BOOMER LEGACY MEET GEN Y ENTREPRENEURISM
As professionals and executives become more senior, there is often a desire or expectation, self-generated or from others, that they will want to devote themselves to "good works" as a legacy. Leading edge Baby Boomers, tracing back to their formative years in the 1960s, started out as a generation to be socially conscious, involved and eager to make significant contributions for a better world. As they matured and became intensely immersed in their careers, often achieving substantial recognition and financial success, some are well on their way to fulfilling their "legacy bucket." Others have been too busy to think about it.
The philanthropic and pro bono world is watching. For example in the legal field, both the American Bar Association's Second Season of Service Initiative and some local entities such as the Association of the Bar of the City of New York have been eyeing and expecting senior lawyers nearing traditional retirement age to become a large talent pool for pro bono work. The Great Recession’s effects may have changed or delayed that for a lot of them.
Pro bono, volunteering or unpaid work is not for everyone. In our *Next Generation, Next Destination* client interviews, we find that many Baby Boomer professionals want to continue to play in the business arena – with financial compensation. This was true before the recession, and is more so now.
So I had an interesting thought. The hedge fund managers and tech entrepreneurs under age 40 have started to think about philanthropy and how to use their money to do good. But many don't want to do it in the traditional ways. They are interested in starting their own entities with a different model which combines making money with doing good things for society. Perhaps some of those seasoned Baby Boomers can link their legacy time, expertise and desire to continue to contribute with the Generation X and Y entrepreneurs for some hybrid organization that takes advantage of the best each generation has to offer.
I, for one, would look forward to seeing how this can take shape. There certainly are limitless needs, causes and opportunities whether built on a not-for-profit or for-profit model.
I'd love to hear your ideas on this.
Phyllis Weiss Haserot www.pdcounsel.com