparks my interest because I am a member of the millennial generation (also called Generation Y), but also because ever since my Organizational Behavior class, I have been interested in generational studies. In my OB class, I researched the way in which Generation Yers were making their thoughts and desires known in the workplace–this generation seems to be much more vocal than their older peers, Generation X. There has been a lot of research on Gen Y’s desire for a proper work life/balance. They don’t want to be over-worked into exhaustion like they have watched their parents. They want to work for companies that pay good money while also supporting good causes like environmental sustainability, fair trade, and fair wages.

Now the question is — Can the presidential candidates keep Gen Y’s interest all the way through November? 

Corporate Sustainability

I just finished reading the cover story (Little Green Lies) from the October 29, 2007 issue of BusinessWeek magazine. The article offered a fascinating look into the difficult job of a “corporate sustainability” advocate.

Over the past decade, some companies have been quick to cash-in on the beneficial PR that comes with corporate environmentalism. For many firms, this has meant buying renewable energy credits (RECs), and releasing statements claiming that the company is committed to minimizing greenhouse gases. In many cases, the firm does nothing to actually minimize its own share of greenhouse gas emission. The company buys RECs, and continues to pollute as it always has in the past.

This article highlights the fact that businesses have a lot to learn about true environmental stewardship. Will there come a day when the “Chief Sustainability Officer” has the same amount of clout as the CFO when it comes to corporate financial decisions?

We will have to wait and see.

Update: The Triple Bottom Line Blog has some critical points to make about the BW article.