Millennials as a generation represent many different things to many different people. Attributes like “egotistical,” “tech savvy,” and “educated” are all characteristics commonly used to describe this generation that is 80 million strong. Today, I can add a few more to that list of traits, including: empowered, charming, fearless, bold, funny, empathetic, and open. These descriptors capture the overwhelmingly talented personalities at yesterday’s Millennial Impact conference hosted by Achieve in Indianapolis, IN, called MCON13.

A diverse, cross-sector group of 300 thought leaders, executives, Millennials, and practitioners all gathered to explore, understand, and share new trends and ideas on how Millennials want to connect, give, and get involved with issues and organizations. The enlightening day featured almost 20 different speakers representing the nonprofit, corporate, education, entertainment, technology, and media sectors.

The Case Foundation is proud to be a sponsor of MCON13 for the third consecutive year, and a research partner for Achieve’s Millennial Impact Report, which was released yesterday as well. We believe that this unique gathering and significant research is helping to advance the larger conversation around Millennial engagement. By fostering a deeper and better understanding of this generation—the “next greatest generation”— we can support organizational and corporate sector efforts to work with this generation to create more meaningful impact.

There were countless takeaways from the conference, and we’ve picked the top 10 lessons learned and stories to recap our experience and to help extend the conversation:

1. Millennials are confident, self-directed, resourceful, and want a high-level of engagement in whatever they do whether that be personal or professional. – Nicole Roy Tobin, Deloitte

2. Millennials have been dubbed the “Me generation.” Look closer, however and you will see that it’s actually more about the “We.” – Justin Wheeler, LiNK

3. Did you know?

  • Twitter registers 1 billion tweets every 2.5 days and has 200 million users worldwide.
  • Forty-two percent of Twitter’s unique online users are between the ages of 18 and 34 years old.
  • Forty-nine percent of Twitter’s unique US mobile users are between the ages of 18 and 34 years old.

– Jenna Golden, Twitter

4. Is the glass half-full or is it half-empty? The answer is—yes. That is to say, when assessing a situation, we must acknowledge that in all cases there will be both strengths and weaknesses to take into consideration. Own them both to succeed and truly lead. – Paul Schmitz, Public Allies

5. There is not just a job crisis that is impacting Millennials, there is a “calling” crisis—what are your passions, what is your meaning? – Mike Del Ponte, SOMA

6. Millennials represent the most culturally and ethnically diverse group our nation has ever seen. – Jose Antonio Vargas, Define American

7. Every organization and corporation is made up of people, and we often overlook that fundamental element and forget that at the core of everything we do are relationships. The reality is that we use digital and social media these days to humanize ourselves to the masses. – Azita Ardakani, Lovesocial

8. When creating your own content for Millennials consider Millennial motivations with online video and social media, remember that this generation tends to follow the four C’s: Create content, be part of the Community, stay Connected across devices, and Curate information. – Jessica Mason, YouTube

9. “The volunteer experience has the power to transform an individual to be a giver for the rest of their life.” – Rachael Chong, Catchafire

10. Organizations should first look within to identify what their passion points are that will drive their social good identity. This identity should be authentic and reflect your organization’s core values. Millennials can tell a fake or sniff out an insincere campaign, promotion, ad, or other false front in an instant… and that’s all the time it takes for them to click off of your page. – Sophia Bush, actress and advocate

We invite you to share your own thoughts, ideas, and questions here in the comments section of this blog, or tweet us at @CaseFoundation with the hashtag #MCON13.