The digital revolution has more or less influenced and altered all of our lifestyles. This world-encompassing network that allows access to enormous amounts of data and information, always and anywhere, has particularly shaped young people, those who have grown up with this global feat of digitalization and know how to use it as second nature. The megatrend of connectivity has yielded a new type of young sophisticate – the Young Globalists, an important target group for trend research and advertising. The ubiquitous reach of mobile devices for usage of the Internet lends this lifestyle additional force.
This category of 20- to 35-year-old “digital natives” is distinguished by a high degree of openness and tolerance. Their need for community and that “we” spirit accords with their high level connectivity: the Internet enables them to carry on friendships all over the world and share ideas with like-minded individuals from all corners of the Earth.
Common values are more important to Young Globalists than nationality, religion, social class, or age. They’re not the easiest audience for politicians and populist parties, since they usually don’t regard their ideals as being sufficiently reflected in and represented by party platforms. As well informed citizens of the world they typically have a sense that the most pressing problems of our time, such as climate change, require global solutions rather than national ones.
Brand-conscious but critical consumers
They are goal-oriented when it comes to personal development but they’re also actively involved in community endeavors and with younger generations. Young Globalists are critical consumers because they recognize the limits of natural resources. Sustainability is therefore a central value and they often prefer organic products. This means they’re important drivers of other big trends, such as the organic movement or green transportation. Although they like brand names, they’re unlikely to see classic status symbols like an expensive car as important. They’d rather get around with car sharing or public transportation.
This attitude is also reflected in the Young Globalists’ relationship to work: Mostly well educated, for them a good education is more of an instrument of self-realization than an entryway to a high-octane career. Personal experiences and a meaningful occupation are more important to them than a life in the fast lane. This outlook makes Young Globalists open for innovation and radically changing work environments in this digital age. They’re also often outspoken technophiles and, especially when it comes to communication technologies, always have their finger on the pulse of the latest development.
Young Globalists embody the digital transition in professional spheres
Regarded as such, the lifestyle of Young Globalists is a reaction to the transitions taking place in today’s professional environments. Since, particularly in more highly qualified fields, the traditional nine-to-five job is being superseded by models of job flexibility, the hard boundaries between career and free time are dissolving. It’s the capability of today’s digital connectivity to allow people to work and communicate from almost anywhere in the world.
Young Globalists, who typically have not started a family and are curious about the world, are especially receptive to this concept. One example of this is the new trend for a “remote year,” where one travels around the world for a year while pursuing one’s career on the go online – a kind of temporary, postmodern nomadism. For this trend’s protagonists, the workplace is no longer in a particular office in a particular building in a particular city – but rather the entire world. Starting at 20, they’ve often seen more of the world than their parents or grandparents.
This is not to say that Young Globalists don’t also sometimes need that feeling of warmth and security. Because they are knowledgeable about the (theoretically) almost infinite possibilities of modern life, they need a reference point, somewhere where they feel at home, an environment that they can trust. Included here are not just their many friends, but also products that fulfill their larger sense of responsibility. This is why they often choose fair trade or regionally produced commodities and are prepared to pay a higher price for them. And they can afford to since they’re usually well educated and count among the top earners.
Irrespective of the demographic upheaval and constantly increasing average age in Western industrial nations, Young Globalists embody one of the influential lifestyles of the future.