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Whether you attended SAPPHIRE NOW 2014 in-person or online, it was apparent that focus has to the millennial generation (aka Gen Y). We are now in a prime position to lead our companies into the next era. The most exciting takeaway for me is that the next wave of innovation requires technology to compete, and who doesn’t love dreaming of the future?

Dreams are what make great companies. And who better to act on their dreams than millennials?

To demonstrate this year’s focus on Gen Y, here are the top 5 blog posts from SAPPHIRE NOW 2014:

1. Open Letter to Millennials, from the floor of #SAPPHIRENOW

Cory Coley-Christakos gives some advice to millennials on the following areas:

  • Challenge convention in the way we work, lead and organize
  • Cultivate intellectual curiosity, and embrace lifelong learning
  • Stay vigilant – complacency can kill you (literally)
  • Avoid generational stereotypes

2. Simplification in 2 Words: Networked Economy and Millennials

I actually wrote this blog post right after Bill McDermott’s keynote, and I quickly noticed that the main drivers of the mandate for simplification were Gen Y and the network economy. Millennials demand easy communication, flexibility, and consumer grade user interfaces, while the network economy requires a total re-engineering of processes to make doing business simple.

3. Tales of a Vintage Millennial, Part I: Are We All Really So Different?

Christina Ramlet talks about what makes millennials tick in the workplace. From what I gathered, she found that what we want is flexibility, connectivity, balance, purpose, knowledge, development. And isn’t that what all generations want?

4. Generational Intelligence: Are You Ready for Josh?

Jacob Morgan talks about his brother Josh who basically taught himself video and photography on YouTube and discussion forums. He doesn’t know what a cubicle looks like, and he probably wouldn’t be used to receiving 200 e-mails per day. This is the new workforce, and Jacob urges businesses to rethink conventional wisdom.

5. Smells Like Teen Spirit: Student Reporters at SAPPHIRE NOW

Angela Dunn writes about the fresh new millennial spirit at SAP. Possibly the youngest attendee at SAPPHIRE NOW was 14-year-old Chris Nilson, who together with other GENyouth reps like Noa Sreden attended as part of CSR program. Together with other high school students, they be reported on sports, healthcare and entrepreneurship.


It’s safe to say that next year, we will start to see even more millennial leaders emerge. Will you be one of them? If you have any millennials on your team, what are you doing to foster their leadership? (Tweet the last sentence!)

For more on millennials, check out all the future of work replays from SAPPHIRE NOW 2014.