Generation Z makes up more than a quarter of the world's population. Yes, they are young but they have amply demonstrated their ability to commit themselves to a fairer, more sustainable and inclusive world. And they will settle for nothing less.
Gen Z. A brief overview
Starting from the beginning, if we were to define Gen Z, we would say that they are those born in the decade between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s, although the start and end dates are still a matter of debate among sociologists.
They are the first generation to be educated entirely in a digital environment, the so-called digital natives, for whom the smartphone, thanks to high-speed internet, has become the main interface of their lives.
The smartphone is the great tool of the 21st century. It has massively changed the way we relate to our environment and to each other. A few grams and inches condense dozens of functionalities that, when used wisely and creatively, have no limits. We could consider it the figurehead of young people, its main metaphor.
However, their capabilities and concerns far exceed the dimensions of their devices. Youngers are leading a wave that generates trends, changes the structure of thinking and sets the new standards. In large part due to the power of social media, which raise their voice in the mainstream in a way that no generation their age has ever enjoyed before.
Who are the young people?
Perhaps by maturing in a period of continuous instability and uncertainty dominated by financial, natural and social crises, they have developed a great capacity to adapt to change and resilience.
The lack of job security in this liquid modernity have turned them into creative, self-taught people, unafraid of entrepreneurship and lifelong learners. They have no complexes when it comes to defending their freedom and identity.
They are multitasking and multiscreen. They have the ability to do several functions and handle different devices at the same time. In fact, online media are their main source of information. They are very self-conscious, self-reliant and innovative.
They reject inherited stereotypes and embrace social causes such as feminism, ecology, anti-racism and sexual diversity rights. They demonstrate a strong social and environmental awareness.
Gen Z's social commitment could be illustrated by that quote from Ernest Hemingway at the very end of the film Seven: "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." (They agree not only with the second part). For them, it is non-negotiable to aspire to Justice and Equality, in capital letters.
The change you are
Thus, we understand that two young activists belonging to Gen Z are among the most influential people on the planet. Malala Yousafzai, born in 1996, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17; and climate activist Greta Thumberg, born in 2003, was named Time magazine's Person of the Year 2019.
The world is changing now, it is doing so as you read these lines. For this reason, Advantere is publishing a series of 30 videos of innovative people who can inspire others, perhaps you, to lead the transformation.