digital happiness the synthetic generation

The Synthetic Generation - Digital Happiness #3

Growing up in an uncertain changing world.

Influencing the influencers

The third report in Sogeti’s Digital Happiness series charts the rise of a new generation of influencers – post millennial young people for whom the concept of digital ‘transformation’ is alien. ‘The Synthetic Generation’ report argues that digital and new media behaviors are simply ‘normal’ to these Gen Z youngsters, for whom being an influencer or following their favorite influencers (fake or real) are part and parcel of everyday life.

Following both ‘The Happiness Advantage’ and ‘In Code We Trust’, this latest report describes how young people follow each other and see the world through the eyes of their contemporaries. It is a game of influencing and wanting to be influenced by “ordinary” people. And it sees a turning away from the paths that other generations have followed. Further, real flesh and blood influencers now have a competitor: the computer variant, a ‘fake friend’ that blurs the line between reality and social media.

The report argues that this new generation – The Founders, Homelanders, iGen, the fluid generation, Gen Z – has a different value compass than even the millennials of just a few years ago. More secular. More self-actualized. More protected (by their parents). More interested in making an impact on the world than the generations that immediately precede them.

Confronting the new Gen Z reality

Burp. Slurp. Gulp. You might think it ludicrous to watch and listen to somebody eating, but this is the new reality for today’s Gen Z generation. Our report assesses the new social (media) habits of this post millennial generation, studies the journey to today, and asks what organizations need to do to remain relevant and trusted in a world where what’s real and fake is becoming increasingly difficult to see.

From avatars and AI, to ‘truth’ that’s easily manipulated, we consider the impact of digital on young people’s understanding of the world, their relationships, and their expectations for the future of work. What’s clear is that authenticity is key to this generation’s pursuit of happiness – but helping youngsters identify what is real and what is fake is an ongoing challenge.

Click to see the infographic


Relevant and inclusive – what Gen Z wants

For enterprises contending with this new generation, key takeaways include:

  • Understand the power of the influencers. Aligning your brand or organization with influencers – or being an influencer – is key to success
  • Digital engagement tools, notably avatars that ‘speak the truth’ are now a must have means of communication
  • Gen Z employees are better equipped to handle themselves in this new world than you might imagine – real or fake, they know the influencers’ tricks and easily pierce through facades
  • Being an ethical and inclusive employer with a ‘purpose’ counts to Gen Zers.

‘The Synthetic Generation – Growing up in an uncertain changing world’ combines in-depth Gen Z generational research with input from experts in areas such as generation science, sociology and ethics. It offers an informed and unmissable perspective on the future of work, social interaction, and the role of Gen Z in changing enterprise values and mindsets.


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Sander Duivestein
Sander Duivestein
Senior Analyst at Sogeti
+31 625 02 60 20
thijs pepping
Thijs Pepping
Trend Analyst
+31 6 2709 0203
Menno van Doorn
Menno van Doorn
Director of VINT
+31 6 51 27 09 85