Read Richard Branson’s article about the importance of travel (link above).
Branson is a serial entrepreneur. He is also a passionate philanthropist and he is trailblazing a new paradigm for the next generation of entrepreneurs.
I remember the exact moment I left Vietnam after spending two weeks with my new buddy “Duc” while studying abroad in the winter of 2008. We spent long bus rides across the country, me not speaking Vietnamese and him not speaking English. We wrote in little notebooks trying to translate. Just a few decades before, people from our respective homes fought in the rice paddies we were now traveling along.
The time I spent traveling S.E. Asia changed my entire perspective on the world. People say it’s a small world. Get on a jet that travels 500+ mph for 15 hours and tell me how small it is. You realize how far away we really are from each other. BUT, what makes the world small are the things we have in common. Duc and I found out quickly (though challenging) that we had similar families, we enjoyed similar childhood games, and that the rice paddies that surrounded his house were just like the corn fields that surrounded mine.
I am because you are. I am compassionate for you, because I am you. You are just as human as I am. Just as I am because you are, I am not or cannot be without you.
– Richard Branson
Engulfing oneself into other cultures and other ways of being develops a respect and compassion for fellow beings. Consistent travel promotes that experience. In Pendulum: How Past Generations Shape Our Present & Predict Our Future, the millennial generation’s values can be predicted based on the pendulum type swings of generational values over the course of humanity. It’s safe to say, based on historical data, that the millennial generation will find value in community, innovation, and collaboration.
I believe the next generation of entrepreneurs will exist and be successful in a socially-conscious way. We see folks like Branson, Blake Mycoskie of TOMS Shoes, & Bill Gates leading the charge…and there is a whole host of others following in their footsteps.
The millennial generation will forge a new paradigm and a new definition of personal success. This isn’t a proclamation of one generation better than another, but more an observance of generational values and an understanding of how past generations shape our present and predict our future. For more insight, read Pendulum by Roy Williams and Michael Drew. The book offers compelling evidence of the pendulum type swings of generational values and supports the notion that the millennial generation is more likely to be more community- and socially-conscious than the preceding generations. If it’s true, we will see an explosion of social entrepreneurs using the evolution of connected technology to create a more cohesive, sustainable society.