Empowering new generations

Hackathon, serious games, agility and pragmatic knowledge, society explores all possible ways to better engage with younger generation. This first part of Innotrends on generational changes for innovation looks into the driving trends emerging with connected generations.

Education

The idea generation is much younger than we think. Is it the technological environment, or the social freedom to speak-up, or the creativity that sparkles in their eyes? Clare Wiley from Entrepreneur highlights one of these young creative spirits: “At a hackathon in Philadelphia last November, one of the best ideas came not from a professional designer, but from a nine-year-old. The boy pitched an app that combines carpooling with Uber-like capabilities, allowing a private network of families to share driving.”

Growing up does make us lose some of the playful spirit that enables creativity. As Hélène Michel reminds for EducPros, “the harder students have worked to enter top business schools, the more negative is the image they get from “gaming”. They are extremely formatted”. Although serious games may have greater impact in the classroom, having to learn new rules appears as a difficulty and tends to lower the efficiency of virtual games to share knowledge.

Press and Medias

Yet teaching and learning have to change for younger generations. In an increasingly unstable economic environment, Generation Z is asking for pragmatic knowledge. As Ariel Schwartz explains for Fast-CoExist, “Generation Z has no illusions about staying in comfy corporate jobs. Over four in ten respondents think they’ll work for themselves in their careers (that is, according to the U.S. Census, more than four times higher than the actual percentage of people who work for themselves). Some 63% of respondents also think that entrepreneurship should be taught in college.”

Beyond universities and schools, digital natives are now also imposing a new breed of agility in companies. As François Schott highlights in Le Monde, “Major companies should get inspiration from these new business models if they want to prevent their talents from joining more agile businesses”.

Customers and Influencers

It is not just about retaining talents. It is also about retaining customers. Peter Roesler mentions on INC how ” more than four out of five (85 percent) of all millennial parents use smartphones to help them shop at brick-and-mortar retail locations.” Brands have not choice but to turn themselves into dedicated purchasing coach while developing their relationship with millennial customers.

Millennials are a brand new type of customers. They are also eager to give. As Joseph Erbentraut explains for The Huffington Post, “Millennials, born between 1980 and the mid-2000s, are said to be reshaping the worlds of charity and online giving. Previous reports have dubbed millennials the “giving generation”, and noted that millennials prefer to see their contributions as investments in a cause they care about instead of solely a donation.”

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