The Values Economy


The Values Economy

Image by Phoenix Johnson

Image by Phoenix Johnson


By Ben Brown, Founder AYA



Young people have been called out for destroying industries, but the fact is, we are reinventing what is valued in our economy.


The consumer facing economy is no longer just about selling stuff, it is about building relationships.


Fifty years ago, commerce was simply a transaction: I purchase this thing from you, and we go our separate ways. Now it’s a completely different story -- young consumers expect and demand more from companies than ever before. We look for authenticity, personality, and value beyond just the product itself and what used to be a simple transaction. We invite products and brands into our lives, and appropriately, we now also increasingly look at how the company treats the communities in which it operates, how they treat their workforce, and whether or not the company shares our values and vision for the future. Sharing values with customers is no longer a nice to have, it is a need to have. Companies know it too because the stakes are high for missing out on this “Values Economy.” 


Two years ago, I founded the Association of Young Americans (AYA), a membership organization working to give young people a seat at the political decision-making table. Like AARP and other large membership organizations, we knew that leveraging our buying power would be a core focus, and supporting the values economy was a natural fit.


Companies are eager to show their commitment to young people by associating with a brand that actively works to solve issues they care about, while simultaneously highlighting their values and goals.


That’s why Association of Young Americans works exclusively with companies that align with our values and vision for the future. We’ve curated our partnerships to be intentional and thoughtful, which is why we work with Lyft, Brandless, and others. 


The values economy is here, and young people are creating it.






It's important to stay informed and stand up for your rights. AYA was created to empower young Americans to hold their officials accountable, and reclaim lobbying as a tool that works to advance policies that benefit young people.


If you want to learn more about AYA, read more here