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Digital Economics 18 Apr 2016

Generation Z: The digital (r)evolution

Just when we thought we were getting used to the millennials, a new generation has arrived that is better prepared and technologically-savvy. They were born after 1995 and are known for having a more realistic view of the world. Are we ready for the new Generation Z?

Generation Z is all about multimedia and digital technology. They were born with social networks and devices like smartphones and tablets with an instant Internet connection. This means they have an almost natural balance between real life and online. They are more concerned about the environment and will be the most affected by the gig economy (based on temporary positions and short-term jobs).

A recent study by Atrevia and Deusto Business School, “Generation Z: The final generational leap”  found that Z youth stand out for their technology use and are highly skilled in innovation and entrepreneurship. When they join the workforce, Generation Z will have a definite impact on companies due to their ability to network with people from different cultures with distinct ways of thinking. The freelancer model will also receive a boost.

By 2020, 8 out of every 10 young people will never set foot in a bank branch

Generation Z recurso

The financial sector and the keys to the future

The financial sector will have to confront this new revolution in the same way it is now trying to win over the millenials.  Little by little, technology and its use in banks have become more prominent to the point where it is now a strategic priority in the industry. The wave of new digital customers and rapid evolution of society toward technology makes the transformation process unstoppable.

Sociological studies also discuss the future of Generation Z:

–         They currently encompass 25% of the world’s population

–         By 2020, 8 out of every 10 young people will never set foot in a bank branch

–        55% of teenagers in 45 countries  would like to start their own company

–         The digital world has deeply affected this generation’s personality

Gen Y vs. Gen Z: How are they different?

The first difference can be found in the year they were born. The period of time including the 1980s and early 1990s corresponds to the millennials (Gen Y). They are more educated and things like creativity, their experiences and defending social values play a major role in how they make decisions.

Generation Z (born from 1995 to the present), on the other hand, has learned from their predecessors. Their values are based on preserving the environment, digital communication, entrepreneurship and spending money cautiously.

We are facing the new Homo Digitalis  

Both generations have been affected by the economic crisis, some as adults and others as children. An Adecco report found that 31% of young people seek to secure financial stability in the short term. However, of this percentage, only 4% of millennials consider it necessary compared to 29% of Generation Z.

But how do they see each other? For the generation from the 1980s, the new Generation Z is lazy and too addicted to social networks although they support their ideal of changing the world by volunteering and eliminating prejudice. Conversely, those from the new century respect and admire the generation that came before them but feel they are falling behind in the changes in digital communications. Despite their differences, they learn from each other, sharing opinions and common experiences.

We need to understand that this new Generation Z is already here among us, and they are a treasure chest full of information and new ideas. As José Antonio Marina has said, “We are facing the new “Homo digitalis” (Philosopher and author of Libro Blanco de la Profesión Docente).

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