Differences and challenges of millennials and centennials

The Externado de Colombia University Society, Government, and Technology Observatory is conducting a study on trends and best education practices, targeting these two new generations.

How do millennials (born between 1981 and 1994) and centennials (born between 1995 and 2017, plus those who will be born by 2020) vote)?  What technological devices do they use? How have their attitudes changed regarding the Internet?

These and other questions are answered in the Externado Society, Government, and Technology Observatory study,  which began in November, and for the next six months gathered and analyzed different data to compare these two generations with previous ones.

The study defines millennials as young people who pursue a life rich in experiences, over material achievements. Their way of thinking has led to their classification as innovative, creative, self-sufficient, self-centered, narcissistic, and materialist individuals.

On the other hand, centennials are concerned with society’s capability to meet everyone’s needs, beyond their personal and professional interest. They are characterized for breaking molds; they enjoy complete independence and freedom and consider themselves nomadic by nature.

Nevertheless, both generations are concerned with improving their social and environmental surroundings and seek practical knowledge to generate effective solutions to problems.

Additionally, the study offers recommendations and suggestions to decision-makers and those involved in public policies on how to reach and involve millennials and centennials in their activities.

Currently, researchers continue the study with the goal to offer, from the Academia, strategies to guide professors on how to teach and how to recover the confidence of these two generations.

Following are some of the strategies the Observatory recommends applying, from education, to encourage these young, “digital natives” to become involved in generating solutions and opportunities facing the challenges associated with climate change, environmental degradation, population growth, and digital economy:

  • Change the classroom function of the educational process and its relationship with new technologies.
  • Develop teacher skills to personalize and facilitate teaching and learning processes.
  • Integrate divergent thinking – education from the problems – and lateral thinking – education from the absurd – in education.
  • Create new contents to achieve teaching and learning objectives, integrating disciplines and digital tools.

This first part of the study concentrated on training workshops for professors of the Externado Law Faculty on “Trends in Millennials and Centennials Education.”