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What's wrong with millennial stereotypes?

As business and political leaders strive to get out of their echo chambers, Brunswick Group surveyed 42,956 citizens in 25 languages across 26 markets - one of the largest surveys of its kind - in order to understand global perspectives on financial, political and social issues.

“Sofia” is a young woman with college degree. So is “Megan”. The similarities end there. While “Sofia” believes that capitalism and globalization will combine to create a better life for her children, “Megan” foresees a more-difficult world for her children. 

 What distinguishes them is that “Sofia” lives in a market that’s emerging, “Megan” in one that’s developed. Also, “Sofia” lives in a large city, “Megan” in a smaller city or town.

“Sofia” and “Megan” are the names we’ve given to different categories of respondents in an on-line survey of 42,956 citizens in 25 languages across 26 markets. The nearly 43,000 participants—representing one of the largest surveys of its kind—encompass all income groups and range in age from 18 to 65+.

As business and political leaders strive to get out of their echo chambers, Brunswick conducted this survey to understand global perspectives on financial, political and social issues.

The results were fascinating, uncovering interesting paradoxes and debunking widely held assumptions.

The first big paradox is that while (disappointingly but perhaps not surprisingly) businesses and their leaders are perceived as not listening, not understanding and putting themselves first; at the same time there is wide-spread agreement that everyone benefits when businesses do well and that out of a choice of six institutions (Government, Religious Institutions, Academia, Not for Profits, the Military and Business), business was seen as best placed to provide solutions to global challenges such as climate change, inequality and changes in population.

Only 37% respondents agreed that “businesses in my country are honest and trustworthy”. Yet 64% agreed that “when businesses in my country do well, the entire country benefits.”

There were stark differences in those who thought the economy, government and society were changing for the better and those who were deeply pessimistic about the current state and the future.

While it has become commonplace to generalize about “bubbles”, millennials and the like, these easy labels do not tell the real story. There is no all-encompassing generational view. The range of responses within an age group was as broad as outside of it; the support for global business within millennials, for example, ranged from 38% - 73%.

And that's what's wrong with millennial stereotyping.

We discovered five key drivers to how someone feels, thinks and responds to the world, their work and their future:

  • Geography (whether someone lives in an emerging or a developed market)
  • Global Mega Cities (city dwellers or those outside of one)
  • Gender
  • Generation (millennials, Gen X and baby boomers) and
  • Graduation (people with degrees and without)

Along with Sofia and Megan, we looked at Omar, 50+, with no degree, living in a city in an emerging market, and Farah with the same geography, global mega city, graduation and generation levers but who has a different view about capitalism than he does. Altogether we examined 48 personas, faces that provide a window on the world.

You can meet them at http://perspectives.brunswickgroup.com and compare and contrast their attitudes to globalization, capitalism and their employer’s future.

Getting out of the echo chamber isn’t just about understanding opposite views to your own, it is about understanding the full spectrum of global perspectives.

#Perspectives #FiveG's #Millennials #Echochambers

This article was first published as a LinkedIn post https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/whats-wrong-millennial-stereotypes-susanna-kempe

Follow the Brunswick Group on LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/BGLinkedIn

About the Brunswick Group: Brunswick is an advisory firm specializing in business critical issues. We help clients navigate the interconnected worlds of finance, public affairs and society to build trusted relationships with all stakeholders.