Category Archives: Millennial Values and Attitudes

Scratch Talks with Jason Zone Fisher

[image courtesy of Jason Zone Fisher]

We recently invited Jason Zone Fisher, a 28-year old documentary filmmaker, actor and television host, to come speak with the Scratch team about his life, perspective, and experiences as a Millennial risk-taker and media rabble-rouser.

In many ways, Jason exemplifies the Millennial spirit, creating his own unique path and hustlin’ (in the good sense) his way into stardom and success. He shared with Scratch some of the incredible highlights within his journey thus far – and how his story has been defined by starts, stops, and chances he’s taken in the course of getting where he is today.

Upon graduating from the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University, Jason knew what he wanted to do for a living “hadn’t been invented yet.” He vowed to seek out exciting opportunities wherever he could; and, if they didn’t exist, he’d create them. This outlook has proven effective: over the course of his career, Jason has produced and directed numerous films, videos, national commercials and advertisements; and has written, hosted and performed for a variety of programs and networks. Jason acted as the lead national youth correspondent for CBS News for the 2008 Election, and, after touring the country for Gillette in the summer of 2010, he served as the national spokesperson and host for Nestle’s iconic candy bar, Butterfinger, and their summer 2012 ‘Butterfinger Barmageddon’ tour.

This is what led to Jason’s perhaps biggest claim to fame: getting arrested for inciting a Butterfinger-fueled riot outside Comic-Con.

Through sharing his very unorthodox journey with us, Jason left us with some great – and very Millennial – bits of insight: we must fail early, and fail forward, to succeed. Opportunities to learn present themselves each and every day; and, as Jason showed, it’s much more about sweat than it is luck.

Thanks to Jason for hanging with us and sharing his story – we were inspired by how driven he is and how much fun he’s having along the way.

To learn more about Jason’s production company, In The Zone Productions, and to view footage from Jason’s many different adventures, check out www.jasonzonefisher.com.

Side-hustlin’

[image via ThinkStock]

In 140 characters or less, describe yourself: Teacher / Entrepreneur / Professional Storyteller / Blog Contributor / Weekend DJ? You’ve probably seen a Twitter bio or two like this before, but all joking aside, it’s part of an interesting trend we’re seeing and tracking amongst Millennials – one we call “sidepreneurship.”

Faced with student debt, a discouraging job market and lackluster economy, many Millennials are focusing their energies into “side hustles” or “sidepreneurship.” This describes the side businesses that people are building, alongside the regular work they do, to make more money, fulfill their dreams, or maximize their potential in ways that their 9-to-5 might not be able to.

Many side hustles are creative endeavors – passion projects that might not see any returns yet, that sidepreneurs feel genuinely motivated by and generally hope will flourish into full fledged enterprises one day. Sidepreneurship is an outlet for workers of any age who might not feel like they have opportunities to lead or have agency in their current job – this is particularly resonant with many Millennials who feel stifled by their potential, but ambitious and optimistic about their own capabilities.

And through our own ongoing quantitative and qualitative research, we know that career paths for Millennials look very different from those of their parents and generations before. With a seeming world of options and a heightened sense of possibility, Millennials are finding their own way, and feel a strong sense that they must search for their calling. Their employer may be it…but maybe not: enter the side hustle.

Talking to Forbes just the other day, Scratch’s Ross Martin put it into perspective, “Millennials aren’t just position players. They don’t only play first base or left field. They are ‘athletes’.” Millennials are developing skill sets that can take them in a lot of directions – rather than be forced to focus on a single job function at the expense of their other interests, Millennials want to turn their interests into their work. Those companies that celebrate this idea and incorporate it into their culture will be the ones who attract the most inventive and creative problem solvers now, and in the future.

Read more at Forbes >

Scratch Gallery Series: Hattie Stewart MEGAzines

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We’ve all done it…defaced a magazine cover, or a friend’s photo by adding a ragged moustache or pirate eye patch. Admittedly, I still do it. Maybe it’s my deviant inner child or maybe I just get bored easily.

This form of creative rebellion is illustrator Hattie Stewart’s expertise, and currently featured as part of our second Scratch Gallery Series. Stewart, a millennial herself, is a London-based artist who’s created works like those seen on our walls for a huge roster of clients including Diesel, Adidas, Luella and Marc by Marc Jacobs.

Frustrated with the repetitive, monotonous, and over-glamorized world of fashion magazines, Hattie began to doodle on the covers, creating her own interpretations of the business. In her latest project “MEGAzines”, Hattie takes sensationalized fashion magazines and creates a world-on-acid, transforming the models into drooling, numbed, zombie-like monsters. Her “doodle bombs” are now being commissioned by global magazines.

Scratch would like to thank Hattie for kindly gracing our walls. Doodle on.

For more of Hattie’s work go to http://hattiestewart.com/

Scratch Loves: Stair Rover

Designed by Po-Chih Lai, a recent graduate of the Royal College of Art, the Stair Rover is a skateboard that actually rides down stairs. Lai took the traditional skateboard design and modified it by adding an additional wheel to each corner. This new design creates a flexible chassis that bends and glides over uneven surfaces and keeps the board steady.

The Stair Rover is an innovative modification to the traditional skateboard and a total game changer for the urban skate scene. Instead of just grinding rails or hopping over stairs, Lai’s design opens the door to a new hybrid version of the sport.

(via Dezeen)

In A Gift Economy, Your Time Is As Valuable As Your Money

And maybe even more so.

We’ve all heard the expressions “pay it forward” and “random acts of kindness,” but these sayings are usually applied to one person, doing one thing, for one other person.  Not so at Karma Kitchen, where a staff of volunteers take over a restaurant one day a week to serve absolutely free meals to diners.

How might this possibly work?

Turns out that it’s not actually “free” so much as it’s a revisioning of price versus value. Karma Kitchen founder Nipun Mehta wants to unbind cost and worth by creating a space where the experience itself is what’s most valued – whether that manifests in donating your time and labor, or by enjoying a meal and leaving a donation so the organization has the funds it needs to continue its mission. Yes, money needs to change hands in order for the bills to be paid, but there is no set cost at Karma Kitchen, and diners pay what they believe to be a fair price for the food and service they’ve received.

This real-life implementation of a gift economy is heavily dependent upon volunteerism, but also relies on a sense of “what goes around, comes around” (hence Karma Kitchen). The organization elaborates on this concept nicely:

“In a gift economy, goods and services are given without any strings attached; it is an economic system where it is the circulation of the gifts within the community that leads to increase – increase in connections, increase in relationship strength; in this context, hoarding actually decreases wealth. At its core, gift-economy is a shift from consumption to contribution, transaction to trust, scarcity to abundance, and isolation to community.”

It’s the sense of community that is perhaps most relevant. Even the most callous among us could only wager a guess at the fiscal value of friendship and goodwill. With price and value so conflated, it’s difficult to understand how goods or services truly impact our lives, but by separating fixed cost from the pure functionality of goods and services, we can more easily understand their values as they relate to our enjoyment of them. Ultimately, it’s about quality of consciousness, instead of saying how much can I consume, it becomes how much can I contribute?

To learn more about Karma Kitchen, check it out here >

(via Fast Co)

Scratch Loves: David Pines, Middle School Foodie

[image via Getty Images]

David Pines isn’t your ordinary food critic.

He’s also a 12-year-old boy and sixth grade student at the Collegiate School in Manhattan.

Pines just published his first book, “Pines Picks: A Kid’s Guide to the Best Things to Eat and Drink in New York City” – the only New York food guide written from a kid’s perspective.

What makes a young foodie different from an old foodie, you ask?

Pines says, “Adults make too many judgments based on the appearance of the restaurants. They get mad because the glasses weren’t all there when they walked in. I’m like, who cares? How did the food taste?”

Pines started the beginnings to his book when he realized there were no other guides directing people where to go for specific types of food – like soup dumplings. During his time off from school, Pines would convince family members to take him on “food hunts” throughout the five boroughs – scribbling notes on flavors and textures while taste testing.

“One day I want it to be as big as one of those major food guides,” he told the Daily News through a mouthful of braces, “but better.”

Pines is another great example of a Millennial with an entrepreneurial spirit. He saw the need for a curated food guide based on food items and decided to take the task upon himself. Focusing on the food itself rather than elements like plating and atmosphere, David brings a fresh perspective that many think is beneficial to today’s foodie scene.

(via NY Daily News)

Born Out of Frustration: Igor Dewe

Igor Dewe is a 22-year-old Parisian performance artist that is all sorts of amazing.

Dewe’s art is avant-garde, eccentric, and a little NSFW - while his personal style is a hybrid of cultural references, gender binaries, and high & low fashion.

From his Tumblr, he describes himself as a “creature born out of pure frustration of too much hotness and beauty”. Like many Millennials, Dewe is mashing up and remixing culture in a way that challenges the notion of a static identity – and opening the doors to dynamic style and evolving culture.

His Tumblr headline says: “Behold this is the crack in the world wide web’s spider net of casualties. Prepare. Be afraid. Get Ready. And yes, be very afraid”.

We’re not afraid Igor, we’re not afraid at all.

(h/t Claudia Cukrov)

Penn State’s Co.Space: Incubating Ideas on Campus

Multi-person beer funnels aren’t the only innovations emerging from college campuses these days. Starting in fall 2013, a former Penn State fraternity house will be converted into a student idea incubator. The social living project, called co.space, will house up to 60 entrepreneurial college students who will be mentored by professionals in a variety of fields. The project is designed to incubate startups and non-profits.

co.space will be a two-year program for juniors and seniors that includes a semester of training, the opportunity to lead a semester-long project, a summer internship, a personal mentor, and several professional networking opportunities. Initially, the project will focus on local food markets, with potential projects ranging from a student farm at the university to figuring out how to transform food supply chains.

The idea for co.space came from a nonprofit social innovation incubator called New Leaf Initiative. The co.space organizers hope that there will be one incubator in every country in the world. In fact, they are in talks with leaders from 30 cities across the world to launch programs.

co.space

via GOOD

Big Sean as Principal for the Day for the Get Schooled Detroit Attendance Challenge

As mentioned previously on the blog, The Get Schooled FoundationUnited Way for Southeastern MichiganChevrolet (a Scratch partner), and Viacom recently joined forces to launch an amazing education initiative: the Metro Detroit Attendance Challenge aimed at improving attendance in 17 high schools in the region.

Dubbed the “Get Schooled Detroit Attendance Challenge”, the competition encouraged schools to focus on the number one predictor of graduation – attendance. Whether signing up for celebrity wake up calls or recognizing great teachers, students in the challenge earned points for their school both by participating in each activity and by going to school every day, all day.

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Last Monday, Big Sean, a Detroit native, acted as “Principal for the Day” at Lincoln High School, one of United Way’s “Network of Excellence” schools. Lincoln High School won the challenge’s top prize after improving its attendance by a dramatic 8.56% year-over-year during the competition – incredible!

As principal, Big Sean visited classrooms, co-taught classes and participated in an assembly of the entire Lincoln student body. It was an inspiring day – the students were pumped, the energy was high, and we were all pretty thrilled. Nothing wrong with mixing good and fun.

We’re so proud to be a part of this amazing challenge, but we’re even prouder of all of the students who participated in the challenge.

For more, check out the coverage from Detroit’s Channel 7 News:

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