Who are Generation Z and what do they want?
Generation Z indicators
Around 15-24-year olds – children of Generation X and even late millennials.
Children of the modern Internet who's never experienced a world without instant access to information and quick service.
"Masters" as well as "servants" of social media, not only enjoying benefits of social media but also investing a lot of time and effort in content creation.
Children of personal branding: the most desired job for today's 14-year olds -- to become youtubers.
The first generation that really do without traditional power structures: government, education, finance. As well as without strong brands, traditional notions of beauty/aesthetics, fashion.
A native population of the country called "Modern Internet": youtubers and instagramers. They live in a world of memes, filters, LULZ (variant of LOL), hosting (the breaking up of all ties in the net, social media, etc.), Sh**-posting (a constant sharing of unfunny memes, videos or other pictures, absolutely out of subject), #JOMO (enjoying life in a real world), #FOMO (the fear of missing out something important).
Socially conservative: one third of 18-24-year olds these days choose to stay absolutely sober that is to not consume alcohol. And doing drugs for fun has now been at the lowest level since 1965. Only 5 % of teenagers smoke, compared to 40 % in the 1990s.
Socially aware/ideological: political activism, vegetarianism/veganism, waste recycling, socially motivated corporate employees.
Stand up for equality: LGBT rights, social rights, feminism.
What do Generation Z like?
What do Generation Z dislike?
Tolerance: sometimes to such a degree that it becomes intolerance.
Gender fluidity (ability to freely choose for oneself some gender or infinite number of genders), don't constrain themselves to a binary choice (male or female genders).
Awareness and political activism.
Sobriety/health/problem solving.
Futuristic beauty/beauty in its multiple types and forms.
Sex without sex (Viagra for teenagers).
Cohabitation with a great number of other generations.
Childhood (fun-fairs, cream cafes, thematic weekends).
Digital detox.
Career, and career ladders especially.
Apathy (they've seen its threatening consequences).
Part-work after school/on the weekends.
Travelling (reject it en masse, contrary to millennials).
Living separately from parents/leaving home.
University as a step that "will definitely sort out everything."
Night parties with drugs/alcohol.
Rock/pop/TV celebrities.
Commercial entertainment.
What inspires Generation Z?
Leaders. "I believe all that talk about leadership has "gone the way of the dodo." When you think of a leader, you think about someone like Barack Obama, who looked like the one who did damn know what he was doing. You wanna feel like somebody who's got everything under control…"
Thinkers. "Lots of my friends have been crazy about Jordan Peterson, and here you've got mine darling — Noam Chomsky. I can't make out even half of what he's saying, but because of him I'm feeling there's something there… and there're ideas many times bigger than me. And this is inspiring and calming me down."
Authenticity. "You cannot create an instance. The instance is creating you. And the same way you cannot pretend that you care for something. You got to be mindful in order to change something forever."
Easy learning. "I'll tell you that simply. I like learning. I hate reading. I believe it's typical for my generation — we're not a reading generation. So podcasts are absolutely everything for me. I've learned so many things exactly from them, so I can't grasp why they aren't as esteemed by people as books are."
Ideas. "I get so scared when I'm reading on how terrible the state of our planet is now, and that glaciers are thawing, and the see level is rising, so I just need to switch from it. And when I'm reading an article, for example, "7 Simple Steps You Can Now Take to Help Planet," this charges me up with positive mood, and I start doing these things."
A majestic window into a nice world. "Everybody thinks Instagram is all about how sexy this or that user looks. But lots of us admire National Geographic, NASA, Oxfam, the National Wildlife Federation… It feels much better when you recall that genuine beauty does exist in this world."
And harshness — as well. "In reality, it's hard to reach out to people so that they hear you message, if only you don't shock them and show the harsh truth. For example, I've never thought that I eat meat, haven't thought about animals. Until I started reading/watching videos about animal farms and animal testing. Now I am a vegan and a serious animal rights activist as well."
Precise numbers and mathematics. "Every day we're bombarded with so many millions of pictures and fake news, but there's nothing more shocking and clinging to memory than statistics and numbers. Recently we've found out that there're 848 million people living with and 1.6 billion suffering from excessive weight. I will forever remember this number, and it, in the same time, is building up the context of so many global problems."
Hope. "The world looks so hopeless now. Here is so much negative, hate, violence, and chaos. I wanna get involved in that which is gonna bring about hope and the positive, make a real difference."
Fake news and information campaigns.
And 7 useful habits for campaigns/research…
False prophets.
Cheap deadlines.
Believing in what they want to believe, not what really exists.
Get caught in a vicious circle or repeating the same.
Not trusting true experts.
Mindless social media.
Following, not leading on…
Checking on all news sources — and after that checking them again.
Supporting all great ideas with statistics and facts.
(Where applicable) filming/taking a picture of the interview source.
Conscious of their position and are able to speak it up.
Great positive presence on/feeling of social media.
Knowing who needs lobbying.
Able to explain the reason briefly: thinking in posts.
7 deadly traps set for Generation Z
How not to come across as boring adults?
Show them a community that values and respects their role and voices.
Create a positive relationship and take part in what they're doing.
Get acquainted with their peers (and their adult hero role-models).
Let the youth express themselves.
Let them be heard and take their thoughts into consideration.
Support the youth in doing what allows them to discover something, learn and fail/learn by experience.
Practice teamwork and cooperation.
This is not school. Treat the young as equals — adults.
If you ask the young to support some position, you must give them power.
Allow them to give presentations and head sessions.
Give them support and encouragement.
Recognize their life experience.
Don't suggest that "adults" know better.
Use what the young are already interested in.
What does it mean to empower the youth in the first place?
Avoid focusing exclusively on adults. Allow the young to get behind the steering wheel. Adults have to be ready to provide support.
Facilitation tips for better sessions with Generation Z.
Allow the youth to set rules. Before the beginning of a training, agree with all group members on how they want to behave and treat each other. Allow them to make amendments during the event. Ensure that the adults follow these rules.
Make use of different facilitation styles. Not just read a lection! Divide the participants into small groups and ask them to present something. Allocate enough time to discuss what was presented.
Make sure everybody has had a chance to be heard. Not just provide the most active people in the room with the opportunity to participate in the discussion. Some people need time to think — allow as well for such tasks where everybody writes down ideas and shares them afterwards. Encourage co-working and cooperation in small groups.
Make use of ice-breaking exercises (for establishing contact) and energizers (for restoring energy during group work). Use these exercises several times a day or when you feel that the energy level of the audience is plummeting.
Encourage everybody to leave their comfort zone. Even yourself, too.
Enjoy the process!