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'We Have No Mortgages, Therefore We Don't Care' - A Look At How Millennials Are Reinventing Our World

05/11/2014 11:42 GMT | Updated 04/01/2015 10:59 GMT

This week, creative agency, Rufus Leonard launches 'Rufus Reinvents' - an annual event that invites millennials to tackle an industry ripe for change.

By 2050, millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce and yet traditional institutions still seem nonplussed about what motivates this burgeoning demographic. In many instances, they continue to employ didactic language that would have been considered embarrassing even during the advertising industry's heyday in the 1950's. It's no wonder then that young people are 'turning off' global institutions. After all, who wants to be pigeonholed and instructed on whatever their cultural tastes and purchasing habits may be.

Essentially, what we have today is a generation that has grown up in a digital world that has been forced to adapt to constant change. Where previous generations were passive and sequestered, millennials are alert, participatory and interactive. They don't need to be told what to believe because they possess the tools to write their own stories and, in this sense, they are all creators. Moreover, as recently reported by Ogilvy, there is a real sense that millennials are purpose driven, only aligning themselves with institutions that fulfill their needs, passions, and interests.

Instead of attempting to influence millennials by utilizing modern technology, we ought to be actively enabling them to run riot with creating their own ways of transforming the world they live in. The lateral thinkers that gave us Airbnb, Foursquare, and Songkick are living proof that, if our traditional institutions fail to be inclusive, they will find themselves locked-out of a new economic order that will be invented with or without them. The question therefore becomes, which entities have the courage to be a part of this rebalance of power between customer and corporation?

At a time when 71% of millennials would rather visit the dentist than the bank, it seems that the finance industry - one of our core institutions - is in urgent need of a makeover.
Part of the problem seems to be a systematic breakdown of trust and the fact that millennials have a very different relationship with money than their predecessors: they don't have savings, they don't have a mortgage, and an increasing number don't even have bank accounts. In their own words, "they don't have much to worry about" and this makes them an incredibly unpredictable and mercurial audience for banks to reach out to.

This week, top London creative agency, Rufus Leonard, is addressing this challenge by convening 'Rufus Reinvents Money' - a five-day hackathon event with one clear objective: to reimagine the future of the finance industry. It's the ultimate 'anti-conference' where millennials are invited to devise and present their own ideas, rather than being subjected to a barrage of keynote speeches delivered by smug brands.

Ultimately, it's a chance for millennials to work out how they can live out their values within a finance industry that has been shaped by them. Prudent banks would be wise to stand aside and let them do so.

Rufus Reinvents will conclude on Friday 7th November, marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of Rufus Leonard.