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Harnessing the Gen Z voice for a brighter future

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Jul 25, 2023 By WGSN Insider
Updates from WGSN

Gen Z consider themselves changemakers, but will they be able to save the world? Find out in this episode of Lives of Tomorrow.

Greta Thunberg is spearheading environmental activism, Malala Yousafzai is leading global female emancipation and gender equality and Amanda Gorman – best known for her speech at President Biden’s Inauguration Day – is advocating for causes such as Black Lives Matter. These women, who are leaders in their own right, have one thing in common: being part of Gen Z.

As Gen Z mature amid a global polycrisis and after coming of age online, these digital natives are becoming a force to be reckoned with. But as the question of their impact on our communities and planet looms large – how will this dynamic generation shape the future of our world in the years to come? 

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In this episode of Lives of Tomorrow, WGSN CEO Carla Buzasi talks to Ziad Ahmed, a Gen Z American-Muslim-Bangladeshi entrepreneur who leads a marketing company that specialises in understanding the mindset and behaviours of his generation.

Together, they discuss how brands can connect with, engage and inspire Gen Z. Discover how major events across the world have shaped their values, the role of technology and how Gen Z’s behaviours and priorities might change a decade from now.

Ziad Ahmed
Ziad Ahmed. Image: Serena Brown/The Guardian

The Gen Z identity

“Gen Z has been shaped by the geopolitical circumstances of our reality and how that intersects with innovation and technology is also a cognizance of those geopolitical events. One could easily say, ‘But every generation has had tumultuous geopolitical events happen during their lifetime.’ However, the inundated nature of social media today and how Gen Z has interacted with the tremendous injustice that exists in the world is much more omnipresent.”

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The power of the Gen Z voice

“With the click of a button, Gen Z can trigger a shift in public discourse, in popular culture. What a tremendous privilege but also opportunity that is and Gen Z, uniquely, is coming to the table with more power at our age than ever before. Our parents come to us to understand how to use these digital tools, which are shaping a lot of popular culture and public discourse.”

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Advertising promotes unrealistic expectations

“One of the indictments I have in my own industry as a marketer and advertiser is that we’ve gaslit young people into believing that a perfect life is possible. That you can love your job, spouse, home, body and everything if you just buy the right products. If you do the right thing, you have the right philosophies, if you read the right books, it is possible to be gleeful, to be joyful, to live with purpose in every moment. I don’t think that’s true, I don’t think perfection is ever possible.”
– Ziad Ahmed, co-founder and CEO, JUV Consulting

Head to Apple or Spotify to hear the full discussion on our Lives of Tomorrow podcast episode, Will Gen Z Save the World?

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