From the ongoing global pandemic, to police brutality and systemic racism sparking protests around the world, to disasters caused by climate change and activism around the environment – this year has brought a huge amount of change, disruption and uncertainty. Explore how the events of 2020 are shaping young people’s (ages 16-24) plans, beliefs and attitudes for the future from ViacomCBS’ latest global study across 15 countries, Beyond 2020 Global Youth Voices and Futures.

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Youth Global Insights Blog

Tap into insights from ViacomCBS’s global executives through this interactive blog on the youth around the world.

Beyond 2020: Young People’s Priorities and Expectations for the Future
According to our new global study Beyond 2020, when 16- to 24-year-olds think about the future they crave stability, believe the environment needs urgent attention, predict that mental health will become more of a priority, and expect social justice to rise in importance.

In a Year Marked by Disruption, Young People Around the World Remain Optimistic
Our new global study, Beyond 2020, looks at how the chaos of this year is affecting 16- to 24-year-olds around the world.

Key Takeaways for Brands and Companies

1 | Adapt

Brands can drive public change around social issues in the long term (there’s no quick fixes)

  • Apple – carbon neutral by 2030
  • Brewdog (Scottish brewer) – carbon negative in future, planting trees to off-set carbon output. Message – drink their beer for positive impact on environment
  • Ben & Jerrys – “Justice remix’d” flavor with proceeds going to criminal justice reform to help people inside of prisons
2 | Facilitate

Provide an escape for young to let loose and have fun

  • MTV generation change – short videos to express desires
  • Fortnite party royale – festival-fun, digital event
  • Lady Gaga Fundrager – fundraiser and entertainment tied to album release
3 | Inspire

Help young people explore their interest in travel, in culture, self-discovery (mental health improvements)

  • Window Swap – online site that shows a view of someone else’s window to have a view into their world
  • Trippin – travel guides with celebrities to see other locales
  • Coke – together tastes better campaign, emphasizing the importance of physically being together

Global Youth Statistics

Emotional State:

  • 46% (up from 38%) stressed and only 52% happy (down from 70%)
  • 55% hopeful for a positive future

 Current Issues:

  • 73% impacted by things other than COVID (racial injustice, politics, natural disasters, climate change, etc.)
  • Number one priority for them is environment ahead of economy, systemic racism
  • Areas where hopeful to see change (they have high hopes, but low expectations) include crime, violence, terrorism, wars around the world, and people’s mental health
  • 83% expect brands to take stand against social injustice; 78% agree brands will take more of a stand against social injustice
  • 84% agree both physical and mental health will be very important in future
  • 75% agree mental health will be a problem in society in future; 83% agree there will be openness and acceptance of mental health (but not necessarily solutions)

Individual/Professional Growth and Prosperity:

  • Craving security and stability for themselves – stable job, keep loved ones safe, etc.
  • 80% agree remote work will be the norm
  • 79% believe AI and automation will replace jobs
  • 60% feel they will struggle financially in the future
  • 41% expect to see positive financial change in the next 10 years

Leisure and Travel:

  • 84% agree spending time in person will be important – no substitute for IRL
  • 72% agree they will travel as much as they did pre-COVID in future and that travel influences personal growth and understanding of others around the globe
  • 72% will choose environmentally friendly vacations with 39% saying they won’t fly due to harm on environment

Media & Entertainment:

  • 61% agree connections will be maintained by online connections in future (highest figures in Asia)
  • 83% expect to be able to watch what I want, where and when
  • 75% agree that watching TV shows and movies will continue to be an important part of their life