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Jun 20, 2023
Olly Lawder
On the Record: June 2023
Welcome back to On the Record – our monthly roundup of all things Purpose
This month we’re focusing on Gen Z and taking a look at a generation affected by the pandemic, a changing world and an uncertain future.
In Denmark, candles are lit to highlight burnout
Officially recognized as a disease by the WHO five years ago, burnout is spreading rapidly and hitting younger generations hard. Recent research found that Gen Y and Gen Z have the highest burnout rates, at 58% and 59%. The underlying causes are not fully understood but growing up with a global pandemic, economic uncertainty and the climate crisis can’t be helping.

A complex issue to address, Denmark is stepping up to the challenge. A nationwide campaign features a series of humanoid candles placed in busy areas to symbolize the struggles of young people and encourage wider action. The candles will be lit daily for two months, with additional miniature versions sent in personalized packages to policymakers and other stakeholders.

To embed change, the Nordic nation has implemented a national mental health day in schools, providing a space in the calendar for the well-being of its youth. Building on this effort, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation and its partners have launched a campaign to raise awareness of the severity of burnout.

Find out more here.
In the UK, we’re Revolting against laptop poverty
Did you know that for Gen Z, early access to a laptop has the potential to change their lifetime earnings by £100k?

As a purpose consultancy, activist agency & innovation studio, we help brands change the world day in, day out. So when we discovered that over 14 million laptops in households across the UK go unused, we saw an opportunity to do some purposing ourselves and bridge the technology poverty gap faced by underserved youth.

With the ambition to launch a nationwide campaign, we partnered with a network of charities refurbishing laptops to create a brand that could bring potential donors to the table. We’re proud to share that the campaign was a great success, achieving a 50% uplift in donations and a grand total of 1,107 laptops.

Encouraged by our success, we took it one step further and worked with the Department for Opportunities to lobby corporate partners to donate their kit and send open letters to the government.

Today we continue to collaborate with The Circle Collective which supports young people experiencing barriers to life-changing work.

Read more on our website.
At Puma, the next generation is invited to the table
The next generation will inherit the world we leave them, so why shouldn’t they be involved in shaping their world today?

Youth-focused sportswear brand Puma certainly thought so, and through their RE: GENERATION initiative, they’ve brought on four Gen Z environmental activists as consultants. The consultants will attend a series of meetings throughout the year, providing candid perspectives on how the brand approaches key environmental and social topics.

Not only has the RE: GENERATION initiative captured the headlines, it’s spoken to the heart of what it feels like to be a young person today. When you’re surrounded by a rapidly changing world and facing a future where tomorrow looks worse than today, being given a voice is one of the best antidotes to feeling powerless and overwhelmed.

We love this initiative and have been steadily building our own Open Revolt network that enables diverse voices, young and old, to share their perspectives on the key challenges our clients are driven to address.  

Find out more here.
Going offline
Each month we’ll dive into an emerging topic that poses a challenge for purpose-led businesses.

The first generation to have grown up with the internet as a constant, Gen Z, occupy a unique place in history. However, as they grow older, the consequences of having a device as an extension of their personhood are starting to show.

– 45% of teenagers feel overwhelmed by social media despite its ever-increasing usage year by year (Pew Research, U.S.)

– 60% of 18-year-old girls stated that they feel worse about their appearance due to social media (Dove, Detoxyourfeed)

– 70% of 12-to-24-year-olds have seen harmful content online, with few reporting it (OfCom-Onlynans)

But in a world where phones and apps are designed to get us hooked, what can be done to help Gen Z (and generations that follow them) find balance?

The Log Off movement, created by young people for young people, addresses these issues across their podcast, leadership council & a nationwide education program. Encouraging teenagers to discuss their experiences, so legislators can understand and advocate for laws that create a safer experience.

Read the full article here.
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