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Brief Published: 9 Jul 2019

Events & Concerns Shaping Gen Z’s Worldview

Extra

In the US, Gen Z’s outlook is being shaped by contemporary social and political events to a greater degree than older generations, according to a survey released last month by research firm Morning Consultant. We examine the key findings from the report.

  • Mass Shootings: A vast 65% of Gen Z said that mass shootings have greatly impacted their worldview­. This topic topped a list of influential events which also included Trump’s election (64%) and 9/11 (60%). In February 2018, survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting helped to organise the March For Our Lives demonstration for better gun control, which attracted over two million protesters in the US alone. 
  • Hashtag Activism: Social media has given the younger generation a platform to follow and contribute to causes, while giving these movements a space to communicate outside traditional news channels. Fifty-two per cent of Gen Z say that the #BlackLivesMatter movement had a major influence on their civic perspective, compared to only a third of older generations. And 41% said that the #MeToo movement had a similar effect on their outlook. Brands should engage with social media channels to reach Gen Zers and to discover causes close to their hearts.
  • Climate Change: Teen activists are being recognised across the world for demanding action on the climate emergency. It is not just big names driving this trend: 60% think climate change will be a critical threat to the US in the next 10 years. Brands would be wise to provide this generation with sustainably made products if they hope to retain their commercial attention. See Reaching Eco Demographics, part of Towards Our Sustainable Future, for more on communicating with green consumers.

Read 10 Teen Causes to Watch, which further explores the political and social movements driving global Gen Zers into action.

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