Q&A With David Burstein, Author of Fast Future

David Burstein, 24, is a Millennial writer, filmmaker, and storyteller. He is the author of Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our World, the first broad book about the Millennial generation, written by a Millennial. The book takes readers inside the largest generation in history to tell how and why they are changing business, technology, culture, and politics. Ypulse had a chance to sit down with David and get his perspective on how he sees the potential of Millennials and the impact they will have on the future. 

Ypulse: Firstly, let’s talk about Fast Future. What exactly is the Fast Future? 

David Burstein: The Fast Future is the reality we are all living in right now. It’s a world where so much change happens so fast that we can’t always figure out whether we are living in the future or the present because the line between the two is increasingly blurry. While there has always been change in our world, today the exponential growth of digital technology is producing a series of constant simultaneous revolutions in almost every sector. For other generations, this presents a real challenge, because they have to constantly adapt to this Fast Future world. But for this generation, we’ve come of age understanding the Fast Future as the new normal and it’s allowing us to be incredibly effective agents of change, we simply see opportunities where others don’t. There are many disaffected people in Egypt, but Millennials intuitively saw that they could use technology to power a movement for change so they acted on that idea and toppled their leader. 

YP: How do you think large businesses and corporations with hierarchical systems can learn from Millennial business leaders and what strategies would you recommend implementing within their eco-system to attract and…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“Art is basically my job and I enjoy it so much.”—Female, 15, MD

Snap is making its “biggest move” in scripted original content, teaming up with NBCUniversal and the Duplass brothers for their next series. The Duplass-owned creative studio Donut will produce original series for Snap shot in vertical video. NBCU and Snap will also be opening a joint digital content studio focused completely on mobile-first entertainment, “formaliz[ing] their partnership” and putting Snap firmly in the producing/original content creation camp. Snap’s mobile-only approach is part of a movement to shake up how we view videos—in fact, they’re calling their offering “a fundamentally new medium.” (THRTechCrunch)

Eggo frozen waffles are capitalizing on their unexpected Stranger Things’ fame. The brand has seized the marketing opportunity of being a part of one of Millennials & Gen Z’s favorite shows, tying themselves into Netflix’s Super Bowl ad, creating a special toaster for select fans, and swarming New York Comic Con with people dressed up like Eleven armed with “watch party kits” (aka “waffles and a microwavable syrup server”). To prep for the premiere of season two of the show, Eggo is sending out a fully-loaded food truck for the red carpet premiere, and going all out on social media to connect with fans. (MediaPost)

More teens than ever have severe anxiety, but why? The American College Health Association found a 12% increase in undergrads reporting “overwhelming anxiety” from 2011 to 2016, and several studies concur that “there’s just been a steady increase of severely anxious students.” Social media is part of the problem—constant like-monitoring and cyber bullying isn’t helping the most stressed generation to date. There’s also an increasing (and constant) perceived need to over-achieve. One psychology professor observes, “There’s always one more activity, one more A.P. class, one more thing to do in order to get into a top college.” (NYTimes)

Ypulse research has shown that 88% of Millennial parents are trying to avoid helicopter parenting—but they might not be able to help it. The constant media storm of global atrocities and everyday stories of parenting gone wrong combined with advertisers’ willingness to fear-monger, results in a generation of (understandably) anxious parents. It doesn’t help that the tech to constantly monitor kids is easily available (albeit pricey)—from drone surveillance meant for the military to devices that track “blood-oxygen levels all night long.” One relationship therapist sums up, “Everyone is having a hard time drawing a line and just figuring out what’s reasonable versus what’s over-protective.” (Refinery29)

Brands are turning college students into mini-sales forces. Aerie, Victoria’s Secret Pink, and Express are just a few of the many brands that have a program for college campus reps where students receive swag, experience, and other perks for helping bring brand awareness to their colleges. Though brands don’t always require social posts, most ambassadors do share their swag on social, bringing organic ads to their friends’ feeds. The biggest draw is that social posts from reps “[come] across as natural, authentic, a product that they would normally use or want to talk about.” (Racked)

“[Celebrity] can mean anything nowadays and it's a rather diluted term; from YouTube star, to someone on Instagram with millions of followers, to reality TV dopes, etc.”—Male, 30, WI

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