History has proven that as go the demographics of a society or civilization, so goes its future, its viability and, ultimately, its survival. Birth rates, death rates, immigration, migration, economic cycles—the list of evidence for this concept is long.
For example, China will eventually face a labor shortage, impacting its economic future; falling fertility rates and aging will impact the developed world in dramatic ways; and as many as seven in 10 people are expected to live in cities by 2050. Technology will augment many of these shifts but not all, resulting in myriad changes in global power, food supplies and commerce.
Closer to home, demography is having a massive impact on associations and professional societies. And not necessarily for the reasons you think. Yes, your members are aging. Yes, millennials are seeking different features and benefits from your organization. Gen X continues to adapt and sees themselves as a lost generation, and who can accurately predict what GenNext will want?
But that’s not what we’re here to talk about. Let’s look at some cold hard facts.
- 29% of U.S. workers have an alternative work arrangement as their primary job (Gallup)
- 36% of U.S. workers participate in the gig economy full- or part-time (also Gallup)
- 11% more workers freelance full-time compared to 2014 (Upwork)
- $1.3 trillion in revenue is brought in by independent workers (MBO Partners)
- 53% of Gen Z workers freelanced this year (Upwork)
As an organization that must continue to appeal to, be increasingly more relevant and, most importantly, attract and retain a community across all generations, interests and needs, these facts take on special meaning and bright opportunities if fully understood and applied to your value proposition, membership strategy and the approach you take with your live event portfolio.
Tune in next week as we explore five ways your organization can use demographics to make 2020 a pivotal year as we enter the new decade.