Gen Z - the generation changing everything

By Jemima Walker and the TNM team

From climate, to gender, to the future of work - our generation is shaking things up. We've spoken to thousands of young people in America and Britain to find out what we really think about how we live, the world around us - and how we can change things for the better.

Gen Z (those of us born between 1997-2012) make up a quarter of the world’s population.
By 2025, almost a third of the workforce will be made up of people between the age of 18 and 25. And it looks like we are going to be the most disruptive generation ever.
Over two years, The News Movement and the Oliver Wyman Forum have carried out a project exploring the lives of Gen Z and what we care about.
We asked 10,000 young people in America and Britain about their views of the world. We also had lots of conversations with groups of young people to understand things in real detail.
The artwork used (which we’ve used in this article) is created by artificial intelligence using photos of real people.
It shows how quickly AI is changing our lives.
You can look at the full report here.
Here are the big takeaways from the research:


Money, unsurprisingly, is a huge issue. Large.jpeg

Money - 42% say money is a "necessary evil to function in a capitalist world"

Our generation spends at least $143 billion a year, which is a huge deal for brands trying to sell stuff.
The research found nearly half of Gen Z use TikTok for buying things, but only a third of Fortune 100 businesses (the biggest US companies) are on the platform. 
Cryptocurrency is being embraced by our generation with almost two thirds having invested in crypto, NFTs or digital assets. Santiago creates TikTok videos which help people navigate the market.

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Activism - 75% more likely to consider other jobs that better align with their values

Unlike other generations, many people in Gen Z are willing to switch it up if a brand doesn't align with our values.
91% said they’d be willing to pay more for products from companies that support a cause they care about. Climate activist Shiv can tell us why: 

Job satisfaction

Just as people are willing to switch brands if they don’t align with their beliefs, the same rule applies to jobs. What a place is like is crucial.

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Mental Health - Gen Zs are 1.9x more likely to report struggling with a mental health issue

A lot of people in Gen Z got jobs during the pandemic.
After the pandemic, they reported twice the amount of mental health issues as before. 21-year-old Haile Thomas describes herself as a wellness and compassion activist, and she’s the CEO of The Happy Org.


In so many ways Gen Z defies labelling, including the rejection of traditional gender roles. 
Gen Z needs businesses to respect fluid perspectives on gender and identity.
They want bosses who get them, and brands that celebrate differences and stand with them on the causes they care about. Large.jpeg

Gender - 82% more likely than other generations to believe traditional gender norms are outdated

Otherwise, as climate activist Shiv says, “you get left behind”.