Almost everything you think you know about Millennials is wrong.

“Millennials are screwed.”

Over two years ago, a then-20-year old Stacey Ferreira and a then-17-year-old version of myself set out to share the stories of ambitious, talented and misunderstood young entrepreneurs, creators and doers from around the world.

We met at a Thiel Foundation Summit in New York City in November 2012, where the final speaker of the conference shared with us the fact that there were 2 billion people in the world 20 years old and younger... the “2 Billion Under 20.” And that’s how it all started.

A few months later, I posted in the online Facebook group shared by members of the Thiel Foundation’s community of entrepreneurs, techies and scientists. I asked them whether they’d like to share their stories in order to inspire other young people to act on their passions in life and that, contrary to popular belief, Millennials across the globe are succeeding in changing the world with their alternative, ambitious paths.

You see, when we started research for the book, if you typed “Millennials are” into Google, the autosuggestion tool for the world’s most popular search engine would list options such as “lazy”, “stupid”, “the next hippies”, and “screwed”. However, as we’ve found out after literally studying, interacting with and befriending hundreds of the world’s smartest and most talented young people over the last few years, we’ve quickly come to show that Millennials are actually quite entrepreneurial, caring, and ambitious. 

Within half an hour of making the post about “2 Billion Under 20” on Facebook, the thread had more than 50 likes and 60 comments. Three or four stories for the book had already been sent in for review, and over the course of the next few months, me and Stacey combed through our personal networks, introductions and referrals from trusted sources, and media outlets featuring the stories of talented young people, ultimately receiving well over 300 one-to-three page anecdotes to choose from in creating the book’s content. In the end, we chose to include the 75 stories we thought were diverse and inspiring enough to lead a generational rallying cry in sharing how Millennials are breaking down age barriers and changing the world.

Next up: Securing a publisher. Originally looking to self publish, we ended up choosing to partner with St. Martin’s Press, one of the largest and most reputable publishers in the U.S. in order to provide a credibility boost to all our book’s contributors as well as create a high-quality, reader-ready product.

2 Billion Under 20 Cover

Now, after more than two years of hard work, thousands of emails to and from contributors, months of planning press coverage and book launch events, and weeks of less than normal sleep, we’re proud to share 2 Billion Under 20: How Millennials Are Breaking Down Age Barriers and Changing The World with you today.

So far, the book has been reviewed and endorsed by business celebrities such as Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, #1 NYT bestselling author Keith Ferrazzi and Mashable Chief Revenue Officer Seth Rogin, as well as director, writer,and actress Talulah Riley, social entrepreneur and co-founder of The Malala Fund Shiza Shahid, and even Kristine Barnett, mother to the world’s youngest astrophysicist.

Publisher’s Weekly
says: “This book would make an excellent graduation gift for ambitious Millennials,” and the official Coca-Cola Company handle previously tweeted that, “@JaredKleinert and @StaceyFerreira show us the @2BillionUnder20 who can change the world.”

Through the personal anecdotes from 75 contributors at or under age 20 (at time of writing) who have involved themselves in remarkable things, from entrepreneurship to athletics to music and more, we are slashing negative stereotypes to prove that our generation is making an unprecedented and positive impact.

Millennials, it seems, are not in fact “screwed."

Jared Kleinert is the 19-year-old co-founder and co-author of 2 Billion Under 20, a community of Millennials redefining success, breaking down barriers, and changing the world. Find out more about the book at