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From the YP Front Lines

MILWAUKEE -- So I’ve been hanging with 42 YP leaders from across the US this week. They’re summiting in Milwaukee for the first ever national YP come-together. And they’re blowing me away. Here are my key learnings:

- They know how to command media attention. If these folks were my PR team, NGC would have its own cable TV show.

- They’re honked that many community leaders view their YP groups as “cute little social networks.” So they’ve either gone completely around the traditional power structure – think “loophole” – or infiltrated it – think Next Generation City Council – or have excused the establishment’s stupidity by referring to it as “old and slow.” They’re not waiting to be asked. They’re inventing a way to make change.

- They’re intent – well, more like obsessed – with making their communities more inclusive of all kinds of diversity. Every session addressed – in one way or another – how to break down barriers, and take up hands with each other.

- They’re measuring their success (income and expense ratio, perception changes, talent attraction and retention indicators) to make their case. Think YP’s with MBA’s.
Bottom line? Communities that embrace their YP networks and leaders stand to gain BIG rewards in their quest to attract and retain talent. Communities that don’t will compel YP’s to relocate to cooler communities where the YP voice is honored and respected. Think I’m kidding? Four of the YP leaders from around the country have asked about jobs here. Evidently Young Professionals of Milwaukee are hitting their marks in fulfilling their mission: to shape and showcase metro Milwaukee to attract and retain diverse young talent.

Rebecca Ryan is founder and partner of Next Generation Consulting. She drinks coffee from a mug that says, “Well behaved women rarely make history.” Next Generation Consulting is a thinkubator committed to building Next Generation Companies and Communities. Her columns address the work and life trends of today’s young, tech-savvy talent as well as the tools, tricks and tips for those daring hot companies they work with. Please e-mail topics, suggestions and feedback to Rebecca at

The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author, & do not necessarily reflect the views of Wisconsin Technology Network, LLC. (WTN). WTN, LLC accepts no legal liability or responsibility for any claims made or opinions expressed herein.

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