By: Ara Topouzian

Next Generation Troy featured some very talented and inspirational panelists on October 26th at the Next Wave Lab auditorium in Troy, MI. I am only sorry for those that missed this event because as a Generation X’er, it was eye opening and thought provoking.

Never one for stereotypes, this was a great opportunity to de-mystify how the younger generation of business professionals think and operate in today’s world. This blog will not do the event justice, but I will try my best to give some insight to the younger generation of business pros.

Photo courtesy of Heather Marie Beach‏ @missheathermb

Photo courtesy of Heather Marie Beach‏ from her Twitter address: @missheathermb

Andrew Raupp is the Executive Director of and provided a unique keynote presentation (conversational) with Fox 2 Detroit anchor, Roop Raj. Andrew’s topic was Thriving in the Age of Disruption. He started with a great video that conveys the message that problems occur and we can solve them…just need to take that first step. Check out this fun video:

Andrew asked the audience to close their eyes for a minute and ask themselves the following questions:

1.) “How am I currently impacted by disruption?” (positively or negatively)
2.) “How will I, or have I, adapted to it?”

Andrew continued to cover topics including education (changing how we learn), employment (change how we work) and entrepreneurship (changing how we innovate).  He continued to show the audience how we should look to navigate through uncertainty in our lives and provided five great rules of thumb we could all use.

  1. Become more efficient.
  2. Consume quality information – read for at least five hours per week.
  3. Utilize the information you learn in order to position yourself for success.
  4. Take calculated risks and don’t be afraid to fail.
  5. Once you find success — give back, pay it forward!

Next Gen Troy Panelists

Andrew’s keynote was followed by a panel discussion consisting of Randi Olson, Rehmann; Dr. Anton Babushkin, Troy Psychotherapy; and Michael Taylor, SS Digital Media.

When we surveyed our attendees, we received the following takeaways that they learned at Next Generation Troy:

  • We need to work together to bridge the gap between generations.
  • Get a side hustle.
  • Disruption isn’t always a bad thing; We have to embrace and use it to our advantage (i.e. social media!)
  • Must be communication between the various groups of people.
  • Take the chance – take a leap of faith.
  • Disruption only hurts when you’re not the one doing the disruption.

There was so much more…told you this blog wouldn’t do it justice! If you are interested in more information about our Young Professionals Network, please click here.