Flux Trends hosted another episode of its Tribes series on 23 June. This episode focused specifically on ‘tribes’ which emerged post-pandemic and the place of the younger generation in the current global climate.
The episode brought interesting insights into emergent and emerging tribes and talks with young professionals and founder of Student Village, Ronen Aires.
Led by Dion Chang, trend analyst at Flux Trends, the episode started with key tribes which have emerged from the start of the pandemic. Tribes are a different way of looking at demographics and niches which exist around the world. With an increased dependence on technology and the internet, tribes also no longer are specific to geographical locations. “With the pandemic, what we’ve seen is a stronger need to find some reassurance or some comfort and also a reaction to polarisation. You are looking for that tribe, you are looking for that safe haven to belong somewhere,” said Chang.
Living in a pandemic brings forward challenges we never thought we would have to face. It can be frightening, especially because we were forced into non-social situations in a quintessentially social world.
These elements culminated in a shift in our lifestyles and brought to life new groups of people who dealt with the issues we face differently. People were questioning the shortness and value of life – leading to those who decided to change their lives, question their decisions and seek spirituality through different avenues. There are also those who manifested their unsureness into an identity – as well as those who manifested that unsureness into taking matters into their own hands.
Class of 2020: Life Interrupted
There is an entire group of young students and professionals who have ‘missed out’ on the milestones which existed in the previous normal we knew. From walking into the office at your first job to the job market being near-impossible to penetrate, the challenges presented to youth are unprecedented.
As a result, we have seen many young people moving back in with their parents and finding different ways to work through isolation. We have also seen the rise of activists who have taken significant action against issues which are pertinent to their world. Lastly, we see young professionals who have taken charge of their future by creating their own business opportunities.
Near future tribes
Although we have seen quite a few new tribes come to the forefront of society, there are a few emerging groups which we can look forward to seeing. These include transvisibles, online athletes, transspecies individuals and virtual creatives. Then, of course, we still have to see how Generation Alpha – the young children who have grown up with Covid-19 regulations as a norm – form and fit into society.
Pay attention to young people
The most prominent tribe coming out of the Covid-19 era are youth.
The youth is an important group of people to pay meaningful attention to. Aires said, “They come in with different, what I call different factory settings. And why it’s important to see with young people is to see what are their factory settings? What are their unique settings that makes them, them?”
They are the future – and, as a company or organisation, they give you an idea of what behaviours, habits and ways of doing things you need to adopt in order to tailor success for that future. Through research, Student Village found that youth are sensitive, anxious, action-orientated and looking to ‘make it happen’. Generation Z, specifically, are here to make a real difference. At the core, they feel they inherited a messed up world – and they refuse to sit on the sidelines while it gets worse.
There is a call driven by this generation to be their true, authentic selves and have the celebrated and respected. According to Aires, they have important ideas which need experience, access and wisdom from companies who can collaborate with them and make these ideas a reality.
The future holds many exciting prospects, as we can see in this video about worldwide connection without touch..
Faeeza Khan, a researcher and trend spotter at Flux Trends, hosted a panel which consisted of young students and professionals speaking about their lives and experiences.
The main point which came out of this discussion was that the youth of today is not following traditional means of being successful. Kendra Hyman, for example, is a student – but also took it upon herself to start a business selling defensive products for women in South Africa, given the state of gender based violence in the country. “Although I am mainly focused on my degree, that does not limit me to what I can do outside of that. You want to make a difference and have a long-lasting impression as a content creator – be impactful on other people’s lives,” she said.
Seize the opportunity
There are many new tribes, challenges and changes coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, there are also many opportunities – especially when it comes to working with the new mindset brought forward by young people today. In a world where bright spots of light seem to be few, we need to make sure we grab the chance we have when we get it.