I recently visited a blog on manufacturing (not my usual topic for browsing) because it featured information on a study of 7000 teens worldwide conducted by the McCann Worldgroup, a leading global marketing communications company.
I was immediately intrigued. Wow, this organization (even if for marketing and branding purposes) decided to put a whole lot of effort into surveying teens and the importance they place on values.
This study, called “The Truth About Youth” by one of the world’s largest marketing communications networks, is easy reading at 20 pages, and you may want to check it out. Granted, missing for me are more details: how the survey was conducted, a copy of the survey measure, how respondents were contacted, age/country breakdown and more, but after all, this was a marketing study not research for a dissertation. I’ll take what information I can get.
In this post, I’ll comment about only a few of the findings. One: “We’ve seen the emergence of a generation with fundamental commonalities that transcend borders. The same three motivations are ranked highly in every country (emphasis mine):
Commune: the need for connection, relationships and community
Justice: the need for social and personal justice, to do what’s right, to be an activist
Authenticity: the need to see things as they are.” p.3
For non-profit groups working with teens, this information is affirming. Teens need to connect to a larger purpose across multiple levels, and we need to be upfront and honest in our dealings with them and with the information they receive. In a non-profit educational environment, we are not only providing a service, but our youth really need us to reach out and offer them opportunities to connect in these meaningful ways.
I’d like to hear your responses, and what programs might respond to these needs.