Not long ago, Americans were more likely than Canadians to support the Keystone XL pipeline. Today, the tables have turned.
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Deeply skeptical of authority, and lacking strong social and emotional connections, Lone Wolves resemble the stereotypical Gen Xers of the 1990s: cool and standoffish. These Millennials are solitary, and favour keeping life simple and straightforward. They are seldom involved in community events, have little civic engagement and they don’t feel strongly connected to what’s going on in society at large. Still, whereas some people who feel disconnected from society feel angry or hostile to others, Lone Wolves are low-key: they are not xenophobic or sexist, for instance. If disaffected Gen Xers’ motto was “Whatever,” perhaps the Lone Wolves’ words to live by are “I’m not hurting anyone. Just let me be.”
Engaged Idealists are Millennials on steroids: engaged, sociable, energetic, experience-seeking and idealistic. They believe in contributing as much as possible to their relationships, careers and communities—and the reward for their efforts is personal growth and development.
These Millennials believe that their actions matter, shaping their lives and the world around them. They recognize that their environment is complex, but feel confident in their ability to navigate it. They want interesting, meaningful careers that let them express themselves and use the creativity that is central to their identity. Money is nice, but the quality of their work experiences is a higher priority. They also try to have time for spontaneous fun, which they see as an important part of a happy, balanced life.
Bros and Brittanys
Avid risk-takers who pursue thrills and excitement, Bros and Brittanys are Millennials who work hard to get paid and have the lifestyle they want. They are the largest segment of their generation and very enthusiastic consumers. These Millennials embrace technology and appreciate social connectivity. Looking good and being respected is important to them—and, as such, they like to stay current with the latest trends. These Millennials are not looking to change the world and sometimes they don’t feel in control of their destinies. Time for an escape and a little fun like catching a concert, beer and HD sports in the man cave or a girls’ night out are important to them.
To Diverse Strivers, ‘making it’ in life, and doing things that bring new and intense experiences are top priority. These Millennials crave success and they push themselves to achieve it in a number of ways. They work hard in their careers and pursue personal challenges (like marathons or marathon hot yoga sessions) in the off-hours. They try to inspire respect in those closest to them by doing their duty, and being upstanding members of their families and communities. They take care to look good, and have the latest gadgets and toys to maintain a sharp and successful appearance. Diverse Strivers report high levels of vitality—they love crowds, attention and pursue intensity in all they do—and they need every bit of their energy to keep pushing forward toward their goals; they never stop building their resumes to satisfy their own ambitions and impress others.
Millennials in the Critical Counterculture segment are the engaged, critical young people of the kind sometimes featured in news stories about 20-somethings building businesses, pursuing groundbreaking online activism, and otherwise shaking up the world.
These Canadians share many of the same progressive values as their comrades, the Engaged Idealists: they believe in gender equality, are at ease with diversity of all kinds, and reject discrimination and injustice. But while the Engaged Idealists see the world through a social and emotional lens—pursuing authentic relationships and experiences, and striving to express their true selves—the gold standard for Critical Counterculture is clear-eyed rationality.
The Critical Counterculture segment rejects status and authority they see as illegitimate or superficial; they don’t mind leading when they can add value to a project, but would hate for someone to judge them by their jeans or smartphone.
As their name suggests, New Traditionalists hold many values that would not be out of place in the 1950s—but their outlook also reflects some distinctly 21st century concerns, including an interest in environmental issues and a related commitment to buying green products.
These Millennials are more religious and spiritual than others. Religion is an important part of their lives and central to their identity. They believe in staying true to the values with which they were brought up, particularly towards conservative family values and gender roles. The New Traditionalists also value traditional modes of etiquette and propriety: appropriate dress, good manners, respect for elders, a tidy home. They respect authority figures more so than their peers, report a stronger sense of duty, and a greater sense of identification with their family roots and ancestors.