Nobody really, truly has their sh** together. Bleak, maybe. But for members of my generation, there are plenty of flashpoints demonstrating this statement’s basis in fact.

I remember when it became crystal clear for me. The fall of 2008. My senior year at UNF. For whatever reason I’d enrolled in a financial planning course taught by a whip-smart, though fittingly curmudgeon, professor who moonlighted as a day trader. As a matter of both good pedagogy and, one imagines, to prove his competence in subject matter, this professor would share months worth of spreadsheets with our class, quantifying the volume of his trades and his hefty profits.

In any event, just weeks into the semester, I caught a glimpse of this seemingly prescient academic staring into a glass-enclosed room which housed a smattering of television screens tuned to CNBC, Bloomberg News, Fox Business, and other financial programs on the second floor of UNF’s Coggin College of Business. As the financial guru realized the news of the death of the world economy as we knew was not, in fact, greatly exaggerated, this seemingly self-assured and successful know-it-all came unhinged, tugging wildly at the puffs of white hair that flanked his bald dome. The entirety of the global banking system was teetering on the verge of collapse. And apparently, no one saw it coming.

I graduated a few months later.

The experiences of the Great Recession loom large in the lives of most Americans. But especially so for those who came of age, or joined the workforce during that period. Now twenty- and thirtysomethings, they are Xennials, Millennials, and members of Generation Z. And, as evidenced by the pages that follow, they are soon to be (or in some cases already) the one’s in charge.

So what lessons have they gleaned from watching those who came before them–those who seemingly had their sh** together?     

What follows is our first ever Bold Movers Issue, which includes profiles of a diverse assortment of 35 North Floridians excelling in their respective fields, including: filmmaker Keagan Anfuso, whose documentary on “The Grey Area” contextualizes conversations about gender identity; graphic designer/Atlantic Beach City Commission member Brittany Norris, who’s made illuminating the importance of municipal governance her mission; Times-Union Columnist Nate Monroe’s vital reporting on local issues, and Singer-MC-DJ-Activist Geexella, who empowers North Florida youth through arts and music. Collectively and respectively, these individuals have already begun the work of creating a brighter future, even before they’ve taken 35 trips ‘round the sun.

In profiling these folks, our writers unearthed a variety of mobilizing moments. For some it was the trials of tribulations related to the worst economy since the Great Depression. For others: the political climate leading up to the 2016 Presidential election. While others, still, pointed to more intimate moments; advice from an influential friend or relative, a personal tragedy. Whatever the formative experience, these individuals have pointed their moral compass toward a better future, using their skills and expertise, making moves, and being bold in their commitment to making our region a better place in which to live.  

Thanks for putting your eyeballs on this magazine. While nobody ever, truly has their sh** together (though we certainly try here at Void), we hope this issue enlightens and inspires you to be bold in your own attempts to chase your muse, follow your passion, or simply be good.