millennial panel 01122014This weekend I attended the Retail Orphan Initiative Super Saturday event (#ROISS on Twitter) was a great mix of context, content and community. Speakers talked about the mission of ROI to help build and support orphans around the world from Honduras to Liberia.

It was great to hear from people who have visited those countries and helped with development projects. Mixed in with the ROI mission were presentations by leading analysts including Jeff Roster of Gartner talking about trends for the retail industry in 2014 and beyond.

Of particular interest to me was the panel of millennials who had been on trips to the developing world with their parents through ROI. It was great to hear about their experiences and how it changed their worldview.

Social Change

It was equally interesting to hear them talk about how they no longer use Facebook, especially since their parents are on it. What do they use to share with friends…Instagram and Snapchat! Do they still shop in stores? Yes…with friends.  Shopping at the mall is a social experience. If they just want to buy something they go online and buy it. One even pointed out that he likes it when sites provide recommendations of what others have found interesting or purchased. That was music to my ears. To read the play by play of the event follow me on Twitter @dkdarnell.