Rise of “Generation Alpha” … how the children of today’s global pandemic will shape our future through their lockdown experiences
September 3, 2020
We are familiar with the differences between generations – from “baby boomers” to “millennials” – and how we define (stereotype) age groups most notably by attitudes that are shaped in their formative years. Their experiences while growing up have a huge influence on their enduring worldviews and values, their preferences for brands, and behaviours in the workplace.
The now retired “builder” generation of Jack Welch, who succeeded through “command and control” organisational structures, were not surprisingly most influenced by world wars. The “boomer” generation of Steve Jobs was more inspired by possibilities, like the moon landing. Most boardrooms today are largely populated by “Gen X”, more open and collaborative.
“Gen Y” (also known as millennials) were the first digital natives, unable to imagine life without a mobile phone and social media. As the entrepreneurs, and primary workforce of today, their attitudes are reshaping markets and organisations as we speak. They are now being followed by “Gen Z” who bring a fresh conscience to society. So what happens next?
Kids growing up in a pandemic-stricken world, locked-down and schooled online, will inevitably be shaped by their experiences, and go onto shape the future of markets and work. They are labelled “Generation Alpha” by an Australian research company, McCrindle (see the diagram below). They will soon outnumber the boomers, they will most likely live beyond 100 years old, and as a global population of over 2 billion, they will be the largest generation in history.
A new report by Canvas8 reminds us that “Gen Alpha” will see an isolationist world as normal, not just because of Covid-19, but because of the politics of Trump and Brexit too. Their values are shaped by incredible tech possibilities, health consciousness, political anxiety, and a call-out culture, driven by millennial parents who are actively conditioning their future views.
In reality these youngsters are already shaping markets – with social influence and purchasing power beyond their years. They will be the most materially endowed generation, born with iPads and iPhones as toys, they will have a gamified approach to learning and life. “Gen Alpha” are the real legacy of today’s pandemic, and will also be most influential in shaping our future.