Walmart conference addresses American family trends and opportunities

January 22, 2018

Walmart Conference on American Life

Walmart invited a select group from around the country to Bentonville, Arkansas on January 19 for the inaugural Conference on American Life. San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP) CEO Peter Callstrom was honored to be one of the few workforce development leaders in the country to be included.

SDWP is a grantee of the Walmart Foundation through their initiative to “reimagine retail” by funding programs to create career paths in retail and related industries and train thousands of workers outside of Walmart. Since 2016, the Walmart Foundation has invested more than one million dollars in San Diego County’s retail sector, which supports one in four America jobs.

Doug McMillonThe Conference on American Life showcased today’s American family—how they will live, work, save and spend in the future. Panels and keynotes addressed critical issues that help to inform our thinking on a smart, pragmatic, forward-looking policy agenda around American families and communities.

The event also included an in-depth discussion highlighting trends and insights around the American family found in Walmart’s The American Family Today 2018, which was released at the event. The report outlines four new trends that will shape life for American families in the next year and beyond:

Parents and pets first, kids can wait

Compared to previous generations, Millennials are far more likely to live with their parents or be indulgent pet parents.

On-demand everything

New technologies are giving families more flexibility and convenience at work and at play.

Collective wellness

Personal and collective well-being has become a priority, and there is an increased expectation of transparency into products.

Short on time, but not on flavor

Foods that offer the convenience and diverse flavors that families want are on the rise.

“American families and communities are undergoing rapid transformations in the way they live, work and shop,” says Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, in the report. “The needs of the American family are changing as new technologies share their daily lives, whether they are in the heart of America or along the coasts. With our presence in communities across the country, we are working hard to understand and embrace these changes and to ensure the needs of these busy families are met not just today, but tomorrow.”

Technology influences many of the trends in the report—not only transforming entertainment, shopping and social networking, but also driving the future of work. As of 2017, about four million Americans use their phone to work for on-demand services such as Uber and Lyft—more than the top five largest employers in the U.S. combined. By 2020, this number is expected to double.

 Want to learn more? Here is three-minute video highlight reel showcasing this action-packed conference.