Philadelphia’s Millennial Revolution

From work and politics to marriage and race, Philly’s millennials weigh in—in their own words—on the biggest issues they’re facing today, and why their impact in the city is just beginning.

philadelphia millenials collage

Photography by Chris Sembrot

That’s right, revolution. More than four out of 10 residents in Greater Center City are between the ages of 18 and 34—and they’re only growing in number. You’ve read plenty about what everyone else thinks of millennials (entitled! Narcissistic!), but what do they have to say for themselves? Here, a new Philly generation weighs in on everything from work and marriage to politics and race, and lays out all the reasons its impact on the city is only beginning.

>>Because We’re Committed to the City
>>Because We’d Rather Be Our Own Boss
>>Because Singlehood Is Better Than Ever
>>Because Diversity Isn’t Just a Nice Idea
>>Because Our Style Is DIY
>>Because Gay Equality is a Value
>>Because We Want to Create
>>Because We Have the Potential to Change Politics

>>Ask a Millennial: Why Did You Choose Philly?
>>Ask a Millennial: What’s the Best/Worst Thing About Philly?
>>Ask a Millennial: What Do You Worry About the Most?

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  • Rashad Johnson

    use the buddy system when walking in CC

  • Brad Szollose

    First and foremost try understanding WHY Gen Y, Millennials, Digital Natives or Gamers (you choose which term you like best) act the way they do. There are THREE major influences that changed the behavior of EVERYONE born after 1977. And they CANNOT change this behavior because it is innate.

    I recommend several books on the subject:

    Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever by John C. Beck & Mitchell Wade (both of Harvard).

    Jason Dorsey’s Y-Size Your Business: How Gen Y Employees Can Save You Money and Grow Your Business is pretty good…

    and of course, my own work Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock
    to Wikipedia — Multigenerational Management Ideas That Are Changing the
    Way We Runs Things.

    I look forward to your cover story Annie. Hopefully Boomers will be looking deeper into these issues as Gen Y (the first of which are about to turn 40), take on
    leadership roles.


  • DTurner

    Interesting piece, but I am a little concerned by how many of these millennials have never lived outside of the Philly area. The city really needs to attract millennials who have lived in other cities (or even other countries) and have the experience of seeing how other cities function. These people will generally have more skills and experiences to work off of to help build this city. Maybe the mayor should be attending college job fairs as well as international trade fairs in order to drum up interest in the city, especially among former residents of the Philly region who attended university elsewhere.

  • Barbarossa

    I’m sorry to say they don’t have very good reasons, nothing very practical or realistic. But who lives that way?