Boomers in the Fourth Turning - ePatient 2009 Presentation


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I'll try to record the audio with this later, but here's my presentation from ePatient 2009. It's in the Pecha Kucha format, which means 20 slides in 20 seconds.

The book the ideas are from is "The Fourth Turning" by Strauss and Howe ( - AFL)

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Boomers in the Fourth Turning - ePatient 2009 Presentation

  1. 1. Good afternoon! I m Carlen Lea Lesser, Director of  Good afternoon! I’m Carlen Lea Lesser Director of Interactive Strategy for RTC Relationship Marketing  and for the next few minutes I’m going to talk about  the generational theory of Strauss and Howe, and  predictions they made in their book the Fourth  predictions they made in their book the Fourth Turning about how Boomers will evolve as a  generation in later life.    1
  2. 2. This generational archetype cycle Strauss and Howe  This generational archetype cycle Strauss and Howe discovered has repeated itself most of the way  through Anglo‐American history every 80‐100 years.  The reason it’s important is it can help us understand  the shifts Boomers are undergoing as they enter  the shifts Boomers are undergoing as they enter elderhood. 2
  3. 3. This cycle is at a macro generational level. If you are  This cycle is at a macro‐generational level If you are born between 1943‐1960 you are part of this cycle’s  Prophet generation.  You may see that the cycle was  broken once.  The Civil War was so disruptive that no  Artist generation emerged. Artist generation emerged Civil war: (1861–1865) 3
  4. 4. I said the cycle has repeated all through Anglo I said the cycle has repeated all through Anglo‐ American history. Interstingly they map beautifully to  Star Wars characters, which helps when thinking about  the positive, negative and legacy attributes of each  generation in the cycle, which we re going to walk  generation in the cycle which we’re going to walk through next.  4
  5. 5. We begin with the current Artist generation , the  We begin with the current Artist generation the Silent Generation. Seen in a positive light, they are  caring, open minded and expert.  In a negative light,  sentimental, contemplating and indecisive.  Artists  leave is pluralism, expertise and due process to  leave is pluralism expertise and due process to society. The next Artist generation is being born now. 5
  6. 6. If we look at the faces of the Artist generation as it has  If we look at the faces of the Artist generation as it has appeared through time we see people like First Lady  Dolley Madison, Lewis & Clark, Teddy Roosevelet, and  two from the modern era, Colin Powell, and Madeline  Albreight, and of course C3P0 and R2D2 Albreight and of course C3P0 and R2D2 6
  7. 7. The current prophet generation is the boomers.    The current prophet generation is the boomers Prophets can be seen positively as: Principled, Resolute, Creative Negatively: Narcissitic, Presumptious, Negatively: Narcissitic Presumptious Ruthless And they’ll leave us with: Vision, Values, Religion 7
  8. 8. Let s look at the faces of the each the prophet Let’s look at the faces of the each the prophet generation when it has reappeared through time.   Henry VIII, Abraham Lincoln,  Andrew Jackon, FDR, Bill  Clinton and of course, Obi‐wan and Darth Vader.   8
  9. 9. The current nomad generation is Generation X or the  The current nomad generation is Generation X or the 13th Generation, as Strauss and Howe call them. Nomad generations are know for being : Savvy, Practical, Practical Perceptive At our worst we’re seen as: Unfeeling, Uncultured, Amoral And we’ll be leaving : Liberty, Survival, Humor to  society 9
  10. 10. If we look at the Nomads as the generation as we look at the Nomads as the generation as  reappeared in the cycle throughout history we see  Queen Elizabeth I, George Washington, Mark Twain,  Mae West, and John Stewart – Han Solo  & Chewie  from Star Wars from Star Wars 10
  11. 11. Our current Heros giggle if you will are the latest current Heros, giggle if you will, are the latest  hero generation – the previous the G.I. generation of  WWII.  Heroes are : Selfless, Rational, Competent Negative: Unreflective , Mechanistic, Overbold They leave us with: Community, Affluence,Technology They leave us with: Community Affluence Technology Let’s remember these are the kids who marched to  war after Sept. 11 11
  12. 12. If we look at the If we look at the Hero generations throughout time we throughout time we  see puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson,  JFK, Betty Friedan, Mark Zuckerberg – creator of  Facebook, and Luke and Lei. 12
  13. 13. Why do we care well because if we keep treating do we care, well because if we keep treating  Boomers, or any generation, like they behave they way  the did, our messages aren’t going to hit the mark.   We’re all still looking backwards and showing glory  shots of the 60s.  Do you want to be reminded of your  shots of the 60s Do you want to be reminded of your 20s or honored for your acheivements in the past 40  years. 13
  14. 14. So, let s take a trip down memory lane and see what  So let’s take a trip down memory lane and see what our current prophet generation, the Boomers have  been up to for the past 40 odd years.  Remember who  the prophets are doesn’t change, how the behavior  manifets does We begin with sex drugs rock‐n‐roll does. We begin with sex, drugs, rock‐n‐roll and fighting the man – from Woodstock to Saturday  Night Fever.  14
  15. 15. This was the era of big hair, fast cars, and fat wallets.   This was the era of big hair fast cars and fat wallets It was all about the big payoff as fast as possible.   Think Gordon Gecko and Wall Street.  15
  16. 16. Late life  spiritual careers Late‐life “spiritual” careers Holistic, mind‐body medicine Resisting Age Moral Crusaders Sedona, Yoga Sedona Yoga Late 40s‐ mid50s 16
  17. 17. So is this the picture of the Boomers in elderhood? Is it  So is this the picture of the Boomers in elderhood? Is it the busy‐body, quiet mind paradigm of seniors past  with Shuffleboard on the Wii and Viagra and dancing  with the stars until they die?  That’s not what Strauss  and Howe tell us, they paint a very different picture of  and Howe tell us they paint a very different picture of Prophets in Elderhood. 17
  18. 18. authoritarian, severe, and unyielding authoritarian severe and unyielding Embracing & glorifying age Civic Virtue Return of “classic values” (1930s Movie Code) Mentors of values and ideals Mentors of values and ideals Moral battles intra‐generation decisive civic action 18
  19. 19. So don t ask them to compromise.  If you want to be  So don’t ask them to compromise If you want to be green ask them to shop at wholefoods and drive a  clean diesel luxury SUV. In healthcare focus on quality,  not just quantity of life. The benefit profile need to  outweigh the side effects so they can have small steps  outweigh the side effects so they can have small steps with a big payoff. 19
  20. 20. In our communications we need to honor them today,  In our communications we need to honor them today not just tell them how fabulous they were. Start  talking about what it means to be healthy at 65, not  convince them to be 30 again. Thank you and I’ll be  happy to answer any questions during the break. happy to answer any questions during the break 20