We’ve had Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials. And now here comes Generation Z.
Definitions of Gen Z vary, but the core of the cohort typically includes people born between the mid-’90s and the mid-’00s, which means people now mostly in their teens and early twenties, and they’re ready to start rocking the world.
XYZ University, which advises companies on engaging Gen Z in the workplace, puts it like this: “Gen Z has grown up in a post-9/11 world where terrorism and school shootings are reality and the ‘American Dream’ seems to be just that — a dream. As a result, this generation tends to be more cautious and pragmatic, while also being inspired to change the world.”
Gen Z has been molded by the financial crisis and smartphones, the two defining features of the last decade, Barclays analyst Hiral Patel told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Gen Z is also called the “iGeneration,” as the first iPhone was launched while many of the cohort were young children. "This is a generation that went straight to smartphones," Suzy Ross of Accenture told the Herald. "From the word go, they have had access to the world and information."
Gen Z will be characterized by expecting instant access to information on a global level, as well as an openness to different cultures, ways of thinking, gender definitions and sexual identities. They will also be ambitious, passionate and tech-savvy, according to business blog Devrix.
And, by 2020, Gen Z will account for 40 percent of consumers worldwide.
So we consulted experts and studies, wondering: How might Gen Z impact — and potentially reinvent — society, business and the economy of the future?
Here are 14 things we learned.