Generation Z defined; The 5 characteristics of today's students

Friday, September 09, 2016


For today’s students, growing up with the emerging technologies at their fingertips has blurred the lines of work and social, of study and entertainment, of private and public. They now live in an open book environment – just a few clicks away from any information. They connect in a border less world across countries and cultures, and they communicate in a post-literate community where texts and tweets are brief, and where visuals and videos get the most cut-through.

At McCrindle, we are regularly engaged by a variety of organisations to assist with understanding who Generation Z is, what context they are being shaped in the traits that define them. Before we can engage this generation, we first need to understand them.

So how can we understand the emerging generations and their learning habits? Well, based on our research, here are five characteristics of today’s students:

Social

Traditionally, learning took place in the classroom and the practice and application through homework. However, in the 21st Century, content can now be accessed through technology anywhere, and often in very visual and engaging forms. Thus we have the flipping of education where the learning takes place outside the classroom, but the essential engagement and practice is still conducted at school, by the all-important facilitator, rather than the teacher.

Mobile

Not only through technology do today’s students interact, but they are mobile in terms of the jobs they will have and the homes they will live in. It is therefore important to think about how you can equip this generation with not just content but resilience in a changing world.

Global

Today's generation of students are truly global, and are the most likely generation to work in multiple countries. They’re the most globally connected and influenced generation in history and are not limited to the local, but are global as never before.

Digital

We've called the emerging generation, Gen Alpha, but we also call them Generation Glass, because it is not just pen and paper, but iPads and screens on which they will learn, which are designed to not just display the written but the visual. While today’s students need literacy they also need digital skills to thrive in this changing world.

Visual

In an era of information overload, messages have increasingly become image-based and signs, logos and brands communicate across the language barriers with colour and picture rather than with words and phrases. Communicating symbols and pictures with stories isn’t an entirely new concept. Most ancient forms of communication such as indigenous rock art, reinforces the notion that it is pictures not words that tell the story. Visuals are also the way in which the brain processes information best. It can retain visual symbols and images rather than just written content. Our analysis of learning styles has shown the dominance in the visual and hands on learning styles, above auditory delivery form, which has traditionally dominated the classroom.


To find out more about Generation Z, visit our site generationz.com.au and if we can assist with any presentations on the topic of the emerging generations, please feel free to get in touch.


About Ashley McKenzie - Team Leader of Communications at McCrindle

Ashley McKenzie is a social researcher, trends analyst and Team Leader of Communications at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a trends analyst she understands the need for organisations to communicate with the emerging generations to effectively engage and motivate them. 

From her experience in managing media relations, social media platforms, content creation and event management, Ashley is well positioned to advise how to achieve cut through in these message-saturated times. 

Her expertise is in training and equipping leaders and teams on how to communicate across generational barriers.


DOWNLOAD ASHLEY'S SPEAKERS PACK HERE.

2015 in review: Top trends of the year

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

As we begin 2016, we have taken a retrospective look at 2015 and the trends that were...

Most searched

Top “How to” search on Google Australia How to Tie a Tie

Top “What is?” search on Google Australia – Netflix

Top recipe search on Google Australia – Pancake Recipe

Most Globally Googled Topic – Paris Under Attack – 897+m searches


Colour of the year



Oxford Word of the Year


"Face with tears of joy"


Biggest crowdsourced project of the year

Top 2015 Kickstarter Project – Pebble Time - $20.34m USD


Social media: Instagram

Most Liked Post

Kendall Jenner


Meme of the year

Most Reblogged Meme

Pepe the Frog

Background: Pepe the Frog is an anthropomorphic frog character from the comic series Boy’s Clubby Matt Furie. On 4chan, various illustrations of the frog creature have been used as reaction faces, including Feels Good Man, Sad Frog, Angry Pepe, Smug Frog and Well Meme’d.


Twitter

Most Retweeted Tweet

Harry Styles

From boy band One Direction, Harry Styles’ tweet of gratitude to fans was sent after word came out that Zayn Malik was leaving the band. This tweet was retweeted almost 750,000 times, making it the most popular tweet of 2015 and one of the most popular messages ever published on the social media platform.


# of the year

Top Twitter Hashtags

  • Music = #OneDirection  
  • TV =  #KCA (2015 Nickelodeon Kid's Choice Awards)
  • Tech =  #iPad
  • News = #jobs
  • Stars =  #ArianaGrande

Facebook

  • Top Place = Disney theme parks
  • Top Athlete = Floyd Mayweather Jnr.
  • Top Entertainer = Ed Sheeran
  • Top Movie = Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Top Politician = Barack Obama
  • Top Game = FIFA 15
  • Top TV Show = Game of Thrones 

Smartphone Apps

Top Smartphone App Released in 2015 – Apple Music with approx. 55m downloads.

Best Selling Album

25 by Adele

Best Selling Song

Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran


Youtube

Top Trending Video (Trending includes shares, comments and views)

Silento- Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) #WatchMeDanceOn

Most Watched YouTube Video Released in 2015

Wiz Khalifa - See You Again ft. Charlie Puth [Official Video] Furious 7 Soundtrack

Data Visualisation Case Study

Monday, December 07, 2015

Gateway uncovers the state of Australians’ financial literacy, with only 39% of mortgage holders definitely understanding the concept of a ‘split’ home loan.

It was excellent to work with Gateway Credit Union, one of Australia’s leading Credit Unions committed to educating consumers on financial literacy. Our joint study has revealed some interesting figures around the financial literacy of Australians.

Despite the majority of mortgages spanning a 30 year period, the research highlights that your everyday mortgage holder does not truly understand a number of the features and loan facilities that are available to them.

“When buying a home, Australians get into the biggest debt of their life to make the biggest purchase of their life. This research shows more than a third of mortgage holders do not understand basic mortgage terms such as split home loans, redraw facilities and offset accounts. While every mortgage advertisement will display a comparison rate, only 1 in 3 mortgage holders know what this is. It is encouraging to see that the understanding of the new generation of home buyers, Generation Y, was greater than that of the older generation, highlighting an increase in financial literacy amongst the emerging generation.” Mark McCrindle.

The study revealed that the financial terms least understood by mortgage holders are a ‘split’ home loan and the difference between ‘interest rate’ and ‘comparison rate’. Only 39% of those surveyed confirmed that they definitely understood what a ‘split’ home loan was. Similarly, only 35% of mortgage holders definitely understand the difference between ‘interest rate’ and a ‘comparison rate’.

This infographic focuses on the most commonly misunderstood banking terms, and also provides consumers with easy to understand explanations of each of these features.


This research in the media

The Adviser

Social media and narcissism

Monday, June 22, 2015

It seems there is more armchair diagnosing of narcissism and calling people “narcissists” than ever before and social media is often the trigger of it and takes the blame. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is defined by the symptoms of behaviours of grandiosity and lack of self-awareness, an abnormal need for admiration, and often a lack of empathy toward others. While even a cursory look at one’s social media feed will show posts which seem to promote (and perhaps exaggerate) achievements and certainly the visual aspects of social media are preoccupied with appearance, beauty, status and success. While celebrity news and popular culture has for some time been permeated with these characteristics, this last decade has offered celebrity in the suburbs where everyone on YouTube can “broadcast yourself”, personal websites and blogs are de jure, and to exist without social media is seemingly to not exist at all.

Almost two and a half millennia ago Socrates wrote that “to do is to be” while now it seems that “to tweet is to be”. Such is the popularity of such communication platforms, if social media sites were countries, Facebook would be the world’s largest country with more active accounts than there are people in China. Twitter would rank 4th with twice the “population” of the USA and Instagram would round out the Top 10. While the speed of adoption of these communication platforms has been unprecedented- all of this occurring in less than a decade, the reasons for the take-up are varied. Certainly much social media activity is push-communication, with users wanting to publicise their latest activities and status, for many social media use is a genuine attempt to connect, to engage and to listen. However our latest research shows this latter group comprises just 1 in 5 social media users: the contributors who participate via social media as in any community- to share and participate, speak and listen, connect and contribute. Such are these times that the larger proportion of social media users- almost 4 in 5 are consumers, who largely use social media as an update channel to see what others are up to, and when posting something themselves, it is more broadcast and generic than personal and connective.

Most behavioural experts agree that narcissism is a condition not of biology but society- it is the social context not the genetic factors that are causal. In a world of always-connected, app-ready, mobile device saturated living, where every phone is a camera and we are ever just a few clicks away from posting our next contribution it is clear that social media has created an environment conducive to the growth of narcissism. However the apparent rise of narcissism may be more a factor of social media highlighting its existence and narcissistic-type behaviours rather than of itself creating more narcissism. Indeed some of the negative press social media receives is unwarranted. Selfies are given as the ultimate sign of narcissistic times, and combined with today’s must-have item- the selfie stick, an indicator of self-obsession. However most selfies are more “groupies” – not photos of oneself by oneself, but of a group and sent to other friends. Many (though not all) selfies are more about sharing a life journey rather than an unashamed exercise in self-promotion. So too the “status update”, the Instagram account and the personal blog: while such musing and sharing in our grandparents era was kept to a personal journal or limited to a family photo album, the current approach is definitely more public but most of it is a long way from fitting the pure definition of narcissistic grandiosity and an overwhelming need for admiration. In fact the Australian characteristics of keeping things “fair dinkum” and “not blowing your own trumpet” are still part of the local approach. The tall poppy syndrome remains a powerful social norm to ensure that no one gets “too big for his boots” or is “putting on airs”. The Australian values of community mindedness and looking out for each other ensure that empathy remains strong and narcissism is kept at bay- even this great screen age.

Latest media commentary

Monday, June 15, 2015

As Australia’s leading social researchers, the senior research team at McCrindle are actively involved in media commentary. From demographic analysis and future forecasts, to communication of key research findings and the identification of social trends, at McCrindle we are passionate about communicating insights in clear, accessible and useable ways.

Here are some the most recent media pieces our research and team have been cited in:


What will adulthood be like for Generation Z?

“McCrindle – whose business is analysing generational trends and forecasts – says generation Z is characterised by five key terms. They are global," through the possibilities of technology, and through pop culture -–movies, music, brands and language changes make their way around the world more quickly and thoroughly than ever before. They are "digital," thanks to the devices through which they live their lives. This generation is distinctly "social" because it gets a great deal of information not from experts but from peers, largely through social media. They are highly "mobile" in the fluidity of their work and housing. And they are uniquely "visual: in terms of how they process their information: YouTube is their search engine of choice, because "they don't want to read an article about something, they want to watch a video about something."

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE


Treechangers flee city for a cheaper home

Social researcher Mark McCrindle said moving to regional areas was now a viable option for buyers who had been priced out to Sydney’s fringes.

“For that extra bit of distance of living in a region, particularly if they can get a job there, someone would cut down on the commute time into the CBD or into Sydney from where they are in the outer ring suburbs,” Mr McCrindle said.

He added that an influx of new developments and infrastructure being built in regional areas was making them more attractive and had contributed to a change in attitude from Sydneysiders, who are now more open to ’going bush’.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE


More than a fashion choice, the everyday aesthetics of tattooing

According to the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, 22 per cent of Australian men and 29 per cent of women aged 20 to 29 have at least one tattoo.

In a 2013 survey conducted by Sydney-based McCrindle Research, a third of people with tattoos regretted them to some extent, and 14 per cent had looked into or started the removal process. Laser removal has become cheaper and more readily available, but there are serious safety concerns around cheap lasers, poorly-trained operators and the risk of serious burns and scars to clients.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE


IVF isn’t a fix-all for those choosing to delay adulthood

From a societal point of view, what worries me is what demographer and social commentator Mark McCrindle refers to as the "safety net syndrome" – the perception held that someone, whether it's the government or medical science, will solve the problems that have arisen because of a person's own choices. When it comes to fertility, that's simply not possible.

There are, however, promising signs that the pendulum is starting to swing back. McCrindle's research indicates that Generation Z is rejecting the "have it all" attitude of the previous generation and is recognising the limitations of science when it comes to fertility.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE


Victoria’s man drought: Areas where there are more women than men – and vice versa

The female surplus is particularly pronounced in some affluent eastern and bayside suburbs, university locations and “seachange” destinations.

“Females greatly outnumber men in older, established suburbs or places popular with retirees or with aged care homes because they live longer,” social researcher and demographer Mark McCrindle said.

“You also find more women living in locations with female-friendly institutions such as universities, or outer suburban areas with a lower cost of living suitable for single parents.”

“Places where males significantly outnumber females are mainly regional, industrial, farming, fruit picking and military and air force zones. It’s employment-driven,” Mr McCrindle said.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE


Sydney real estate: Narrowest home on the market expected to fetch upwards of $700,000

Social researcher Mark McCrindle said there was a clear trend of Australians moving away from bigger properties and looking at smaller homes.

“Certainly Australians are responding to smaller properties because the trend has been towards unit and apartment living anyway,” Mr McCrindle said.

“People buying homes have already lived in medium-density housing. A century ago, there were 4.5 people per household in Australia. Now it’s down to 2.6 people per household and the Australian Bureau of Statistics forecasts a drop to 2.5 in the next two decades.”

Mr McCrindle said smaller homes tended to be located in the inner city, where there was an urban environment and a cafe lifestyle.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE

Why we named them Gen Alpha

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Naming the next generation

In the USA during the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, the alphabetical list of names was exhausted, so scientists looked to the Greek alphabet for names. This nomenclature of moving to the Greek alphabet after exhausting the Latin one has a long history with meteorologists. Scientists of all disciplines use the Greek alphabet as a labelling sequence and as sociologists in naming the next generation we have followed this nomenclature too.

While many people are still gaining an understanding of Generation Y and educational academics are beginning to focus on Generation Z. In Australia alone there are almost two million children born since the end years of Generation Z (1995-2009). With generational analysis having moved from a stage of foundation to consolidation, a more predictable labelling system is being formed. Globally there is consensus on the alphabetised theme of Generations X, Y and Z, but for this latest generation, it is not the end of the old or a recycling of the current but the start of something new.

Generations Y and Z are often referred to as 21st-century generations. However, this upcoming generation is truly the first millennial generation because they are the first to be born into the 21st century (while many Zeds have been born into the 2000s, its oldest members were born at the tale end of the 20th century).

In our survey on the generations we asked respondents what they thought the generation after Z might be called. For many, the logical answer to our question was ‘go back to the beginning’. Generation A was suggested by 25 per cent of our respondents. The respondents who suggested Generation A said the labels also signified what we can expect of this generation and their times: a new and positive beginning for all, with global warming and terrorism controlled. Respondents who suggested the following labels made similar comments: the Regeneration, Generation Hope, Generation New Age, the Saviours, Generation Y-not and the New Generation. Others suggested the label ‘the Neo-Conservatives’ because the upcoming generation will have grown up aware of their impact on the environment and the economy.

Some respondents suggested the label ‘the Millennium Generation’, perhaps appropriate given the fact that this next generation will be the first to have been born into the21st century. However, this label will probably never be adopted; after all, both Generations Y and Z have already been referred to as the Millennials by demographers, writers, commentators and bloggers—particularly those in the US.

Other suggested labels were reflective of our tech-centric age. Many of these labels have also been used to refer to Generations Y and Z and again for this reason probably won’t be taken up: Net Generation, the Onliners, Global Generation, Generation Tech, Generation Surf and the Technos.

Those born globally from 2010-2024 we have labelled as Generation Alpha. If we look at Strauss and Howe’s generational theory, the next generation is predicted to spend its childhood during a high. We are currently living through the crisis period of terrorism, the global recession and climate change. By the time Generation Alpha are all born and moving through their formative years, these threats, among others, may have subsided. If that happens then this generation will begin their lives at a new stage, a global generation beginning in a new reality.


The above is an excerpt taken from Mark McCrindle's book, The ABC of XYZ; Understanding the Global Generations.

The Who, What and Why of Generation Z and Generation Alpha

Friday, April 17, 2015

The students of our world, at schools and universities are the children of Generation X, the cohort that follows Generation Y, and born from 1995 to 2009 they are Generation Z. And following them we have our Gen Alpha's born since 2010. These emerging generations have and are growing up in a time like no other we have seen before. They are the world's first truly global generations, constantly logged up and linked in. They are empowered by having access to every piece of information within a few clicks of a button, and here we find ourselves with the challenge of teaching and educating, of shaping, moulding and developing these emerging generations. 

GENERATION Z

Those filling your schools today are labelled ‘Generation Z’ – born between 1995 and 2009, this generation currently make up 1 in 5 in our population. They make up just 1 in 10 in the workforce, but in a decades time they will make up over a quarter.

When they’re talking about a library they mean they’re playlist on iTunes. They speak and they write in a new language – if they can shorten it, they will. They are content creators, and their idea of an encyclopaedia is one that you can change and contribute to.

While they are constantly reading it’s rarely a book from cover to cover, and after all they are visual communicators, so why read it when you can watch it?

They speak another language like ‘totes’, ‘chron’ ‘chillax’ ‘epic’ ‘frothing’ fo shiz’ ‘cray cray’ ‘yolo’!

GEN ALPHA

And following our Gen Zeds we have Generation Alpha, the kindergarten and preschool children of today. Generation Alpha are likely to have just one sibling, and if they are a boy they’re likely to be called Oliver, William or Jack, and if a girl, Charlotte, Olivia or Ava.

Born since 2010, there are 2.5 million Gen Alphas born around the globe every single week. And the year that they were first born coincided with the launch of the iPad. In case you were wondering they have no idea what a broken record is, nor what you mean when you say they sound like one. They’ve probably never seen a camera that required film, and will probably never have to wait for their photos to be developed.

Glass was something we were told to not touch so it didn’t leave any grubby finger-marks, where as they are growing up with glass being something that they touch, swipe and interact with every single day. The only phones they’ve ever seen also take photos, record videos, access the internet, can download a million apps and have just one button, a fairway from the landline telephones that you could take off the hook. In fact now if you’re left without your mobile phone for a day, maybe you’ve left it at home or the battery’s died, the term is that you have been ‘land lined’.

Whilst Baby Boomers can remember the introduction of the colour TV in the 1970s, Gen Zeds and Gen Alphas can flick up a YouTube video from a smartphone onto the apple TV with ease. They are logged on and linked up, they’re digital natives, and they are the most materially endowed, technologically literate generation to ever grace the planet.

They are empowered by having access to every piece of information within a few clicks of a button and right there is where we find ourselves with the challenge of teaching and educating, of shaping, moulding and developing these emerging generations.

Find out more

Gen Z and Gen Alpha Infographic Update

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE EMERGING GENERATIONS

We are in the midst of a generational landmark, as Australia’s “Digital Integrators” (Generation Z) began sitting their final school exams last year, and the first Generation Alpha’s begin their schooling career this year. Below we provide an explanation about each of these generations, and some interesting facts about them.


GEN Z

The students of our world today who are currently at school and university are the children of Generation X, the cohort that follows Generation Y, and who are born between 1995 and 2009. They are Generation Z.

Generation Z are the largest generation ever, comprising around 20% of Australia’s population and almost 30% of the world’s population. Globally there are almost 2 billion of them.

They are the first fully global generation, shaped in the 21st century, connected through digital devices, and engaged through social media.


GEN Z FACTS

  • AKA ‘generation connected’ or ‘dot com kids’
  • 1 in 2 predicted to obtain a uni degree
  • By 2025, will make up 27% of the workforce
  • Predicted to work 17 jobs, 5 careers and live in 15 homes in their lifetime
  • 2,000,000,000 Gen Zs globally
  • Use slanguage like ‘Cray cray’, ‘Defs’, ‘Fomo’ and ‘YOLO’

GEN ALPHA

Following our Gen Zeds are our pre-schooler and kindergarteners of today – Gen Alpha.

Born since the year 2010 they are aged 0-5, they are the children of Gen Y, and there are 1.6 million of them in Australia. They are truly the millennial generation, born and shaped fully in the 21st century, and the first generation that we will see in record numbers in the 22nd century as well. They are logged on and linked up – known as ‘digital natives’. They are the most materially endowed and technologically literate generation to ever grace the planet!


GEN ALPHA FACTS

  • 2.5 million Gen Alpha’s born around the globe each week
  • Most popular boys names: Oliver, William, Jack, Noah, Jackson
  • Most popular girls names: Charlotte, Olivia, Ava, Emily and Mia

What will Australia look like in 2034, the year when first cohort of Generation Alphas are in their early 20s?

  1. The population of Melbourne will be 5.9 million (that’s larger than the whole of Victoria today).
  2. Australia will have reached 32 million (up from 23 million currently).
  3. The global population will be 8.8 billion (that’s twice what it was when the parents of Generation Alpha were born in the early 1980’s).
  4. India will have surpassed China as the world’s most populous nation.
  5. There will be more Australians aged over 60 than under 20 for the first time in our history (a sign of our ageing population).
  6. Australia’s median age (where half the population is younger and half is older) will be 40. It was 29 when the parents of Gen Alpha were born.
  7. The most common household type will be the couple, no kids households, for the first time ever eclipsing the nuclear family of today (couple with children).


For a visual representation of the data, please see our Gen Z and Gen Alpha Infographic.

The First Gen Alpha's Start School

Tuesday, January 27, 2015
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.

As school starts back this week, we welcome Gen Alpha to the beginning of their educated life, as they commence their formal learning process.

WHO IS GEN ALPHA?


Following our Gen Zeds are our pre-schooler and kindergarteners of today – Gen Alpha.

Born since the year 2010 they are aged 0-5, they are the children of Gen Y, and there are 1.6 million of them in Australia. If they’re a boy they’re likely to be called Oliver, William, Jack, Noah or James. And if they’re a girl, Charlotte, Olivia, Ava, Emily or Amelia are the top 5 most common Gen Alpha names.

Gen Alphas began being born with the launch of the iPad in 2010, and already a third of Australians use a tablet.

A GENERATION OF DIGITAL NATIVES


Gen Alpha 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 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 kinaesthetic, visual, interactive, connective and still portable. Glass was something that Gen Ys were told to look through and keep their fingers off – for Gen Alpha, glass is a medium through which they touch, talk, and look at. And whilst Baby Boomers remember the introduction of the colour TV in the 1960s and 70s, Gen Alphas are being shaped in a world where they can view a YouTube video from a smartphone onto the home TV.

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. They are logged on and linked up – digital natives. They are the most materially endowed and technologically literate generation to ever grace the planet!

THE MOST FORMALLY EDUCATED GENERATION TO DATE


Gen Alpha babies are the product of Australia's second and bigger baby boom, and they will grow up to be smarter, richer and healthier, obtaining the highest level of formal education in history.

Because their parents will indulge them in more formal education and at an earlier age, Gen Alpha will have access to more information than any other generation gone before. Their formal education has never been equalled in the history of the world, with a predicted 1 in 2 Gen Alphas to obtain a university degree.

Generation Alpha will surpass even the praised and sophisticated Zeds in terms of education, with 90 per cent predicted to complete Year 12, compared to 79.9 per cent today, and with the majority going on to tertiary education in some form.

A shift in educational engagement is also occurring for Gen Alpha, changing from structural and auditory to engaging, visual, multimodal and hands-on methods of educating this emerging generation.

INFOGRAPHIC AND MEDIA CONTACT


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

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

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

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