Viacom: Kids of Today and Tomorrow Global Study [RESEARCH]

ViacomA new global research project conducted by Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), surveyed over 6,200 kids aged 9-14 across 32 countries--one of the largest studies of its kind.

The “Kids of Today and Tomorrow Truly Global Exploration” study focused on what VIMN valls “last wavers,” or the youngest Millennials, born between 2003 and 2008. The findings point to several key traits that shape these kids’ world views and make them distinct from older members of this generational cohort.


Kids of today and tomorrow are more “we” than “me.”

The youngest Millennials extend their positive spirit to also include a commitment to community and the wider world around them.

  • 88% believe it’s important to help people in the community, with 61% having taken part in an effort to raise money for charity in the past year.
  • 94% believe it’s people’s responsibility to protect the environment.

Advances in digital media play a large part in broadening horizons and inspiring kids to use the power they have at their fingertips in a positive manner:

  • 85% agree “my age group has the potential to change the world for the better.”
  • 71% agree “having access to the internet changes the way I think about the world.”

However, they don’t see this as anything out of the ordinary or think of themselves as “techy”:

  • 2 out of 3 kids think that being connected is as much a part of everyday life as eating and sleeping – it’s simply how life is today. As a consequence of being constantly connected in a fast-moving world, it is natural for them to constantly adapt and be open-minded. They are resilient and life-ready.


  • To reach these confident kids, it is important to communicate with them with a tone of positivity, smart but not cynical humor; and a playful approach, in line with the fun and happiness they seek in life.
  • Kids respond best to authentic brand messages: they recognize when someone is trying to sell them, so be honest.
  • It’s important to be both globally and locally relevant.

Kids of today and tomorrow are grounded.

Authenticity is a key value for kids today and they live with their feet firmly on the ground.

  • 94% report wanting to be true to the close circle around them and 93% to be true to themselves. When it comes to the people who inspire them or the people they trust most, it’s all about close family and friends. They might feel inspired by celebrities and sports stars, but they know not to trust them.
  • 49% of the youngest Millennials name a family member as their #1 best friend– rising as high as 90% in Morocco and 87% in Brazil.

Kids of today and tomorrow are confident.

Today’s youngest Millennials are overwhelmingly happy and optimistic.

  • 88% consider themselves very happy, with happiness levels in this age group increasing over last six years.
  • Spending time with family and friends is the top factor generating happiness in most countries. Young Millennials enjoy doing activities together as a family.
  • Humor is important to young Millennials, who use it strategically to navigate life: 64% agree “I use humor to help me get my way.”
  • Happiness outweighs stress by a factor of 3 to 1: while almost 9 in 10 young Millennials describe themselves as very happy, only 24% report high levels of stress, with stress levels falling since 2006.

Kids today are re-calibrating their sense of what it is to be stressed as well as happy: they have grown up in a world of constant change and global economic crisis – for them, this is the norm.

  • Even in Greece, where the economic crisis is particularly acute, stress levels are only 36%. The highest stress levels among 9-14s are actually in Singapore and China (41% and 39%) – caused almost certainly by the highly pressured education systems in those countries.
  • In general, the youngest Millennials are characterized by an optimism with which they approach challenges: 90% agree “I can accomplish anything if I work hard enough” and 89% agree “I always try to be positive.”

At the global level, these high levels of happiness, low stress and growing positivity are combining to form a “virtuous circle” of mutual support that helps kids create an overall sense of confidence.

  • Belief in themselves: 65% believe not only that they are smart but also that they are smarter than other people.
  • Belief in their future: Despite everything, a large majority (84%) believe they will earn more than their parents
  • Belief in their generation: This is the winning generation … the expression “#winning” suits them perfectly and is acknowledged by many more 9-14s than by older Millennials (77% vs. 66% of 15-30s)
  • Belief in their creativity: 89% believe their creativity will help them to keep on winning in a fast-paced world.

Kids of today and tomorrow are simultaneously more and less sheltered.

The difference is very clearly defined: in the real world, they are much more sheltered than in the past, with parents restricting and controlling their interactions with everything. However, given advances in technology and access to a wide range of devices, there is often relatively little protection – kids have unprecedented exposure to global ideas and images.

  • 43% own their own computer/laptop and 28% own a smartphone.
  • 61% have a social media account (and 11 years is the average age for having a first account – despite being below the age threshold set by many social platforms’ Terms & Conditions).
  • 9-14s have 39 online “friends” they have never met (up from five since 2006).

Kids of today and tomorrow are proud to be.

The youngest Millennials are increasingly expressing a sense of affinity with their country. Their sense of national pride is growing stronger and they are more likely than six years ago to believe it’s important to maintain their country’s traditions.

  • 87% agree that they are “proud to be [their ethnicity]” up from 81% in 2006.
  • 79% agree “it’s important to maintain my country’s traditions,” up from 60% in 2006.
  • At the same time, they are tolerant of other cultures: 74% think it’s great to have people from other countries living in the kid’s country.


This VIMN study is based on 6,200 interviews with the 9-14 age group (at the time of research, born 1998-2003, which we have defined as “last wavers” within the Millennial generation) across 32 countries (Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, US, Canada, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Russia, Hungary, Poland, China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa).

Video is also available in the following languages:

Global Youth: How Kids Can Help Japan


On Friday, March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake struck Sendai, Japan, resulting in a devastating tsunami that ravaged the coast just 180 miles from Tokyo.

In response, Students Rebuild has partnered with, to ensure students worldwide have a way to support their Japanese peers.

Help Japan by making paper cranes

These simple yet powerful gestures will trigger a $200,000 donation from the Bezos Family Foundation - $2 for each crane received - to Architecture for Humanity's reconstruction efforts in Japan.

Once we reach our goal of 100,000 submissions, the cranes will be woven into an art installation - a symbolic gift from students around the globe to Japanese youth.

Why Cranes?

Cranes are sacred creatures in Japanese culture. According to legend, anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes will be granted a wish by a crane.

While anyone can contribute to the virtual mosaic on Facebook, our goal is to collect 100,000 origami cranes from young people to represent 100 wishes of support and healing for Japan. A list of wishes will begin to appear when we receive the first 1,000 cranes by mail.

Related Resources

United Nations 'Girl Up' Campaign Encourages American Girls to Raise Awareness for Programs That Help the World’s Hardest-To-Reach Adolescent Girls

Girl-up-screenshot The United Nations Foundation is launching its newest campaign – Girl Up – which encourages American girls to channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for their counterparts in the developing world.

Girl Up will raise awareness about the 600 million adolescent girls living in developing countries and encourages American girls to give back.

Funds raised through Girl Up will support proven United Nations programs that help the hardest-to-reach girls in such countries as Malawi, Ethiopia, Guatemala and Liberia.

Campaign supporters are encouraged to give a “High Five” to girls in developing countries by taking five minutes to learn about the issues facing girls or by donating $5 or more to provide girls with such basic needs as access to school supplies, clean water, life-saving health services, safety from violence and more.

Quick Facts about Girls:

  • More than half of the world’s 1.5 billion young people (ages 10-25) are adolescent girls living in developing countries.
  • Girls make up more than 50% of the world’s 143M out-of-school youth.
  • 1 in 7 girls in the developing world is married before the age of 15.
  • Up to 50% of girls in developing countries become mothers before the age of 18.
  • In some countries, girls spend up to 15 hours a day obtaining water for their families and villages.
  • 1/6 of the world’s young people live on less than $2 a day, including 122 million girls in sub-Saharan Africa who live on less than $1 a day
  • There are 21 million girls ages 10-19 living in the United States – more educated, socially connected and empowered today than ever before in history.

Founding campaign partners include MTV Networks, National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, Women’s National Basketball Association, Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, Girls Inc., and Camp Fire USA.

For more information, visit

Related Resources

Global Youth: Is That Egyptian Facebook Sign for Real?


Floating around the Internet of late has been the photo above of what looks to be an Egyptian man amidst the anti-Mubarak protests in Cairo's Tahrir Square holding up what appears to be a pro-Facebook sign.

A sign like that lends a little weight to the idea that, whatever tactical role that social technologies might have played in the Egyptian uprising, they've captured the hearts and minds of Egyptians. Alec Ross, the U.S. State Department's senior advisor on innovation, found vindication in the photo. "14:58 ... 14:59 ...,"  tweeted Ross this morning. "Cyberskeptics, your 15 minutes are up."

Powerful stuff, perhaps. But with the sheer volume of photos, tweets, blog posts and more we're seeing about Egypt, provenience is often an afterthought. And perhaps I'm the only one who had the though, but that block lettering looks awfully well done.

So to, um, just put on our skeptical pants for a moment, let's ask, is the Facebook-in-Egypt sign for real? Or is this a joke on Malcolm Gladwell? It's the real deal, or at least all signs point in that direction.

As to what the sign itself actually reads, the Arabic-trained  Aaron Banks translates it as, "Thank you...youth [of] Egypt," then the Facebook reference, and then "Steadfast we will not go."

Global Youth: Skateistan | To Live and Skate in Kabul

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Over the next two weeks, The YouTube Screening Room will be showing  short films from the Sundance Film Festival --past and present.

Among the films currently availbe for streaming is Skateistan: To Live And Skate Kabul, a beautifully shot film that follows the lives of a group of young skateboarders in Afghanistan.

Skateistan is Afghanistan’s—and the world’s—first co-educational skateboarding school. Operating as an independent, neutral, Afghan NGO, the school engages growing numbers of urban and internally-displaced youth in Afghanistan through skateboarding, and provides them with new opportunities in cross-cultural interaction, education, and personal empowerment.

Skateistan's students come from all of Afghanistan’s diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. They not only develop skills in skateboarding and skateboarding instruction, but also healthy habits, civic responsibility, information technology, the arts, and languages.

“Skateistan is the epitome of what skating is all about. Raising awareness and providing that outlet is an incredible accomplishment. I honestly share in the excitement those kids feel!” - Tony Hawk, Skateboard Hall of Fame Inductee

The students themselves decide what they want to learn—we connect them with teachers who will enable them to develop the skills that they consider important.

Since Skateistan has been active in Kabul, we’ve seen that Afghan youth of all ethnicities, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds love to skateboard. Skateistan brings them together, equipping young men and women with the skills to lead their communities toward social change and development.


Infographic: Chinese is the New Dominant Language of the Internet


China gained 36 million additional internet users last year meaning there are now over 440 million internet users in the country.

English has long been the most widely used language on the internet but with Chinese Internet growth rising at the rate it is, it could be less than five years before Chinese becomes the dominant language on the internet.

Trend Watch: Why Indonesians Love Twitter

A study by internet analysts ComScore has found that Indonesians are the most prolific users of Twitter on the planet: 20.8% of internet users aged over 15 tweet (Brazil ranks second with 20.5%). In the US, where the largest number of tweets still originate, the figure is just 11.9%.

Twitter suits Indonesia for a number of reasons. For a start, mobile phones are cheap. There is already a strong sense of community.

And English is widely spoken, particularly on the nation's most populous and tech-savvy island, Java. Even for those who prefer to tweet in their native tongue, Bahasa Indonesia and other regional languages use an internet-friendly Roman script.

But Indonesia is diverse and varied: while President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono may be a steady, if not prolific, tweeter, millions of people living on islands distant from the capital's digital epicentre have never even used a computer.


Trend Watch: U.S. Hispanic and Latin American Digital Youth Trends


  • A 2008 report by the Pew Hispanic Center forecast that "the Latino population, already the nation's largest minority group, will triple in size and will account for most of the nation's population growth from 2005 through 2050. Hispanics will make up 29% of the U.S. population in 2050, compared with 14% in 2005";
  • According to Internet World Stats, Latin America (28%) has the highest rate of Internet penetration. The world average is 23.5%;
Hispanic Youth Marketing
View more presentations from Sensis.
  • Research conducted by U.S.-based Bromley Communications finds that the Hispanic Latina is quickly replacing Anglo moms as the dominant consumer target from now to 2050;
  • Hispanic trends firm Packaged Facts reports that Gen-Y Hispanics (ages 18-29) Gen-X Hispanics (ages 30-44) are particularly influential, because they control more than 60% of all Hispanic buying power;
  • U.S. Hispanic mobile consumers have a subscriber growth rate two to three times that of the overall U.S. teen market;
  • Hispanic teens aged 12-17 represent 2.5 million subscribers. By the age of 15, penetration of wireless services among US Hispanic teens is 64% - by the age of 17, the penetration rate rises to 78%;
  • According to, in the 2008 election 76% of young Hispanic voters preferred Obama, compared to 67% of the overall Hispanic vote. That marks a 14-point rise in young Hispanic support for the Democratic candidate since the previous election, and a 10-point improvement with the Hispanic population overall.

Related Resources

Global ‘Digital Life’ research project reveals major changes in online behavior The largest ever global research project into people’s online activities and behaviour – Digital Life – was launched earlier this week by TNS, the world’s biggest custom research company.

Covering nearly 90 per cent of the world’s online population through 50,000 interviews with consumers in 46 countries, the study reveals major changes in the world’s online behaviour.

Among the key findings of the study are:

  • Globally, people who have on-line access have digital sources as their number one media channel. 61% of online users use the internet daily against 54% for TV, 36% for Radio and 32% for Newspapers.
  • Online consumers in rapid growth markets have overtaken mature markets in terms of engaging with digital activities. When looking at behaviour online, rapid growth markets such as Egypt (56%) and China (54%) have much higher levels of digital engagement than mature markets such as Japan (20%), Denmark (25%) or Finland (26%). This is despite mature markets usually having a more advanced internet infrastructure.
  • Activities such as blogging and social networking are gaining momentum at huge speed in rapid growth markets. The research shows four out of five online users in China (88%) and over half of those in Brazil (51%) have written their own blog or forum entry, compared to only 32% in the US.
  • The Internet has also become the default option for photo sharing among online users in rapid growth markets, particularly in Asia. The number of online consumers who have ever uploaded photos to social networks or photo sharing sites is 92% in Thailand, 88% in Malaysia and 87% in Vietnam, whilst developed markets are more conservative. Less than a third of online consumers in Japan (28%) and under half of those in Germany (48%) have uploaded photos to such sites.

TNS Digital Life: Drivers of Online Behaviour

  • Growth in social networking has been fuelled by the transition from PC to mobile. Mobile users spend on average 3.1 hours per week on social networking sites compared to just 2.2 hours on email. The drive to mobile is driven by the increased need for instant gratification and the ability of social networks to offer multiple messaging formats, including the instant message or update function.
  • The digital landscape will change in the future. Research shows that consumers expect their use of social networking on mobiles to increase more than use through PC. In the US, for example, a quarter (26%) of online consumers expect their use of social networking on a PC to increase in the next 12 months compared to over a third (36%) who will be looking to their mobile to increase usage. In Australia the figures are 26% and 44% respectively, and in Sweden they are 28% and 53%.

TNS Digital Life: The North American Digital Landscape  

  • Online consumers are spending more time on social networking sites such as Facebook. In rapid growth markets such as Latin America, the Middle East and China, the average time spent, per week, on social networking is 5.2 hours compared to only 4 hours on email.
  • Online consumers in mature markets remain more reliant on email, spending 5.1 hours checking their inboxes compared to just 3.8 hours on social networking. The heaviest users of social networking are in Malaysia (9 hours per week), Russia (8.1 hours per week) and Turkey (7.7 hours per week).
  • When it comes to who has more friends, online consumers in Malaysia tops the list with an average of 233 friends in their social network, closely followed by Brazilians with 231. The least social are the Japanese with just 29 friends and Tanzanians have, on average, 38 in their circle of friends. Surprisingly, Chinese consumers only have an average of 68 friends in their networks despite being heavy users of social networking sites, indicating a culture that embraces fewer but closer friendships.

FutureWatch: Tim Stock on The Architecture of Trends

Conan-in-the-year-2000 This is another fantastic presentation put together by Tim Stock.

I've been following him on Twitter for quite awhile and I'm always impressed by both his ability to build a great presentation as well as his ability to explain new concepts and structure ideas.

Tim is the Head of Planning & Innovation at a consumer insights think tank, scenarioDNA, where he works on strategies that leverage semiotics, segmentation and social media to understand what people do and why. Tim is also an adjunct professor at Parsons the New School of Design.

View more presentations from Tim Stock.
In this presentation, Tim delves into the world of consumer insight and trends and explains why we should study trends, how trends are a form of storytelling and how today's trends will impact our future.
This is a fancinating and well produced "behind the curtain" look at the world of consumer insights, generational market studies and the creative process fueling innovation and ultimately--our future.
So move over Conan, when it comes to what is really going to happen in the Year 3000, Tim is the expert! Thanks Tim!

Trend Watch: Social Media in the UK 2010 [Video]


This is a little video produced by Ireland-based PR firm Simply Zesty that explores the state of social media in the UK.

The video includes some interesting social media stats and other demographic information, including: 85% percent of the UK population is online and they spend over 6 hours on social media sites every month, nearly 60% of them read blogs and 64% have their own profile on a social network.

Project Gaga 2010: Building a Monster Fan Base

image from Love her or hate her, there' no denying that Lady Gaga is a cultural force who resonates with many, many young people. Perhaps no other creative genius since the late (great) John Hughes has been able to effectively express the inner turmoil and feelings of disenfranchisement that are part of modern teenage life.

For many young people, Lady Gaga ("Mother Monster") has been able to tap into the global zeitgeist of a generation of "Little Monsters" and empowered them through her music to speak up share their voice.

Project Gaga 2010 is a user-generated fan project that collected over 268 pictures of mostly teenage fans from across the globe all "with the same message: thank you, mother monster, for giving us all a voice."

Teenage fan behavior patterns haven't changed that much in the last 50 years or so. What has changed are the ways in which they express their devotion as a fan to their favorite movie, music or TV star.

Today's teens, unlike previous generations, have many more digital tools that allow them to self-organize via social networking sites, coordinate the collection of this photos from around the world, use free web-based tools to produce a video and free distribution on YouTube. 

Project.gaga.2010 And oh, a tweet of approval from "Mother Monster" is a pretty good way to market your tribute.

Now for some of us who are a wee bit past those awkward crazy teenage years this "Mother Monster" tribute stuff may seem a little bizarre.

But before you dismiss it, consider the idea that if previous generations had the same bounty of free digital and self-publishing tools, the web would be full of similar tributes to Madonna, Michael Jackson, Elvis, Frank Sinatra or Al Jolson.

Related: Lady Gaga Joins Forces with Virgin Mobile to Fight Teen Homelessness

Global Youth: Kenyan Youth Make "Makmende" a Viral Music Hit


Kenyan-based Just-a-Band have sparked what many are calling Kenya’s first viral sensation with a new 1970s themed music video for their song "Ha-He" featuring a Chuck Norris-ish, kung fu, butt kicking character known as Makmende.

Makmende, a Swahili slang word which means "a hero", is a term used by Kenyan youth in the early to mid 1990s to refer to someone who thinks he’s a superhero. The name supposedly originated from a mispronunciation of Clint Eastwood's phrase "Go ahead, make my day" (Mek ma nday) from his 1983 movie Sudden Impact.

Since the release of the video, Makmende has exploded across the web, including a Facebook Fan Page,  a Twitter account and a website. In addition, Makmende has been the biggest trending topic on Twitter in Kenya.

If Makmende mania continues to build throughout Africa and continues to the US and UK, expect to see a Makmende action film on the silver screen (or playground) near you!