Membership Research & Planning Partner


Sarah Sladek started her career as a journalist, so fact-gathering is built into her company’s DNA. XYZ University LLC was founded in 2002 as one of the first generational research and training firms in the United States.

Today, Sarah’s team is gathering research globally and studying how each of the following influences membership and workforce engagement and belonging:


+ Youth Influences and Trends
+ Demographic and Economic Shifts
+ Social Change
+ Engagement and Belonging

This is what Sarah refers to as Next Generation Intelligence: gathering organizational data alongside industry trends and social change.

This gives us a deeper level of understanding of what inspires emotional connections to a team, organization, brand, community, and mission. It also gives us the ability to anticipate and build for change.

Our research process is unique, comprehensive, and proven. As a result, the strategies we recommend are high performing.

Micro + Macro

We never rely on the macro trends revealed by research. We always go the extra mile to segment data to pinpoint where the gaps to engagement exist.

Internal + External

We review current organizational performance as well as  positioning for long-term growth. We seek to leverage current assets, and recommend the best path for continuous sustainability, relevance, and growth.


Our research process isn’t about crunching numbers. It’s about driving radical change. Our approach brings the voice of the community to the forefront and ignites a movement of super-fans. How cool is that?


Every research project comes equipped with your own accountability partner. Clients rave over our implementation calendars and the ability to quickly realize traction. And they really love that Sarah provides several months of follow-up coaching.

Want to learn more?

Free Research Paper Downloads

5 Turn-Around Strategies for Associations

This report profiles 12 associations which are innovating to increase relevance and value, and observing increased engagement as a result.

Why They Quit

Workforce disengagement and turnover are at an all time high among young professionals. We identify the reasons why and how employers can reverse the trends.

Teaching Gen Z

This report, authored by Gen Z students, provides insight into what today’s students want and need in terms of education and workforce preparedness.

Gen Z

We research the arrival of Generation Z (1996-2009), providing a preview of what will define and drive this next generation of workers and consumers.

America’s Aging Workforce Crisis

An update to “America’s Aging Workforce Crisis”, co-produced with GradStaff.  Best practices to reduce turnover and retain young workers.

Getting Gen Y to Buy

Strategies to get the Millennial generation—also known as Generation Y–to purchase products and services.

Engaging Young Generations

Our research provides valuable insights on how to engage the largest and youngest workforce majority in more than 30 years.

Scary Workforce Stats

In celebration of Halloween, XYZ University identified 52 scary workforce stats to get executives excited about, and maybe a little scared, of demographic shifts in the workforce.

Advocacy in Associations

The findings from this survey serve as a starting point to pinpoint the hurdles that associations currently face in furthering advocacy efforts, especially in regards to engaging younger generations.

America’s Aging Workforce Crisis

In the wake of Boomer retirements, many industries are grappling with skilled labor shortages and a loss of critical knowledge. This report features recommendations for improving the odds of talent succession.

New Generation, New Politics

This research paper examines the engagement of younger generations in the political processes and leadership of the United States. Our research, which included surveying 18-40 year olds, suggested younger generations pose the greatest challenge and the greatest opportunity to America’s political landscape.