(Gen) Z is for Zeitgeist: 2020 Vision is Driven by a New Generation

Sophie Wade
4 min readJan 9, 2020

There was a shift last year. A groundswell of energy. A rise in fresh passion. Younger voices. More urgent demands. A tipping point was reached and breached. Millennials passed the baton as they aged up and quietened down. In 2020, the next generation — Generation Z or iGen (born 1995–2015) — is driving the agenda in the public domain and will bring change to your workplace with their rising profile and prominence.

Propelled into the spotlight with Parkland survivors’ demonstrations in 2018, youth activism has been growing. Greta Thunberg surfaced as a legitimate representative not a lone reactionary. A third of Hong Kong’s unknown, leaderless protestors have been under 18. For them all, their fervent advocating is not born of naïve exuberance or passionate rebelliousness. They believe they are — quite literally — fighting for their lives.

2019 saw Millennials’ pushes for purpose and promotions, shared experiences and flexible schedules, drowned out by the fear and frustrations of Generation Z. Taking over as the largest generational group — estimated at over 30% of the global population — they were building their presence, achieving adulthood, and entering the workforce in greater numbers.

For 2020, the emphasis has fully transitioned to our youngest generation of workers who are deploying their anxious energies to protest multiple major live issues. Generation Z’s perspectives and swelling labor market participation will impact your corporate culture, policies, and work environment. Here are five areas your company can address to be equipped to work productively with your company’s growing cohort of Gen Z employees as their influence rises and they set the tone for 2020:

1. Technology Talents: Raised in a boundary-less digital world, many Generation Zs are proficient at finding useful applications to manage their work and boost productivity. Finding email inefficient, open communication channels and project management tools help organize their efforts. Most are wary of Big Tech, realizing they are being manipulated and welcome appropriate help managing usage. With intuitive understanding of new technologies, Generation Z employees recognize they can bring fresh and valuable insights to improve client offerings and operating…

Sophie Wade

Workforce Innovator. Speaker. Author-Exec MBA textbk Embracing Progress. Integrating Empathy@Work in: leadership, multigeneration collaboration, remote working