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Adolescents change the world - Z generation conference


15 September, SKEMA professors and professionals discussed “Adolescents change the world: the Z Generation, think innovation differently”.

At the Grand Lille Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Elodie Gentina (SKEMA professor), Clément Léocadie-Thauvin (founder and manager of - The and Audrey Hespel (innovation designer – Decathlon) gave a talk to 120 professionals on the topic “Adolescents change the world: the Z Generation: think innovation differently”.

The Z Generation (12- to 18-year-olds), stands out by its ambivalence and a complexity beyond appearances. This is a generation made up of contradictory characteristics: the quest for freedom vs. the quest for social ties, jumping from one thing to another vs. loyalty, competent vs. vulnerable, non-committal vs. engaged, seeking virtual links vs. “real” links…. 

All these contradictory aspirations that characterize the Z generation, impact their relationship on current consumer society. The children and adolescents of the Z generation are not passive consumers: they have even become actors of the market, they are sources of creativity and innovation that are far more important for brands and companies than their predecessors, the Y generation. 

The Zs will be the basis of a change of the management paradigm in tomorrow’s companies: unlike the Y generation, known as super-individualistic, seeking their own happiness before their professional fulfilment, 50% of the Z generation proclaim their wish to become entrepreneurs and no longer see a frontier between their personal and professional lives. 

So what does this imply? Is the Z generation a harbinger of the end of salaried workers? How can entrepreneurship be developed within companies? What will the relationship of this generation be with time and space? What will be the new ways of recruiting and retaining young people? The world of work is changing in the face of the Z generation’s different way of life. 

Elodie Gentina is a research professor of marketing at SKEMA Business School. As the author of studies on the Z generation, she works with companies from various sectors of activity who aim to adapt their marketing and management strategies to the needs of this emerging generation.

On this occasion, Elodie Gentina, in partnership with le Furet du Nord, signed copies of her latest book edited by Dunod: "Marketing et Génération Z Nouveaux modes de consommation et stratégies des marques" (Marketing and the Z generation: new modes of consumption and brand strategies). 
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