What I Learned In 2020 – Adrienne Johnson, BSSP

By thesanfranciscoegotist / /

This year has been possibly the most interesting one we’ve all lived through. At times, 2020 has felt like living in a demonstration of Murphy’s Law and at other times it has been a year of awe-inspiring innovation.

With a Presidential election year wrapped up in a global pandemic, so many of the newsworthy moments that would’ve defined any other year felt completely trapped in a vortex. At BSSP, to better understand what genuinely captured our attention in culture, we asked 750 Millennials and Gen Zers what they thought were the most interesting moments of 2020 with 30 different examples from Tiger King, to Telehealth, and everything in between, which resulted in our study “In The Cultural Vortex of 2020.

What I learned from the exercise is that in a culture so prone to escaping the hard truths (or just escaping), people found the heaviest things we experienced this year the most captivating. Here are three of the key findings we uncovered:

1. It’s possible that we, as a people, are instrumental in making real change and that our voices matter following the widespread protests and demonstrations in support of social justice and ending systemic racism.

2. Leaving a lasting legacy can inspire generations to come. From Kobe Bryant and the legacy of the Mamba Mentality to the loss of the incomparable Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, both the left mark on the world and we find it possible to we can leave our own.

3. We’re all craving a mental escape from what some would call the worst year ever. We’ve discovered a new frontier for exploration, with the new Mars Rover’s summer trip and the Pentagon confirming UFO’s — our attention was captured.

And so, as 2020 comes to a close, we’re looking forward to the interesting possibilities that 2021 can bring. Like the oh-so-remote chance that we might be able to get together in person by July.


Adrienne Johnson is a Senior Strategist at BSSP.


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