top of page



Raising Gen A saviours: heavy is the crown

by Helenor Gilmour, Director of Insight and Strategy.

One of the surprising themes which has emerged from our Raising Gen Alpha white paper is the faith that Millennial parents bestow on their kids to literally save the world.

55% worry about the environment and climate change whilst 53% believe that Gen Alpha will “help solve the problems caused by previous generations”. It’s a poisoned chalice and an astonishing vote of confidence in one.

Let’s just for a moment consider the generational shift that the Millennial/Gen Alpha partnership represents. Traditionally, every generation post-war has thrown shade at their successors, frowning on behaviours and attitudes, as the incomers sought to change the status quo. And we’ve all attended those seminars where the inter-generational friction caused more than a few laughs – “Oh those Millennials!”. But now it appears we are seeing a real shift in generational perception with Millennials accepting that they and previous generations are handing over a world in a perilous state environmentally and politically. They know they could have done better. It’s a firm goodbye to the “do as I say” school of parenting to, “fix what we did” as well as a huge vote of confidence in Gen Alpha.

Our ongoing work shows Gen Alphas as digital masters, creative thinkers and b******t detectors, unwilling to accept a narrative without question. But what a heavy weight to place on the shoulders of the young who have their own challenges to battle.

Eco-anxiety is not currently a diagnosable condition but the American Psychology Association defined it, with increasing reports of young patients displaying their identified symptoms. We know that post-pandemic we are in the midst of a mental health crisis. The 2022 Mental Health in Children and Young People in England report found that 18% of children age 7 – 16 had a diagnosable mental health issue. And appropriate care has been documented as difficult to access both in the UK and US.

We are also yet to fully understand the impact of disrupted education since 2020 and certainly the “catch up” narratives and the fall back to the blunt measurement of SATS and (US) tests is only piling on the stress. Our data from Beano Brain suggests that 38% of kids in the UK and 40% in the US are stressed about exams and schoolwork. And when it comes to social media 30% of girls admit to shutting it off to make themselves feel better.

BUT there is light at the end of the tunnel. Gen Alpha think quite differently from previous generations. They are creative, entrepreneurial and tech-first solution focussed. A rise in homeschooling may also build that alternative perspective and prepare kids for jobs not yet created. 35% of US kids have already earned money from their skills or talents and 41% of kids 7-14 see technology as making the world a better place. Most importantly they haven’t yet succumbed to apathy.

So who is to say if Generation Alpha will save the world? Alongside their Millennial cheerleaders on the sidelines, I certainly wouldn’t bet against them making huge positive changes. My only fear is at what generational cost?

If you'd like to know more please get in touch and use our brain. We're here to help.


bottom of page