What I have been most surprised by this summer is the prevalent discussions of the millennial generation and our ideal work environment. Last week, a CEO of a successful construction company mentioned that he has begun adapting his office space and culture to the upward moving millennials. Googling the term “millennial” brings up a variety of articles on how corporations need to adapt in order to succeed. What remains absent is how the millennials may need to adapt to existing structures.

In my first week at Inspiring Capital, we discussed the increasing usefulness of the Business Model Canvas (BMC) over a neatly compiled business plan. I ended the week with a thorough understanding that BMC meant efficient and modern and a business plan was old school and something I would certainly not encounter. It was quite surprising then when a social entrepreneur stated that the majority of my time this summer would be spent working on the business plan that he planned to show investors. I was confused and asked him why we needed to do this when a BMC was so much more approachable. He explained investors, considering they are pledging millions to a dream, need to understand thorough research was done in preparation for turning the ideas into a profitable reality.

Yet, he still challenges many of the traditional aspects of the business world. There is more of a delicate dance of cultural negotiations between the baby boomers and the millennials than much of the rhetoric seems to suggest. The discussions taking place in the business world on the steps to creating a more productive environment by recognizing different working habits led me to think about education.

Although technology has drastically changed the interactions between the teacher and the student in the classroom, there are still a variety of structures that have remained relatively untouched. My friend’s dad graduated from Dartmouth in 1980 yet I was able to relate to many of his academic experiences even though my graduation date is 35 years later. If the business world is taking such strides to accommodating different working habits, why isn’t education?

-Ashley Cohen

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