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Five things you need to know about Generation Z

Today is International Youth Day, a day that recognises young people as agents of change. To celebrate, we’ve put together Five things you need to know about Generation Z – those born from 1995 onwards and the demographic cohort that comes after millennials.

1. They are the first ‘true digital natives’

Generation Z is more connected than we can begin to imagine. When older Millennials were still getting to grips with Bebo and MySpace, today’s teens could not fathom a world without SnapChat and Instagram. And brands like Apple are as familiar to them as Teletext was to late Generation X’ers - those born in the 70’s and very early 80’s.

2. They don’t remember the boom times (or a time before 9/11)

Today’s teens grew up in a tumultuous world of economic uncertainty and fragile peace. The oldest Gen Z’ers were just six years old when 9/11 happened and entered their teens just as the recession hit in 2008. Despite this, they are optimistic about the future, recognising their own ability to bring about change in what they see as an open and interconnected world.

3. They are innovative, creative and entrepreneurial

Social media influencers, such as New York based Casey Neistat rattle up millions of views on YouTube. He tells his young followers to ‘Do What You Can’t”. This is a generation of creative innovators. They know that they can create without constraints and they are doing just that. They are also entrepreneurial by nature. This is a generation that grew up watching young innovators like Mark Zuckerberg change the way our world works. In fact, 84% of Gen Z say that they aspire to be leaders while 50% want to set up their own business.

4. They value practical, student-led education

Gen Z is the most informed generation we have ever seen and they value the ability to learn in increasingly adaptive and innovative ways. Progressive educational methods such as Social Innovation Education harness the creativity and ability of young people and appeal to Gen Z’ers who want access to education that is of practical value to them.

5. They are socially conscious and want to do good

Older generations may have feared that the modern world would create an increasingly selfish and isolationist society. Yet the opposite seems to be true; at least when it comes to the young. In fact, “Gen Z is the most informed, evolved, and empathetic generation of its kind.” That’s according a report by Google in April. As the world opens up and we are more connected than ever, we are witnessing an evolution in empathy and social consciousness amongst this younger generation. 

To find out more about Social Innovation Education and Young Social Innovators click here:

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“It's Lit: A guide to what teens think is cool”, Google 

Who are Gen Z and what do they mean to market reserach?, Ciara Reilly, Red C

Opinions of Generation Z’s ambitions and priorities differ greatly between the generations Ipsos Mori / BBC