Snowflake, avocado eating youngsters. We millennials get a bad rap in the press. Often described as the snowflake generation, we are characterised as being weak minded, easy to offend and lazy. Seen as voiceless, we tend to not have many places offline to debate, discuss and challenge these ludicrous stereotypes.
With Millennifest, that all changed. Organised by CoVi, a millenial think-tank, Millennifest brought together young millennials in a series of events up and down the country. We discussed politics, ran workshops and took part in The Policy Factor, a political X Factor. I was lucky enough to attend most of the event series to host a workshop on ‘Human Rights and Brexit’ and apart from the incredible calibre of speakers CoVi managed to secure, the sell-out crowd at each event were a powerful testament to the fact that millennials are anything but snowflakes.
During the workshops I ran, people were debating, inquisitive and engaged. Other workshops included how to get funding, campaigning tools, local politics and what is Britishness? The topics, level of discussion and vibe was incredible at every single event. It is often said of our generation that we can’t take a joke… reality is we can, this is the generation that laughs at memes all day after all, we just don’t like racist and sexist jokes pertinent of the previous generation. True to form, Millennifest discussions where full of jokes as well as serious debate at every opportunity. During the final event in London, CoVi decided to host the finale at a farm… yes a farm. Apart from the slight smell on one side of the venue, it was incredible to see millennials debating and discussing politics while surrounded by animals.
Brightly coloured tape and signs littered each event with speaker bios, suggestions from future speakers and CoVi’s Brexibition! A mural of organisations and information about Brexit. Everything was interactive, from speaker suggestions to quotes you could put up. You felt a part of the festival, rather than just a guest.
Naturally, the Brexit issue was heavily covered as one of the biggest challenges of our generation. We will be the ones forced to live the entirety of our lives with the decisions made by the government and any implications that may accompany this. The Policy Factor speeches focused on Brexit and a post-Brexit Britain, with speeches varying from leave to remain and from a variety of speakers including MPs like Vince Cable.
During each speech and Q&A, those same snowflakes where challenging the speakers unapologetically. The next generation had something to say and we said it. Rejecting sweet talk from politicians saying ‘we are the future…’ we know this! Stop giving us platitudes and say what you will do to help us change society for the better.
It is clear we are facing a huge inter-generational divide, with an ever more frustrated and angry millennial generation who feel ignored, pushed aside and discounted despite they being the ones who will inherit Britain. Millennifest, with its array of youth-led organisations, young speakers and crowd, was a clear statement from us as a generation. We are done being pushed aside.