Obama's Bet on Digital Age 'Millennials'

Movers and Shakers

Obama's Bet on Digital Age 'Millennials'

By Tony Wan     Oct 31, 2014

Obama's Bet on Digital Age 'Millennials'

President Barack Obama sure knows the cool tools to connect with the “young folks,” as Peter Bjorn and John might say. He’s done an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, a “Fireside Hangout,” and has a team actively managing his Twitter account that’s quickly approaching 49 million followers. (Let’s not forget the First Lady, who recently turned heads with a Vine Q&A featuring a turnip.)

Earlier in October, he took to Medium, today's trendy blog publishing platform, to explain “Why I’m Betting on You to Help Shape the New American Economy.” Directed at millennials growing up in the digital age, Obama exuded his trademark optimism for a generation that “may have graduated into the worst recession since the Great Depression” but has rebounded to build a “new American economy” that has created new jobs and imbued with an entrepreneurial spirit. “We’re not just punching in and pounding rivets,” he writes. “ we’re coding computers and guiding robots.”

Acknowledging that innovation isn’t restricted to Silicon Valley, Obama gives special shoutouts to tech-enabled, Maker-esque facilities like Cross Campus in Los Angeles, Manor New Tech High School in Austin, and Pittsburgh’s TechShop. (More about Steel City’s education innovation efforts.)

Still, there are significant hurdles, he notes, such as burdensome college debt, lack of investment in research, and gender inequality in the workforce. And not everyone shares his bubbly outlook on employment, given that many millennials feel trapped in low (or no) pay internships and jobs.

Any bets on where the POTUS may show up next? Hacker News? We’d be sorely impressed if he were to, say, push some code on Github.

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