Today´s world is a product of values, stances, and deeds of previous generations. Those were formed by political institutions, economies, and social relations. These factors guided the world´s modus operandi. But this world is disappearing.
New generations are taking its place, with their opinions on fundamental issues significantly different from their predecessors´.
Deloitte´s latest global survey only confirms this trend. A sample of more than 16,000 youngsters from all round the globe took part in the study. Of that, 13,412 were Millennials from 42 countries born between 1983 and 1994. An additional 3,009 members of the so-called Generation Z born between 1995 and 2002 took part in ten countries. Slovakia did not participate. But we can still learn from the survey´s findings.
Changes in global perspectives, value chains, and consumer behavior substantially alter the conditions for business and market operations.
Suspicion, Sharing, Climate
Both Millennials and Generation Z individuals meet halfway in their strong distrust towards traditional social institutions, the government, media, and the private sector. Conventional markers of “adulthood” have always included family life, securing safe housing, and having children.
But new generations are postponing such decisions as they trickle to the bottom of their priority lists. These are topped with travelling and experiencing the world.
These people were born in a time of slower economic growth when compared to previous decades. They have lower income, fewer assets, and carry heavier debts than their predecessors of the same age. Consequently, they consume less, own less, and share more.
The climate and the environment occupy the pinnacle of factors that concern them. They view businesses unfavorably, as entities only caring for profit and ignoring pertinent societal needs, thus having no positive effect whatsoever on the world.
They do not find business attractive, just as they are not drawn to standard forms of employment. They prefer part-time work arrangements that allow them to sustain a better “work-life balance”.
What does all this mean for us?
Firstly, such opinions will carry increasingly more weight in the functioning of society. They will turn into decisive factors when these generations reach the age of 40 to 60.
Secondly, society will become less immune to dictatorial governance. The climate craze can likely create fertile soil for the emergence of “green fascism”.
Lastly, limiting consumption and avoiding market transactions will inevitably lead to the conception of new business models, the foundations of which are already discernible in the form of platforms, also know as the “shared economy”.
Incessant change will remain our only certainty.
Translated by Edward Szekeres