Association News: AAMA keynote speaker addresses the impact of demographics

Posted on October 20th, 2015 by Heather West

2015_Fall_Keynote-Ken_Gronbach-web.jpgThe American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) welcomed Ken Gronbach as keynote speaker for the AAMA 2015 National Fall Conference. Gronbach is a demographer, futurist and author who writes about how countries’ age curves interact to create the opportunities and challenges of the world we live in today and what the future will bring for people, profits and the planet. Gronbach spoke about his research and work on Mon., Oct. 19, during the conference.

His presentation, “Simple Math: The Open Secret of the Demographic World,” answered the question, Why is demography important? As waves of generations are born and age, our fortunes and futures are re-determined, said Gronbach. He gave on overview on how America's Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y and other countries' age curves interact to create the opportunities and challenges of the world today. He also talked about what the future will bring for people, profits and the planet.

Information he shared included statistics on various age groups. “There's no middle class? Actually, there's no middle age!” There are much fewer people in that age class, said Gronbach. “There's a gap in demographics from 31 to 50 years old.”

He also emphasized the importance demographics play on knowing your customer base. Generation Y, or those born in between 1985-2004, is bigger than the Boomers, who total about 86 million, said Gronbach.

“They will build small sustainable homes,” he said. “Generation X rejected the technical ‘blue collar’ jobs, so Generation Y is picking those up as Boomers retire.”

He advised companies to take advantage of the Boomers’ knowledge base, while they still can. “Don't let Boomers retire along with all their knowledge!” said Gronbach. “Encourage them to pass it on to younger employees.”

Gronbach also predicted that an estimated 25 million housing units will be needed soon as the largest U.S. generation ever begins to marry, have kids and need housing.

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