Power Shift: Massive Transition in Generational Influence
As Boomers pass the torch, which generation will lead? Will Gen Xers step up to reshape society, or will tech-savvy Millennials and Gen Zs leapfrog them?
An interesting thing is happening in the West—and particularly in the United States. Baby Boomers are currently the wealthiest and most influential generation. Weighing in at 70.2 million strong, Boomers hold 53% of all U.S. household wealth and comprise a majority of S&P 500 CEOs, Chief Justices, and State Governors. While they have worked longer than generations before them, excluding Gen Xers from these positions of power, they are now retiring in droves.
Gen Xers are poised to inherit the wealth and leadership positions of the Boomers, but an uncontested ascension isn’t guaranteed. Xers do presently have the highest level of cultural influence, dominating top positions at large news corporations and media outlets, but Millennials and some enterprising Gen Zs are in hot pursuit.
As Millennials and Gen Zs emerge, they’re changing the rules of engagement. In the face of divisive politics, existential environmental threats, global pandemics, and social justice challenges, younger generations are calling out a broken status quo, demanding an urgent reckoning, bold leadership, and a radically better future.
The passion, purpose, optimism, and outrage of these generations are creating endemic structural change. The generations that grew up with active shooter drills in schools, fake news, and catastrophic climate events have had enough.
Exhausted with how negative and divided our country has become, these younger individuals are flipping the script on the current national dialogue.
And they’re motivated to act: according to Green Builder Media’s COGNITION Smart Data, over 80% of these budding leaders believe that they can—and must—step up to make difference in the world. Will their undaunted optimism yield a radical reimagination of our culture?