Top Trends For 2015

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Trends for 2015 are a mix of social trends, demographic shifts and technological change.

Here are the top five that will shape 2015, which will mark the mid-point in this iconic decade of change that began with the iPad and apps, and will end in 2020.

1. Reflective country

While Australia views itself as the lucky country, 2015 will be a year of our nation being a reflective country. We will see the centenary of the ANZAC landings track record attendance at ANZAC services as well as the big events at Gallipoli, but not only will April 25 be big in the calendar the entire year will have centenary reflections of Australians involvement with WW1 throughout the year causing us to reflect on sacrifice, loss, duty and the makings of modern Australia.

“2015 will see Australia being unusually reflective. Self-analysis is not part of our national psyche yet the year ahead will see us looking back, looking in, and remembering. This final month of 2014 has been an emotional time for the nation and in some ways it has set the theme for the year ahead. It will not be a year of sadness- just sombreness- the “no worries” attitude subdued for a while. Australians love a celebration and this land of the long-weekend is good at enjoying the journey- but the year ahead will bring some heaviness to the journey, and some healthy introspection as well.”

Mark McCrindle


2. Downageing

2015 marks significant milestones for Australia’s generations. Gen Y hit their mid-30’s, Gen X hit mid-life at 50 and the baby boomers approach the 70 year milestone. Each of these generations is living younger than their years would suggest, and the year ahead will see growth in nostalgia industries, adventure tourism, marathons, Kokoda treks and Antarctica expeditions etc. will boom as will products facilitating mobility in a time of ageing.

“Never before have the generations been as detached from their age as we’re seeing with the Boomers and Gen Xers. Age is just a number for the Gen Xers who were shaped by Commodore 64 computers, Atari games systems and grunge music yet begin turning 50 in 2015. And the original post war Baby Boomers who then ushered in the separate life stage of teenager hood and popularised rock ‘n roll are now closing in on 70 and redefining retirement and the seniors’ life stage.”

Mark McCrindle


3. Generation glass

The emerging generation have been shaped in the last few years which has finessed glass as the new medium of content delivery. Glass that we carried (smartphones and tablets), glass that we wear (apple watch, google glass, fit bits) will be further expanded with glass that we interact with all around us, from multi-touch glass work surfaces to interactive display walls from virtual fitting rooms in stores to head up displays becoming mainstream in cars to interactive display walls in car show rooms. 2015 will see glass coming to life all around us.

“We’ve had to wait almost 600 years for a new medium to be transformed for mass, portable, popular communication and it is happening now. In 1439 Johannes Gutenberg transformed paper to be usable for mass communication when his printing press enabled books and brochures to become mainstream. As radical a transformation is taking place now with glass being reinvented to be the new, portable mass communication device- glass that we look at not just look through, glass that we carry, wear and touch.”

Mark McCrindle


4. Vertical communities

With record population growth comes increase densification in our larger capitals and now Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin and Canberra all have more new home approvals that are units and townhouses compared to detached homes. 2015 will be the year where infill developments continue and where we see more emphasis on households even those raising children’s, living up, not out. Everything from small grocery store format to shared community spaces in buildings rather than parks flow in a society where we move to high density living.

“2015 will see Australia’s population reach 24 million and amidst the record birth, longevity and migration growth is the growing population density of our major cities. The Aussie dream is more likely a unit near public transport than a home with a backyard and a shed. As urban growth changes from a sprawl out to building up we will see “walkable communities”, shared spaces, café connections and more local shopping thrive.”

Mark McCrindle


5. Digital comes to life

2015 will further the expansion of the digital becoming actual through increasing access to 3D printing technology, the internet of things becoming more practical (light bulbs and cameras being monitored from smart phone apps etc.), and virtual reality becoming a useful business tool (new Oculus 3D headsets increasingly being used beyond gaming to being utilised for design, real-estate and planning applications).

“The ‘virtual’ in ‘virtual reality’ is becoming harder to define. 2015 will see further blurring between the digital and the actual as printers go 3D, in-store fitting rooms go hi-tech and conferences and classrooms go video-based, virtual and global. From VR headsets to interactive display walls we’re increasingly going to find it difficult to find where the bricks and mortar meet the bits and bytes.”

Mark McCrindle

Sydney Vs Melbourne Rivalry [infographic]

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Sunday 7 December, 2014 – Melbourne has been named the world’s most liveable city for the fourth year in a row, but what is it about this city that make’s living there so wonderful, and how does Sydney, which ranked 7th on the same list, compare?

Off the back of the rivalry that exists between these two cities, McCrindle Research decided to gather, analyse, compare and present the most significant data of Sydney and Melbourne in a visualised infographic to show how these global cities measure up.

Sydney Vs Melbourne Infographic

Sydney is larger, but Melbourne is growing faster

While Sydney is larger, with a population of 4,879,000 Melbourne is growing at a rate that is 18% faster, meaning it will be Australia’s largest city by 2050.

“While people tend to think that Sydney is by far Australia’s largest city, its population is only 9% larger than that of Melbourne and the gap is closing. Melbourne added 70,000 more people than Sydney did over the last 5 years and based on the current growth trends, soon after mid-century, Melbourne will be Australia’s largest city”, said Mark McCrindle.

Sydney - home to more international guests

Sydney is more culturally diverse than Melbourne – less Sydneysiders (58.1%) were born in Australia than Melbournites (62.6%). Ancestry also comes into play here, with slightly less Sydneysiders being of Australian ancestry than those living in Melbourne.

Tourism is also more popular in the city of Sydney, with 12,753,000 international arrivals last year, that’s almost twice as many as recorded to have visited Melbourne (7,000,000).

Iconic landmarks and transport

While driving is the most popular commute option for both cities, more Melbournites drive to work than Sydneysiders – an extra 105 025 to be exact. Comparatively, more Sydneysiders walk to work than their fellow Melbournites.

Cycling is more common amongst those living in Melbourne, with 18% less Sydneysiders using this form of transport in their commute to work.

The harbour is a huge feature of Sydney – home to the Sydney Opera House and facilitating the harbour Bridge as well as ferry transportation in and out of the city, it is iconic both visually and practically.

While Sydney’s iconic landmark and mode of transport are facilitated by water, Melbourne’s are firmly set on the ground and have a much older history. Flinders Street Station opened in 1854, 119 years before the Sydney Opera House. On census day, 72,862 Melbournites caught a tram to work, becoming Melbourne’s second most popular commute option (with driving a car being the first).

The weather debate

Perhaps one of the most contentious issues around the Sydney vs. Melbourne debate is the weather. Despite varying temperatures and public perception that Melbourne is worse for the weather, Sydney is the city that receives more rainfall – a total of 1223 mm on average while Melbourne receives less than half of that (603 mm).

However, it seems the perceptions aren’t entirely false as Sydney has hotter temperatures, less cloudy days and a greater number of clear days on average than Melbourne.

Melbourne - home to more passionate sporting fans

It would seem that Melbournites are more involved with their sport, considering Melbourne has larger stadiums and more passionate club members! While Sydney’s largest club is the Sydney Swans with just over 40,000 members, Melbourne’s Collingwood club has double that number of memberships (80,793).

Melbourne and Sydney also play different sports, with 9 Melbourne AFL teams compared to Sydney’s 2, and 9 Sydney NRL teams compared to the one Melbourne Storm team.

Sydney home to ‘the best Olympic games ever’

Melbourne hosted Australia’s first Olympics in 1956, however Sydney’s was dubbed ‘the best Olympic games ever!’ The 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney also gained 23 more medal placing’s than Melbourne’s Summer Olympics, held 44 years before.

Sydney more expensive than Melbourne

While Sydneysiders earn more on average than Melbournites, they also pay 37% more for their houses, with the average house price in Sydney costed at $843,994 compared to just $615,068 in Melbourne.

While the debate for who makes the best coffee is strong between the cities, Melbournites are paying an extra 9 cents per cup than the average Sydney-sider.

The verdict

“Few nations have two cities which dominate the national demographic and economic landscape as Australia has in Sydney and Melbourne. 1 in 5 Australians live in Sydney and another 1 in 5 call Melbourne home. There are as many Australians who live in the two cities of Sydney and Melbourne as there are people in the whole of the states of Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory combined”, states social demographer Mark McCrindle.

But regardless of the rivalry, one thing we can all agree on is that both Sydney and Melbourne are global cities, with a rich history, diversity, opportunity and amenity of which all Australians can be proud.

McCrindle in Melbourne

From our base in Sydney, McCrindle has worked with clients from across Australia and the world. Knowing the constantly changing nature of society today we are always looking for ways to increase our capacity to provide innovative social research solutions to our clients, spanning a multitude of sectors and locations.

With that in mind, we at McCrindle are excited to have extended our offering to our clients by establishing an office in Melbourne.

Feel free to give our Melbourne office a call on 03 9691 3579 or email nathan@mccrindle.com.au for more information.


Sydney Vs Melbourne Infographic

INFOGRAPHIC AND MEDIA CONTACT

Please see the infographic for a visual representation of the data.

For further information, interviews, or images, please contact the McCrindle Research office at 02 8824 3422 or ashley@mccrindle.com.au.

Sources: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Bureau of Meteorology, McCrindle Research


Claire Madden Speaks: Are libraries a thing of the past?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The library – home to books and information, including volumes of research by those gone before.

For generations past the library was nothing short of a fountain of knowledge and relevance, but for the emerging generations growing up in an increasingly digitalised age, has the necessity for a library been replaced by touch screens and online search engines?

McCrindle Research Director and Next Gen Expert Claire Madden provides her thoughts on the relevance of the library today and as we move into the future.

AN ERA OF UNPRECEDENTED CHANGE

It is undisputed that today we live in an era of unprecedented change and development. The way we work, communicate and socialise has been greatly influenced by the extraordinary technological advancements we have seen over the past 2 decades. For example, it was only in 1997 that Google was registered as a domain and today there are over 3.5 billion Google searches each day.

The internet has transformed how we access information. In many cases, the data available to us online has replaced the need to locate the same information in books.

REMAINING RELEVANT

It is imperative that in this era of change, organisations, institutions and individuals remain relevant and engaged with the current trends. Education is at the forefront of needing to adapt to change as the emerging generations redefine learning. School students are still being assessed by closed book exams in an open book world but a shift has occurred among learners from needing to memorise things ‘just in case’ to simply accessing information ‘just in time’.

PRINT VS. DIGITAL

We needn’t look far for examples of organisations that have become outdated and irrelevant due to the huge technological shift we have seen characterise the last two decades.

Take Encyclopaedia Britannica, a trusted source that many depended on for their school assignments, whose first print edition was published in 1768. In 2010 it ran its final print edition, having been superseded by Wikipedia, invented just 9 years prior in 2001. Rather than being written by experts, Wikipedia is written by the collaborative community and currently has over 4.6 million pages in English alone. It exists as an astonishing example of the change we have seen in the learning, sharing and distribution of resources, knowledge and information.

Similarly, let’s look at Angus and Robertson, an iconic Australian bookseller, book publisher and book printer. Established in 1884, it went into voluntary administration in 2011 along with competitor Borders, showing the shift from the demand for print to the demand for digital.

LIBRARIES TODAY

If we look at school libraries and education today, some have transitioned into a completely digital and virtual model – libraries with no books at all – a concept we would not have fathomed a decade ago. Libraries are now being reinvented as engaging learning spaces where people can access information from their personal devices. Amazingly, today it is even possible to complete a university degree without stepping foot in a university library.

Libraries are experiencing significant change and librarians are no longer the only people with the keys to access the information. In the past, data was costly and difficult to access but now, students can access every piece of information within a few clicks of a button. Technologies have enabled greater efficiencies – and so, traditional ways of finding information are being surpassed with newer, quicker alternatives. For example, locating a book on library shelves by conducting a Boolean search is being replaced by a Google Docs search which provides the latest information on any device and in any location by the mere click of a button or touch of a screen.

WILL LIBRARIES CEASE TO EXIST ALTOGETHER?

While digital media will increasingly be utilised and adapted because of the efficiencies that it enables, humans are still tactile and kinaesthetic learners. The process of connecting pen to paper, turning pages in a book, and physically interacting with the information we consume is unlikely to be completely replaced by the digital offering.

Claire Madden is a social researcher and next-gen expert. She is the Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle Research. Armed with her research methodologies, business acumen and communication skills, Claire effectively bridges the gap between the emerging generations and the business leaders and educators of today. She is fluent in the social media, youth culture, and engagement styles of these global generations, and a professional in interpreting what this means for educators, managers and marketers.

Christmas 2014: Traditional Values and Tight Pockets

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

In the lead up to Christmas, McCrindle Research surveyed 1,024 Australians to discover their views on the religious traditions of the season and their spending intentions for Christmas 2014.

9 in 10 Australian’s think religious traditions of Christmas should be encouraged

From angels and stars featuring on Christmas trees to nativity scenes filling shopping centres and thousands attending Carolling events across the country, it’s hard to ignore the religious traditions and symbols that characterise the Christmas season.

However it would appear that, not only do Aussie’s tolerate these religious traditions, 9 in 10 (92%) think they should be encouraged to have a public presence.


This follows a 2013 study conducted by McCrindle in which almost 8 in 10 (79%) said that Christmas was ‘becoming too commercial and all about getting stuff,’ with the same percentage stating that Christmas has lost some of its Christian meaning. 1 in 2 (49%) indicated they were unhappy about the loss of the Christian meaning associated with this holiday, further reiterated in this year’s research.

2 in 5 (41%) Australians also acknowledge that while we live in a culturally and religiously diverse nation, Christmas and its traditional and religious symbols can be shared by all and so should be encouraged.

Aussie families will seek to save again this Christmas

With the cost of living at a higher rate than ever before, Aussie families will be looking to save money where possible again this Christmas, with twice as many intending to spend less (22%) than more (11%). However, in a sign of slowly returning consumer confidence, two thirds (66%) of Australians plan to spend about the same that they did last year (a figure significantly up from 49% who reported the same thing a year ago).

While Australians still plan on saving, the financial burdens seem to have eased since last year when over a third (33%) planned on spending less, compared to 1 in 5 (22%) that will do the same this Christmas. While this rate peaked last year at 33% Australian’s are now on the recovery path, measured by consumer intention.

Like last year, Gen Y will be the biggest spenders, with 1 in 5 (20%) looking to spend more than they did last year (compared to 12% Gen X, 7% Baby Boomers and just 4% Builders).

How Aussie’s plan to save this Christmas

When asked how Australians plan on saving money this Christmas, the top 10 most featured answers included:

1. Restrict the number of presents for each person

2. Only give presents to children

3. Participate in a Kris Kringle gift-giving exercise

4. Get creative by giving hand-made gifts as presents

5. Avoid unnecessary Christmas purchases

6. Not going overboard with food

7. Do some serious bargain hunting

8. Make the most of Boxing Day sales and buy gifts after Christmas

9. Not travel at Christmas time

10. Host Christmas at someone else’s house


Download the Australian Christmas Attitudes 2014 report. Click here to download the full report.

The Duke of Edinburgh Youth Pulse Research

Thursday, November 06, 2014
Claire and Kirsten at Youth Pulse Research Event

It was a privilege for our research to be featured at the KMPG Melbourne Cup Luncheon on Tuesday.

In attendance was Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, to commemorate more than 50 years of the Duke of Edinburgh Award in Australia.

As part of the Youth Pulse Research for The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Australia, two of our team, Claire Madden and Kirsten Brewer were also honored to attend.

Youth Pulse Research

The Youth Pulse Research was designed and conducted in September 2014 on behalf of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Australia. As an annual survey, involving 879* Australian young people aged between 14 and 19 years of age from every state and territory in Australia, it seeks to better understand their attitudes, opinions and sentiment towards leadership, well being and community among young Australians.

The Top Findings

• Relationships and family the highest priority for young Australians today (68%)

• Influence over others considered for greater impact than a position of power

• Change starts locally, with young Australians taking ownership of their contribution for influence on those around them and within their local community

• Empowering leadership styles take precedence over traditional models

• Youth of today optimistic about Australia’s future (55% are Expectant Optimists)

• Nelson Mandela named the most inspiring leader from recent history, with 92% agreeing that leadership is about influence not authority, and 90% agreeing that leaders building teams is more important than managing tasks


Youth Pulse Research


The full report will be made available on the 17th November 2014.

*879 respondents aged 14-19 with 603 fully responding and 279 partially responding.


For more information on research visualisation, click here.

Australia in 2034: What will our nation look like in 20 years?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

By 2034 Australia will have 33 million people and the dream of owning that quarter acre block will be nearly gone. What will Australia look like, how is our workforce changing, will households be smaller and will we recognise this new version of the ‘Aussie Dream’?

Mark McCrindle addresses these issues on a recent segment of Channel 7’s Morning Show. Australia is currently the fastest growing OECD nation and in 20 years time we will have an additional 10 million people calling Australia home. “It’s going to continue to boom, “ Mark says. “We are adding almost a million people every 2 years. And we are the fastest growing developed nation on the planet at the moment.”

Whilst a population boom brings the bonus of size, economies of scale and diversity in our cultural makeup it can also have negative impacts. The pain will be felt in rising house prices, traffic congestion and increased waiting time for public services. The increase in housing density will mean that the vast expanse of the Australian outback will remain virtually as it is but the major cities will continue to expand, particularly upwards, with more people living in apartments than ever before. The cherished Aussie dream of the quarter acre block will be gone, replaced by new land release block sizes which currently average 423 square metres or a tenth of an acre block.

Just as the population will grow larger it will also get older with more people aged over 85 years than ever before. People are living longer and living alone for longer, leading to an increase in at home care and multi-generational households. The rise in house prices coupled with an ageing population will see many families living living together with mum and dad caring for their own children as well as for their ageing parents. Mark explains, “We’ve been on this trend of smaller households for a century. We had 4.5 people per household 100 years ago. Now we are at 2.6 but we’ve turned the corner and we’ve got slightly larger households now, not that we are having more kids, just that we have more people under the one roof because of housing affordability.”

‘Density’ will be the word to describe Australia in 2034. More people will be living in more households on smaller bocks of land with more houses and apartments per square kilometre. There will be more people but fewer people of working age relative to the growing population. Mark says, “We are going to have older workers – the population is growing, Australia is going through a baby boom and people are living linger. Yet the working age proportion is not keeping pace with that population growth. So now we’ve got about 5 people for every retiree but in 40 years time we’ll have about half that – 2.7 people of working age for every retiree”. As a result people will be working longer with many not retiring until well into their 70’s! However, life expectancy at birth will be almost 90 by then.

Australia will be bigger, older, denser and even more multicultural in 20 years time! Some ‘Aussie Dreams’ will have disappeared such as the ‘quarter acre block’ and along with it the Hills Hoist garden shed and enough space for a game of backyard cricket. But no doubt new ‘Aussie Dreams’ will come to replace them – it is the Lucky Country after all!

Next Gen Dads: Parenting Screenagers and Digital Natives

Thursday, September 04, 2014

More Dads Than Ever

1 in 5 Australians are dads. There are approximately 4.6 million fathers in Australia, with an estimated 2.2 million of these have children aged under 18. The median age of a first-time dad today is 31, so today’s emerging generation of dads are Gen Yers.

New Record Baby Boom

We are currently experiencing a baby boom in Australia, with birth numbers setting new records and exceeding 310,000 per year. This means that Gen Y will produce more children than any previous generation in Australia’s history. While the number of children per Gen Y family is significantly less than that of their grandparents (in 1961 the total fertility rate hit 3.5 births per woman), Generation Y parents are having more parents per couple than Generation X did. When Generation X were in their peak fertility years (turning 31 in 2001), this coincided with the very year Australia hit its lowest birth rate ever recorded in Australia (1.7). Now as Generation Y are reaching their peak fertility years we have a birth rate significantly higher, hovering around 2.0.

Introducing Generation Alpha

These Gen Y parents are giving birth to Generation Alpha – the cohort born since 2010. Generation Alpha are not only going to be the largest generation Australia has ever seen, but also the most globally connected, technologically savvy and materially endowed. Generation Y are delaying the traditional life markers, commencing their families in their 30s (compared to previous generations who did so in their 20s) so not only do they have many more years of earnings before they start their families, but they are also more likely to be double income households.

Parenting Screenagers

Generation Alpha are the first generation of children to be shaped in an era of portable digital devices, and for many, the pacifiers have not been a rattle or set of keys but a smartphone or tablet device. A key role of fathers has always been to create a safe and supportive environment in which their children can thrive and these days this involves more than providing a physically secure home but also a cybersafe home. 96% of households with children having internet access and Gen Alpha are using personal digital devices at an ever younger age. However, Generation Y parents have been shaped in the digital world and so are better equipped to respond to new parenting challenges of managing cyberbullying, watching out for screen addiction, and ensuring child-friendly content.

The Modern Dad

Our past research has found that Generation Y dads are not as competent and confident as their fathers were to change the oil in their car, repair a punctured bicycle tyre or fix a leaky tap, but in many ways, in an outsourcing era they’re able to buy replacements or outsource those services and they don’t need to do all those things themselves. Why they may have lost some of these traditional skills, they have picked up some new ones. Our research showed they are far more likely to be confident in changing a baby’s nappy, doing a grocery shop, buying clothes for their children and cooking a meal for their family.

Busier Than Ever

If fathers are feeling busier than ever, that’s because they are. The labour force participation rate shows that almost 4 in 5 fathers with dependent children participate in the labour force, with more than half of them working full time (an average of 7 hours 25 minutes per day) and yet at the same time, those with children aged under 15 are spending more time with their children, averaging 3 hours and 55 minutes per day. Additionally, almost half of all dads with kids aged up to 17 years old are also volunteering (46%), dads with full-time jobs are spending around 80 minutes a day on domestic work. So there’s little surprise that over a third of Australian men (34.9%) say that they always or often feel rushed or pressed for time, and 1 in 6 (16.3%) feel that their work and family responsibilities are rarely or never in balance.

Next Generation Parents

In the year that the oldest Gen Ys first became fathers in record numbers (2010), the iPad entered the market, “app” was the word of the year and Instagram was launched. Clearly they are parenting in a very different era to any other generation and will be facing new challenges never seen before.

The Future of Fresh: Transforming the fresh food landscape into 2034

Monday, August 25, 2014

Woolworths recently commissioned McCrindle to paint a picture of how Australia will be shopping in 20 years time through the use of demographic data, future forecasting, and new research among supermarket shoppers.

The Future of Fresh report reveals the way Australians will shop in 2034, focusing on the predicted purchasing habits of emerging Generation Alpha, new approaches to fresh food and a shift in the perception of our sense of what is local.

Gen Alpha will respond to a whole new set of influences and trends to inform their shopping habits. They will team up with neighbours and friend to make shopping a social experience in which the supermarket becomes a hub for real world living.

As economic, population and technological growth continues, supermarkets will respond to the demand for new innovations and shopping will be transformed into a vastly different experience than what it is today. Within the next twenty years, the transformation of our lives through technology will have disrupted how we think about shopping, what we buy, and where and how we shop.

The report reveals a continuing shift towards fresh, hyper-local produce and the convergence of new technologies to make grocery shopping a more innovative and immersive experience. Australian shoppers will continue to demand a back-to-basics approach – food that is organic, local, fresh, and delivered daily.

Leading social researcher Mark McCrindle comments on the findings, stating, “The research reveals that supermarkets have emerged as the number 1 gathering place within most communities. Nearly 40% of Australians cite the local shopping centre as a hub and this will be even more the case as technology continues to facilitate interactions with those who live, shop or work near us.”

“68% of shoppers are actively seeking out products on discount and this will remain a priority in the store of the future, but the term ‘value’ will come to mean much more than just greater prices incorporating more ethical and lifestyle considerations, like sustainability, health benefits and giving back to the community.”

The research process was truly collaborative, Mark says. “It was exciting working with Woolworths Chair of Innovation, Professor Jan Recker, on this project, collating QUT research with our national survey into Australia’s current shopping habits alongside analysis of ABS and Woolworths data. The future will look very different for tomorrow’s supermarket shopper, and the Future of Fresh report presents just some of the major trends that will shape how we will engage with the foods we buy in the decades ahead.”

Read the Future of Fresh Report and the media release here


The Busy Epidemic: How to slow down in an on-the-go world [in the media]

Monday, August 25, 2014

Claire Madden joins Channel Seven’s Daily Edition team to discuss slowing down and managing busyness in our lives.

“In the late 1990s we entered a virtual world in which we now spend more time in digital realities than face to face interactions. Today’s younger generations have grown up in a world of technological devices – they are true digital integrators and technology has become like an extension of their limbs,” Claire says.

Claire mentions that being busy – often seen as a badge of honour – can in fact be detrimental to our psychological health, our physical health, and even our relational health. The feeling of always needing to be ‘on’ takes away from our ability to wind down and engage in the present moment.

While technology enables us to achieve greater things than ever before in a far shorter period of time, thus helping us reach goals and stay motivated, there are tools we use to manage it, rather than having it manage us. Claire mentions three tips for managing the interruptive nature of technology:

  • Prioritise being present in the moment
  • Create space for clarity, creativity and reflection
  • Use technology as a tool

Watch the full interview below and read Claire’s latest blog entry,'Staying grounded in a world of busy' and the SMH article, 'Being busy is good, but being less busy can be better' for more.

What comes after Generation Z? Introducing Generation Alpha

Friday, August 01, 2014

Gen Zeds are the most formally educated generation in Australian history – not only have they started their schooling younger, they are also projected to stay in it for longer. Whilst 1 in 10 of the Builders generation have a university degree, 1 in 5 Baby Boomers, 1 in 4 Generation Xers and 1 in 3 Gen Ys, it is projected that 1 in 2 Gen Zeds will be university educated. With the increased focus on formal education and the increased time spent behind screens and on digital devices, it is unsurprising that they live largely indoors; after all, their parents place priority on homework, coaching and extra-curricular activities over a carefree childhood. These sedentary lifestyles are having an impact on our Gen Zeds – based on the current trends, it is projected that in 2027, when all Gen Z have reached adulthood, 77.9% of males and 61.2% of females will be overweight or obese.

However when it comes to getting outdoors and getting active, Gen Zeds have their favourite sports – with Gen Z males top sports being soccer (17%), AFL (15%) and Basketball (10%), and for Gen Z females, their top sports are netball (21%), dance (15%) followed by swimming (9%).

The Zeds are up-ageing because they are growing up faster. In less than a century, the onset of puberty in girls has gone from 14.6 years (1920) to 10.5 years today, with the trend similar for boys, with puberty on setting before the age of 12. They are also in education earlier and are exposed to marketing younger. Despite the environmentally conscientious times, the Zeds are the most marketed-to children of all time and the biggest consumers of any generation of children.

This Internet-savvy, technologically literate generation has been shaped to multitask. They move quickly from one task to another, often placing more value on speed than accuracy. They have only known a wireless, hyperlinked, user-generated world where they are only ever a few clicks away from any piece of knowledge. The world is an open book to Gen Z.

Over the lifetime of a Gen Zed, technology has transformed our society. When the oldest Gen Zeds were 2 years of age in 1997, Google.com was registered as a domain, and when they turned 5, USB flash drives and Nokia 3310 mobile phones were on the market.

Here’s a summary technology timeline in the life of a Gen Z:

Technology Timeline 1995 to 2014

  • 1997: Google.com is registered as a domain
  • 1998: Portable MP3 players enter the market
  • 2000: USB flash drives become available, Nokia 3310 launched
  • 2001: Wikipedia is launched
  • 2003: MySpace is launched
  • 2005: YouTube is launched
  • 2006: Facebook opens to the public
  • 2006: Twitter is launched
  • 2007: Dropbox founded
  • 2007: First iPhone released
  • 2009: Whatsapp founded
  • 2010: iPad is launched
  • 2010: Instagram launched
  • 2012: Facebook has 1 billion active users
  • 2014: Google Glass launched

Gen Alpha

The launch of the iPad in 2010 coincided with the beginning of our current generation of children, Generation Alpha – and there are now 2.5 million Gen Alphas being born around the globe each week. They were born into a world of iPhones (in fact the word of the year in 2010 when they were first born was “app”), YouTube (there are now 100 hours of YouTube videos uploaded every minute, and in this environment they are more influenced by the visual and the video than the written and the verbal), and Instagram (where life is photographed and shared instantly and globally).

It’s a world where for the first time in history the average age of first marriage (29.7) is older than the average age of first birth (27.7) across OECD countries.

It’s a world of Screenagers where not only do they multi-screen and multi-task, but where glass has become the new medium for content dissemination and unlike the medium of paper, it is a kinaesthetic, visual, interactive, connective and portable format.

It’s truly the millennial generation, born and shaped fully in the 21st century, and the first generation that in record numbers will see in the 22nd century as well.

And that’s why we’ve called them Generation Alpha. And so, after Generations X, Y and Z, it’s not a return to the beginning but the start of a whole new nomenclature for an entirely new generation, in this new millennium.

See our latest infographic on Gen Z and Gen Alpha below. To find out more about these Generations, order your copy of Mark McCrindle's newly updated book, the ABC of XYZ


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