We have been naming generations for a long time. Demographers use it to start a conversation about the changes around us. While a birth range doesn’t guarantee perspective, the demographic and cultural shifts a group shares tell us a lot about how they might view the world. And the name is shorthand to remind us that not everyone sees the world the way we do.
- baby boomers
- Generation X
- Generation Y
- Generation Z
The last four are pretty unimaginative if you ask me, but I also know that a baby boomer probably thinks about the world differently than a millennial right now. These are inaccurate labels, but useful nonetheless.
So, what to call the next generation?
My co-authors Bruce Clark and Paige NeJame coined the term “Generation C”. It’s so well suited, I think it’s going to stick.
C is for Covid, C is for Carbon, C is for Climate.
The combination of school years spent at home, under a mask, combined with the significant revolution (economic, political and social) to which our industrialism has led us means that this generation will be different from previous ones. Every decision, every investment and every interaction will be filtered through the lens of carbon, remediation and resilience.
And yet, if we combine that with the c of connection, of a cohort of people finding solace and possibility in community, there is a chance for all of us. Gen C didn’t ask for any of this, but hopefully they’re ready to lead the change.