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Midd Grads Get Huffy 

Two Middlebury College grads blogged on the Huffington Post this week. They were promoting The Lattice Group, a global, StoryCorps-style initiative they founded after graduating from Middlebury in May 2007.

(Disclosure: One of the grads, Astri von Arbin Ahlander, is my friend.)

The Lattice Group aims to explore what members of "Gen Y-Fi " (read: college-educated, upper-middle-class professionals) think about "work-life conflict." As von Arbin Ahlander and Lattice co-founder Yelizavetta Kofman note on their website: "Career success increasingly means complete commitment. This may not sound so strange. Reasonable even. But put it in the context of a human life that has more in it than a job- such as family, friends, mundane errands- and it gets a lot more complicated."

No kidding.

In their January 22 Huffington Post missive, "Peaceful Revolution: What Gen Y Really Wants — And Why We Should Care," Kofman and von Arbin Ahlander report an interesting cultural contrast: In recent interviews, American professionals overwhelmingly told Lattice that the most desirable workplace benefit is "health care." But European yuppies, according to Lattice, mentioned a greater variety of wants, such as workplace flexibility and office childcare services, "freedom to work from home or a different country even" and "respect for family life."

Kofman and von Arbin Ahlander's Huff post concludes with a challenge to American employers and the Obama administration:

The wise employers, the ones who see possibility for change and innovation where others only see an abysmal Dow, will give the (young) people what they want — the ability to grow, to be given     difficult, meaningful tasks and to be entrusted to do them where an when they want. But in order for employees and employers to be able to think beyond the very basics, such as health care and social security, we must realize that certain protections should be provided no matter the employer. The Obama administration needs to step up and deliver New Deal 2.0, and quick.

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Mike Ives

Mike Ives

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Mike Ives was a staff writer for Seven Days from January 2007 until October 2009.

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