The virtue of selfishness, trumpeted by Ayn Rand, belonged to the post-industrial revolution era which not only created the great middle class of the 20th Century, but also created a handful of industrial houses which then created the world’s largest economy. The era of technology that brought us mainframes, personal computers, and the evolution of the internet contributed to the upward mobility of people as productivity gains translated into profits and careers that carried many baby boomers upward and forward. The following generations (X, Y, and Millennials) have a different perspective on what they want from their lives.
With no apologies to Ayn Rand (Virtue of selfishness), my take is that the new generation is driven by the “virtue of self” in an altruistic model rather than a self-centered model. These generations are more inclined to search for purpose and meaning with less emphasis on the materialistic side. Everyone starts with their individual career goals, but some go beyond. For many who struggle with everyday needs and expectations, going beyond the norm is the stuff of dreams. To nurture and support such dreams in the coming generations, technology is the key.
Intrinsic skills are individual specific. Business requires the creation of value to every customer. Inability to connect individual skill to a business model in society is termed as job and/or career stagnation. We all have become great consumers, thanks to infinite customization possibilities of every service and product. To change that paradigm, we have our work cut out for us. Imagine the possibilities if we can ignite that internal purpose by allowing individuals to discover, connect, nurture, strengthen, and engage their intrinsic skills and inherent value systems to community business and social needs locally, regionally, nationally and globally. Here is an opportunity to replicate the post-industrial successes but with a 21st century twist. The twist is making technology work by the people and for the people.
To get started on this journey, we have the “Avatar” family and their perspectives and priorities in life. I will be sharing their everyday challenges and aspirations. Let us get started on this journey, validating the true purpose of technology i.e. unlocking the inherent capabilities that allow one to go beyond themselves and on to the community.
I would now like to introduce the Avatar family: Lynette (40) and John Avatar (41) have been married for 20 years. They met in college where John was in the Mechanical Engineering program and Lynette was majoring in Biology. Their daughter Jessica (18) is a freshman in college (Undecided) and their son Joe (13) is in the 8th grade. John’s father, George (65), and his mother, Diana (63), live a few blocks away. Living with George is his mother, Adriana Avatar (95). From Adriana’s migration from Europe, to the baby boomers who made the U.S.A. into a global superpower, to generation Y who focused on professional careers and finally to the Millennials in school, we will share their stories on how they have made the Avatar Platform technology work for them.