Forget Mark Zuckerberg, Sean Parker and Andrew Mason as accurate representatives of the Millennials, Generation Z will be the Startup Generation. Below are three developments in today’s world that enhance a student’s capacity to create “The Next Big Thing”:
(1) Disruption: Due to unprecedented advances in technology, members of Generation Z exchange ideas, mobilize communities and share content across cultures, borders and economic divides with limited barriers to entry. A student today can turn a novel idea into a dynamic product with merely a Skype account, Wi-Fi and a laptop. Even better, children do not simply expect disruption they embrace it.
(2) Collaboration: Generation Z is defined by trust, transparency and communication. Due to innovations in social media, students exchange information with friends and digital strangers throughout the world in real time. Their camaraderie associated with interests, opposed to place, will accelerate their visions because of their comfort with collaboration.
(3) Ambition: Unlike generations before them who were taught that following orders will ensure success, Generation Z is witnessing that conformity does not guarantee opportunities in the new economy. Students today are working harder in school, mastering interests at a younger age and recognizing the realities of competition. Because the pressures associated with ambition may be overwhelming, parents should support a child’s initiative by encouraging risks and praising effort (and not merely results).
Yes – disruption, collaboration and ambition poses a concern to stakeholders seeking to preserve the status quo, but today’s youth have the potential to be the next great generation for job creation, civic participation and education. Be ready.