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Gather research from

  • The Gen Y Report
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  • Volume 4.1: American Man
  • Volume 4.2: American Woman
  • Curve Volume 5: America Now
  • Curve Volume 6: CultureFirst™

The Stat[US] Update

The Curve, America Now, 2015 – It’s nice to dream about a more open-minded, empathetic America, but have we just “gone coastal”? Is there a real changeover happening, in which minority groups are collectively becoming the new mainstream, or is this shift simply reflective of the East Coast and West Coast elite? We surveyed the nation with one question in mind: How progressive are we? This collection of data-driven trends tells a bigger story about where the critical mass stands on issues ranging from women’s empowerment to whether we’ll really ride our bikes to work (spoiler: According to Americans, we’re more likely to travel to space than bike to work).

Bottoms Up, America!

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The problem is, according to the majority of boomers, Generation Xers, and Ys, it is broke—and by “it,” we mean the government, the social safety net, education, and the economy. So how do we fix it? Across the board, respondents said that the best approach is radical reinvention rather than a return to tradition, with a bottom-up philosophy (empowering individuals) rather than top-down change (strong leadership). Specifically, among those who feel the government is in need of repair, 68% vote for reinvention versus tradition, and 55% say bottom up is better; 80% would reinvent the social safety net, with 50% voting for bottom-up change; 68% would reinvent education, with 64% voting for bottom-up change; and 61% would reinvent the economy, with 51% voting for bottom-up change. Fortunately, a digital groundswell is already under way. To learn more about what’s percolating from the bottom up, turn to All Things D-Versified.

The End of All-Things-P?

Paper (including newspapers, magazines, catalogs, and direct mail), privacy, and pristine green are among the top 10 things Americans say will no longer exist in 2050. Rounding out respondents’ top 10 are bans against gay marriage (number one: 43% predicted that such legislation was on its way out just months before the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic decision legalizing gay marriage), film cameras, and desktop computers. Snapchat, the ephemeral social media platform, is the only 21st-century creation to make it into the top 10 (however, it’s worth noting that Facebook came in at number 15, just ahead of polar bears).

Here to stay, according to Americans, is a range of the good, the bad, and the ugly. The good: maternity leave, new ideas, and red hair (diversity still reigns!). The bad: childhood obesity, national debt, and poverty. The ugly: wrinkles, gridlock, and—shockingly—e-mail. Another p likely to be less common in 2050 is paychecks, from employers that is: 19% of Americans believe that nine-to-five jobs are on their way out. For more on the rising indie workforce, check out Air LLC.

Mr. Mom, Ok— Ms. Breadwinner, No Way

Get ready for robots to replace workers, dads to replace moms, and Hillary to replace Bill. America’s top 10 predictions for 2050 include: Robots will do many of the jobs that we currently do today; there will be as many stay-at-home dads as there are stay-at-home moms; and we will have had at least two female presidents. Lowest on America’s list of what will change by 2050: women earning more than men. In fact, Americans are three times more likely to say that we’ll find life on another planet than achieve income equality. We get to the bottom of the gender gap with the help of eight female boundary breakers in The Girl Code.

Millennial Minded

A total of 86% of boomers (78%), Xers (86%), and Ys (90%) agree that the millennial generation has popularized more progressive ideals, such as acceptance of diversity and social good. While millennials are still the pioneers of new lifestyles in America, with three-quarters (73%) reporting that they are taking an alternative path in a major area of life, such as education, career, relationships, or parenting (as compared to 60% of Generation X and 48% of boomers), Gen Xers and boomers rated themselves just as open-minded, optimistic, and socially conscious as their younger counterparts. The halo effect of the growing millennial mind-set is a surge in social good and pocket empowerment: 80% of 18- to 54-year-olds say they are more likely to buy brands that are aligned with social causes. Check out The Good Stuff—our picks of the top 10 brands, organizations, ventures, and products that stand out through social good.

The 50-50 States of America

As a sign of the changing times, America is split on a range of issues, from how to marry (half say the altar, half say the alternative arrangement of partnership without legal marriage) to how to effect the most change in the country (50% say through government-set laws; 50% say through Internet-led principles). Similarly, half of America says that coding will be more relevant in the future than voting, while the other half says the opposite. America’s take on the gender spectrum is equally split: 50% say that it’s simple—there are two genders, male and female, and the other 50% say that it’s complicated—there’s a continuum between blue and pink. But one place where Americans are coming together, whether they want to or not, is the urban center: 75% of the global population will live in one by 2050. With this in mind, we consulted with a range of experts about how to make the urban jungle more civilized—and sustainable—for the future. Find out why mind space is the new green space and trash is the new treasure in Urban Jungle Undone.

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