Gen Z & Trust
In episode 56 of our podcast, Martijn Lampert, co-founder and research director at Glocalities, a values-based international research and marketing insights organization, reflects upon the findings of the new Trend Study (“Values Trends Shaping the World in 2022“), based upon interviews of 300,000 people stretching over 20 countries and spanning 8 years since the start in 2014. Glocalities provides global insights based on researching values, lifestyles, and psychology Social research is all about curiosity and the desire to understand the world, society, and the motivational drivers behind the behavior of people.
Gen Z is more activist and at the same time less optimistic and disenfranchised about their future, they have diminishing trust in meeting sustainability goals, and their prospect to flourish as well as to make a political impact. Half of the world’s population is aged below 30, but only 2.6% of the world’s parliamentarians are under 30. The young generation is the highest educated generation ever in human history. They have higher levels of trust in education and science, they are the most connected generations ever through the internet, and at the same time are emancipating and increasingly looking for purpose and quality of life.
Gen Z trends
Martijn Lampert highlights a few trends involving GenZ (the generation aged between 14 and 23):
(…) One of the main trends is that young people globally increasingly feel alienated and let down by society more pessimistic about the future, partly as an effect of the COVID crisis and the isolation which has also led to mental health issues, but partly also because we live in a time of poly crisis and climate anxieties are also on the rise, mainly amongst the young generation. Almost half of the world’s Gen Z say that. I think that the future holds nothing for me, and this has gone up. This has various effects, so youth increasingly feel disenfranchised. One of the main findings is that in emerging markets where nine out of ten young people live that are generally also more authoritarian and more conservative in their values, youth are increasingly emancipating, and this is to the extreme visible in a country like Iran, where young people are violently repressed by the theocratic regime. But we see it also happening in Russia.
GenZ politically underrepresented
Gen Z, although making up almost 1/3 of the world population is under-represented in parliaments:
(…) political interest is on the rise, but not necessarily to the highest level amongst the young generation. And that is interesting because also the older generation, they show a larger rise in political interest. There is a clear disconnect, and this is related very much to the trust crisis between the political system and the young generation. Half of the world population is aged below 30. Only 2.6% of the world’s parliamentarians are under 30. And nine out of ten youth come from these emerging countries.
Conservatism, emancipation in emerging markets
Martijn reflects on the trend to more emancipation of youth in emerging markets:
One of the main findings is that in emerging markets where nine out of ten young people live that are generally also more authoritarian and more conservative in their values, youth are increasingly emancipating, and this is to the extreme visible in a country like Iran, where young people are violently repressed by the theocratic regime. But we see it also happening in Russia. To give an example, in 2014, 66% of young adults in Russia, 18 to 24 years old, said the father should be the head of the household. It’s a conservative country, a conservative statement. But this is going down because now it’s at 50%.
Transcript Interview Martijn Lampert
Here is the English transcript of the interview (French and German transcripts are available upon request):
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