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NYU Alumni Speakers Series with David Burstein

May 7, 2013

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In his new book Fast Future: How the Millenial Generation is Shaping our World, writer, filmmaker, and advocate David D. Burstein (GAL '12) examines how his generation, the Millennials, are profoundly impacting politics, business, technology, and culture. The Millennials have been labeled "entitled" and "narcissistic"; they have been called “the worst employees in history,” “trophy kids,” and “the dumbest generation.” Burstein argues, however, that the Millennial’s unique blend of civic idealism and savvy pragmatism, combined with their seamless ability to navigate the 21st century world–where constant change is the new reality–enables this generation to overcome the short-term challenges of a deeply entrenched country and begin to address our world’s long-term challenges.

David was interviewed by Democratic Political Strategist Steve McMahon about his book and the impact Millenials will have in the future.

Image: David Burstein

David Burstein

David D. Burstein, 23, is a writer, filmmaker, and passionate believer in the millennial generation. His book Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation Is Shaping Our World was released in February 2013 from Beacon Press.

David is also the Executive Director of Generation18, which he founded in 2006. Generation18 is the nation’s largest youth run young voter engagement organization. It is nonpartisan and not-for-profit. It started as an outgrowth of the 2007 documentary film, 18 in '08, which David directed and produced.

David is a frequent speaker and commentator on millennials, social innovation, and politics. He has appeared on CNN, FOX News, ABC Evening News, NPR, C-SPAN (He holds the distinction of having been the youngest guest ever to appear on C-SPAN Q&A) and been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Politico. He is a graduate of NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.


Steve McMahon

Steve McMahon is a Media Consultant and Strategic Advisor to Democratic candidates for federal and statewide office and Democratic Party committees. McMahon got his start in politics on the Senate and political staff of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, where he served as Assistant Press Secretary and later, as Deputy Director of Kennedy’s PAC, the Fund for a Democratic Majority. McMahon has worked as a political strategist and media consultant for three U.S. presidential campaigns, and dozens of Senate, gubernatorial and mayoral campaigns across the country. McMahon and his partners also served as the principal political strategists and media advisors for former Vermont Governor Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign and successful race for Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. And as a political analyst, McMahon appears regularly on the NBC Evening News, The Today Show, MSNBC, CNN and the Fox News Channel.

On the international front, McMahon and his partners have worked as strategic advisors and campaign consultants on the successful presidential campaigns of Carlos Andres Peres in Venezuela, Violetto Chamarro in Nicaragua and Andreas Papandreaou in Greece. He has also done a significant amount of strategic consulting and issue advertising for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Committee, and independent expenditure groups like The League of Conservation Voters and The Media Fund.

Image: Steve McMahon

Link: Listen to the Panel Here


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A Millennial examines how his generation is profoundly impacting politics, business, media, and activism. They’ve been called, entitled, narcissistic, “the worst employees in history”, “trophy kids”, and even “the dumbest generation.” But, argues David D. Burstein, the Millennial Generation’s unique blend of civic idealism and savvy pragmatism, combined with their seamless ability to navigate the 21st century world – where constant and fast change is the new normal – will enable them to overcome the short-term challenges of a deeply divided nation and begin to address our world’s long-term challenges.

With eighty million Millennials (people who are today eighteen to thirty years old) coming of age and emerging as leaders in America alone, this is the largest generation in U.S. history, by 2020, its members will represent one out of every three adults in the country. They are more ethnically and racially diverse than their elders, they are the first generation to come of age in a truly global world, and the first to come of age in the new digital era. Millennials have begun their careers amidst a recession which has seen record youth unemployment levels, yet they remain optimistic about their future. Drawing on extensive interviews with his Millennial peers and compelling new research, Burstein illustrates how his generation is simultaneously shaping and being shaped by a fast-paced and fast-changing world. Part oral history, part social documentary, FAST FUTURE reveals the impact and story of the Millennial Generation – in their own words.


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