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Neil  Howe

Neil Howe

Authority on Generations in America


Neil Howe, best-selling author and national speaker, is a renowned authority on generations in America. He gives readers and audiences powerful insights into who today’s generation are, what motivates them as consumers and workers, and how they will shape our national future. He is a great choice for any forward-looking organization that wants to grasp the big picture. Howe’s broadly cyclical perspective—oriented around familiar generational life stories—will put “the long term” into a stunning yet personal focus that will not soon be forgotten. Read More >

A historian, economist, and demographer, Howe is a founding partner of the consulting firm LifeCourse Associates. He is a marketing, personnel, and government affairs consultant to corporate and nonprofit clients, and has spoken and written extensively on the collective personalities of today’s generations—who they are, what motivates them, and how they will shape America’s future. He is also a recognized authority on global aging, long-term fiscal policy, and migration. His current titles include: senior advisor to the Concord Coalition and senior associate to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C.

Howe has co-authored several books on generations with William Strauss, all bestsellers widely used by businesses, colleges, government agencies, and political leaders of both parties. Together, they originally coined the term “Millennial Generation,” which their fifth book, Millennials Rising, most aptly illustrates. It has been widely quoted in the media for its insistence that today’s new crop of teens and kids are very different from Generation X and, on the whole, doing much better than most adults think. Howe’s work with Millennials in colleges and in the military was recently featured on 60 Minutes.

Howe and Strauss’ other books include Generations, a history of America told as a sequence of generational biographies which Newsweek called “a provocative, erudite, and engaging analysis of the rhythms of American life” and Vice President Al Gore dubbed “the most stimulating book on American history that I have ever read” before sending a copy to every member of Congress; and Newt Gingrich called it “an intellectual tour de force.” Howe’s 13th Gen remains the best-selling nonfiction book ever written about Generation X.

Previously, with Peter G. Peterson, Howe co-authored On Borrowed Time, a pioneering call for budgetary reform. According to Harvard’s Martin Feldstein, former chairman of the President’s Council on Economic Advisors, “This book should be read by everyone who wants to understand how government spending can be controlled.”

Howe’s articles have appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The New York Times, American Demographics, USA Weekend, and other national publications. He has drafted several social security reform plans and testified on entitlements many times before Congress. He has written extensively on budget policy and aging and on attitudes toward economic growth, social progress, and stewardship. He co-edits the “Facing Facts” fax letter for the Concord Coalition and co-authors numerous studies for CSIS (including the Global Aging Initiative’s Aging Vulnerability Index and The Graying of the Middle Kingdom: The Economics and Demographics of Retirement Policy in China). In 2008, he co-authored The Graying of the Great Powers with Richard Jackson.

Howe received his BA from UC Berkeley, studied abroad in France and Germany, and later earned graduate degrees in economics (MA, 1978) and history (MPhil, 1979) from Yale University. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Neil Howe

Speech Topics

America’s New Direction

Everyone agrees that the mood across America is changing rapidly.  We seem to be entering a new period of national urgency—and perhaps even global crisis—with new worries about financial collapse, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and global instability.  In their 1997 book The Fourth Turning, LifeCourse co-founders Neil Howe and William Strauss predicted that this was exactly where America would be today.  They uncovered a remarkable pattern in American history, a cycle of recurring eras driven by generational changes.  Read More >

Using this proven historical method, Neil Howe offers a road map that truly explains where America is today and, more importantly, where it is heading, from the economy and consumer tastes to politics and popular culture.  Read Less ^

Millennials & K-12 Education

Generational changes are dramatically reshaping the landscape of K-12 education—from hyper-involved parents to new issues over school security to the rising focus on teamwork and standards in the classroom. In this keynote, Neil Howe offers a road map to help educators best serve today's Millennial generation of students, align their priorities with the new Gen-X parents, and navigate a multigenerational education workforce.

Millennials & College

Meet the rising Millennial generation of students—and their hands-on parents. Understanding Millennials is key to navigating the seismic shifts occurring in America's colleges, from changing notions of campus security to the increased focus on career placement to "helicopter" moms and dads. In this keynote, Neil Howe offers a big picture perspective on the most pressing new trends and hands-on recommendations for anyone involved in college life.

Generations in the Workplace

In today's typical business, Boomers and Gen-Xers have trouble understanding each other—and neither generation knows what to do about the rising young Millennials. Neil Howe explains how each of these generations looks at work and life differently. Find out what the best companies are doing to unleash the potential of each generation and foster productive relationships between them.

Generational Marketing

Many companies have recognized the need to look beyond traditional demographic categories and understand the effect generational change has on the marketing industry. Neil Howe traces the life stories and characteristics of today's generations of consumers to help you understand what product styles and marketing messages work best for each.