The girls enjoying the beach-by Charlie J-CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 - Centennials

Our report on the Centennials–the generation that follows the Millennials–has been picked up by London’s Evening Standard newspaper.

Here’s an extract from their feature article, by reporter Phoebe Luckhurst:

The millennial narrative is gloomy. We are sad, we are anxious. We will be renting in perpetuity — or back at home with Mum and Dad until our 30s. We are marrying later, if at all… We’re neurotic (our defining movement is “clean eating”) and introspective. We’re a bit of a drag, really.

And now, typically, we have something else to worry about: a new generation of upstarts is snapping at our beleaguered heels. They’re defter with technology and their minds have developed at hyperactive speeds. They are lively and optimistic. They have a better name. The Centennials are coming.

Also nicknamed Generation Z, the Centennials were born post-2000, so the eldest of their cohort is just turning 16. A 2015 report by Futures Company states Centennials are “less self-absorbed, more assured” than Millennials. Centennials cannot vote yet, nor do they have earning power, but theirs is the generation towards which the world is already beginning to bend its wills and resources.

“New stuff is over-rated”

One of the aspects of Centennial attitudes that Luckhurst highlights is that they’re less interested in stuff–a connection to our to our research on slow growth globally:

They aren’t hanging around shopping centres either. According to research by Futures Company, 72 per cent of them agree with the statement “having new stuff is overrated when what I have already is good enough”, which chimes with the “curated” lifestyles suggested by their Instagram accounts and fondness for an “aesthetic”. Molly says she doesn’t really “get” shopping.

Writing in the Guardian in March, economist Noreen Hertz suggested that Centennials “value things they can actively co-create: it is a generation of makers, creators and inventors. They don’t only want to buy stuff, they want to become part of the design and creation process.”

The whole article can be read here.The image at the top of this post is by Charlie J on flickr, and is used here under a Creative Commons licence, with thanks.


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