Contagious was delighted to be invited to help McCann Worldgroup
launch its research in to the mindset and motivations of young people around the world. The European launch of the research, held at London's Shoreditch House, saw Laura Simpson
, McCann Worldgroup's Global head of IQ present some the key insights from the report.
Encompassing the responses, thoughts and ideas of 7,000 16-30 year olds across seven global markets, 'The Truth About Youth' suggests young people in mature Western European
markets are more concerned about their future in a challenging job market, compared to the optimistic adolescent of the growing economic and political powerhouses of China
. But more interesting from the report is the exploration of the effects of technology on their behaviour and attitudes.
We were lucky enough to be invited along to moderate an interesting panel discussion with Hamish Nicklin
(lead of creative agency, Google), Cian O'Donovan
(campaigner, 38 Degrees) and Mathias Palm-Jensen
(chief innovation officer, who discussed some of the key talking points from the research and its implications for brands.
We were also lucky enough to learn about some extraordinary young people from around the world, such as 24-year-old Nicole Rebecca Seah Xue Ling
, the most popular
Singaporean politician on Facebook and William Kamkwamba
, the Malawian inventor who build an electricity-producing windmill from scraps and parts when he was just 14 (you can see his Ted Talk here
An overview of the key findings from the research are below:TECHNOLOGY AS A FIFTH SENSE
While technology has often been referred to in jest as an appendage of today's youth, over half (53%) of 16-22 year olds said they would rather give up their sense of smell than give up their technology. For this generation, technology is not an add-on. It is a tool that enables them to sense the world and make sense of the world.THE SOCIAL ECONOMY HAS REPLACED THE EXPERIENCE ECONOMY
In the Experience Economy people became more focused on what they'd seen or done (supposedly valuing memories as much as material possessions). The research found that for young people today it's increasingly all about the Social Economy; who you connect with and what you share. As one respondent put it "if there are no pics, it didn't happen."HUNTING FOR TRUTH
Asked which values they seek in a best friend, young people globally opted for 'truthful', chosen by 42% and rated nearly twice as important as the next most important value ('genuine', chosen by 22%).
Justice is the second most important motivator for young people (rated as 'very important' by 52% of young people globally). And the thing that young people are most likely to say that they are 'good at' globally is 'knowing right from wrong' (44%). A large percentage of youth say that the thing they most want to be remembered for is changing the world in a positive way.