Who are Millennials in Hampton Roads, really? Where do they work? How do they chill? And what issues are important to them?
Many simply answer these questions with blanket statements, and we’ve heard them all:
- Millennials are apathetic, they say.
- Millennials are lazy, others insist.
- Millennials are self-obsessed, some believe.
Global Shapers Norfolk wants to challenge the negative images assigned to Millennials by inviting you to be a part of a bit of a social experiment. From June 23rd-July24th, we’re sharing our Instagram password with strangers in the community and letting them show what they love (and don’t love) about Hampton Roads. Through this experiment, we are testing the hypothesis that 757 Millennials are connected, committed, and diverse. Why is this so important that we showcase the voices of Millennials in Hampton Roads?
- Voice Each day, the campaign will feature a “Question of the Day.” We ask everything from “What should we call this place?” to “Does the future of the 757 include you?” Not only do we want to see your world through pictures, we want to hear what you find important.
- Visibility The primary goal of this campaign is to inspire. The success of that goal relies on one important thing: you being yourself. If you sign up for the #WeAre757Millennials campaign, you will be asked to take a few pictures of what’s meaningful to you — your favorite quiet coffee shop, your dog, your #desksituation — and post them to Instagram. (Can you handle that?) By showcasing your passion, profession and hobbies, we can seize the opportunity to shape the identity of our rapidly-growing community. And with that kind of visibility comes validation.
- Validation Validation can only be achieved through accurate reflection. When done in an authentic manner, and with the intent of truly understanding the young adult experience and not judging it, accurate reflection can be super-validating. Through #WeAre757Millennials, we hope you see yourself in the friends and strangers who share their photos and thoughts, and you feel more confident and connected to the community of peers around you.
- Economic Vitality Collaboration breeds innovation. By building strong social networks, Millennials grow the economy. (I knew that social media addiction would come in handy.) Strong communities are good for just about every other indicator of a region’s well-being as well. Today, a community’s health is directly linked to the type of civic vitality and social interactions that engaged Millennials can generate. Building the kind of social capital that guides a community through tough economic and political times comes naturally to Millennials, so, if we want to encourage Millennials to settle in Hampton Roads, benefit from their hard work to grow the economy, and increase civic engagement, it’s important to rally behind activities like #WeAre757Millennials.
We’re calling on all local 18-34 year-olds — entrepreneurs, military servicemen and women, creatives, parents, pet parents, college students, everyone! — to join the conversation. If you’d like to show the community what life is really like for young adults in Hampton Roads, visit norfolkglobalshapers.com/projects to learn more and sign up. To get a feel for this kind of campaign, take a look at other wildly-successful Instagram projects like RDU Baton.
Get excited! You’re about to be a part of something really cool. And we all know Millennials love that kinda thing.