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Brief Published: 7 Dec 2015

Gen Z Wants to Change the World

Around 90% of Gen Zers are optimistic their generation can build a better world

US members of Gen Z would rename their generation the Founder Generation if they could, according to a December 2015 study from US television channel MTV's research team, MTV Insights.

Including the views of more than 1,000 respondents aged 13 to 14, the report shows that Gen Z believe they are responsible for building a new social order. "Not only do these kids have a clear identity, they have a stunningly intuitive sense of the changing times they've been born into and the huge opportunity that lies ahead to make new history," says Jane Gould, senior vice-president of MTV Insights. Highlights include:

  • Connection = Tolerance: Gen Z have been online since birth and don't know a world without YouTube or social networking. Some 91% say that technology has helped their generation understand people who are different in terms of race, religion and sexuality.  
  • Optimistic About Change: This generation is focused on rehabilitating the world around them. Around 90% are optimistic their generation can build a better world and the same number support a society where diversity is encouraged.  
  • Pragmatic Parenting: Gen X (aged 35 to 50) realists have raised Gen Z, explaining this cohort's balanced sense of optimism and practicality. This contrasts with the dreamer millennial (aged 21 to 34) generation, whose boomer parents (aged 51 to 69) instilled the idea that success is inevitable.

For more on how traditional demographics are changing, see SXSWi 2015: Dissolving Demographics, Demographics Not What They Seem and our Global Consumer Generations infographic.

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