The impact of the millennial generation was the focus of roundtable talks on ethical and sustainable corporations for the future at Day Two of the Global Integrity Summit.
In her opening statement, Chair of 2014 G20 Youth Summit Holly Ransom said young people and technology will be the key drivers of change to business and its ethics in the future.
Millennials will make up three quarters of the world’s workforce by 2025. Ms Ransom says young people will bring a shift to business mindset.
“We’re seeing a mind-set shift that we didn’t think was possible, we’re seeing a shift from ownership to access, and this is the rise of what they call the collaborative or the sharing economy,”
“This is a generation whose formative years were informed by situations [such as] the BP oil spill and the Global Financial Crisis,” she said.
“These ethical issues and these enormously flawed corporate decision making processes really brought the absence of ethics in certain realms of our corporations to the fore.
“This means that business will need to shape the goods and services that they offer and how they go about doing that offering as well as the ways they seek to engage in a work sense and a leadership sense with this generation.”
Ms Ransom said the financial reality young people currently face with high unemployment has resulted in lower levels of home and car ownership and a new type of economy.
“We’re seeing a mind-set shift that we didn’t think was possible, we’re seeing a shift from ownership to access, and this is the rise of what they call the collaborative or the sharing economy,” she said.
Examples of the new sharing economy include business models like ride-sharing app Uber. Ms Ransom said this market currently worth $10 billion is anticipated to grow to $335 billion by the end of the decade.
She said consumers and business should be looking to the government’s reaction to competition pressure from this new economy.
Award-winning journalist and Chair of the roundtable discussion Madonna King said the disruption of the sharing economy is being felt in the media industry.
“I think the media industry now is totally splintered, and that means two things, access and distribution are huge,” she said.
Ms King said as a result, audiences are no longer loyal to one media outlet but get information from many sources and journalists can now include anyone who distributes information.
“You take Andrew Bolt, he has as many Twitter followers as a news paper, so some people will gravitate towards Andrew Bolt, because that’s what they want to hear,” she said.
“The sad thing in that is general information is probably reducing… People are now inclined to follow the information that they want to hear or that they’re interested in.”
Ms King said the world needs to adapt to the changes of the sharing economy.
“Disruption is here, we’ve seen it in the taxi industry, we’ve seen it in the accommodation industry… we’re going to see everything turn on its head,” she said.