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Get to Know Gen Z: Recapping Thrive Session 1 with Mark Beal

Posted by MooreCo Inc on Sep 6, 2022 1:22:08 PM

Generation Z is emerging from a pandemic that occurred during their most formative years. Many Gen Z students were unable to attend their high school or college graduations, forced into remote education at a time when their learning journey was most essential. The result is a mixture of physical and mental health awareness, an emphasis on community, and a generation that deeply cares about the future of our world. Our Akt line of tables, chairs, and soft seating was designed intentionally to support these priorities. Gen Z expects sanitation and cleanliness post pandemic, so with this in mind, our soft seating was designed with added spacers on the seats and raised legs to make it all easy to clean. They prioritize collaboration and flexibility, which is why Akt tables were made in multiple heights with broad spaces and are easy to move. The chairs stack to easily configure and reconfigure a space with the speed that Gen Zers are used to. Whether in the classroom, the workspace, or beyond, the Akt line was designed to create active, kinetic, and tectonic spaces where Gen Z is encouraged to thrive. 

Gen Z snuck up on the rest of the world. Before we knew it, and because the pandemic left the global community feeling a little on hold, Gen Z had already entered the workforce and started changing the way things are done. Generation Z Marketing Expert Mark Beal reinforced the idea that we should care about this generation, not only because they are entering the workforce, but because they now outnumber Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials. In our Thrive Webinar Session 1: Who is Gen Z?, Beal woke us up to the fact that Gen Z has a larger spending power than Millennials, commenting on Bloomberg’s recent announcement that Gen Z’s spending power alone is in the $360 billion range.  

Akt Lounge SS Mixed w-Gen Z Models Combined High Angle Refuge Honey + Moelcule Stone (1)

Unlike other generations, Gen Z is deeply empathetic, entrepreneurial, and educated. In Who is Gen Z?, Mark Beal broke down the 10 tenets that largely define Generation Z.

10 Gen Z Tenets

  1. Diversity 
  2. Mental Health 
  3. Entrepreneurial 
  4. Purpose 
  5. Community 
  6. Influence 
  7. Engage, Don’t Market 
  8. New Media 
  9. Digital Natives 
  10. Personalization 

Beal emphasized that Gen Z will always prioritize purpose over profits. Because they are an educated consumer with technology at their fingertips, Beal stated that Gen Z is “looking to be part of and support companies, organizations, brands that demonstrate a higher purpose.” They do their research. If a company, for instance, supports a cause Gen Z can relate to and engage with, they are more likely to support that company financially. Gen Z will also look for companies and workplaces that are as diverse as they are. They want the places they work for and support to reflect the world around them. Beal said, “They are the most diverse, the most inclusive generation of all time. They wear that as a badge of honor.” Gen Z is drawn to companies that prioritize diversity, inclusion, and what Mark Beal likes to call the “B” word: belonging.  

We took these priorities into consideration when designing the Akt furniture line. Therefore, Akt is colorful, flexible, and community-focused, easily moveable and reconfigurable to create collaboration pods. More than ever, Gen Z is attuned to their physical and mental needs in a way previous generations have overlooked or dismissed. Any company or brand that supports mental health initiatives and considers creating mindful rooms with sleek Akt lounge chairs, benches, loveseats, and tables will engage the attention of Gen Z. The Akt line of soft seating and lounge tables can be used to design quiet spaces, where a restful reset is encouraged. Because Gen Z also pays special attention to their physical health and wellbeing in a post-pandemic world, our lounge seating features back spaces to avoid dust accumulation and is raised 9" off the ground for better underneath cleaning. 

Akt 2022 05 Divided Common Space cat vers

Social media is a primary source of connection and communication between Gen Z and the companies and brands they seek out. They respect the opinions of their peers and friends above even celebrities and online personalities, at a whopping 35 percent. Brands are catching onto this trust between peers and establishing ambassador programs on campus and virtually, to employ tactics of engagement, rather than marketing. Gen Z doesn’t want to be marketed to; they want to be engaged. Community is massively important to them. Joining groups that share their interests and passions is far more important to them than a product they enjoy.  

On top of being tech-friendly, Gen Z has a natural entrepreneurial mindset; they see this independence everywhere, from social media influencers to app developers to local businesses. They want the opportunity to put their ideas to use somewhere. Beal mentioned how Gen Z is an activist generation, and that they “love to collaborate, they love to connect. They believe they can transform and innovate the way work gets done, the way school gets done, the way business gets done. And they use their social media platforms to amplify and advocate.” If they love a brand, company, or organization, Gen Z will go straight to social media to share their findings with their Gen Z friends.  

Akt Hybrid Higher Ed Classroom cat vers

Akt calls on that spirit of community with reconfigurable tables and desks. Gen Z focuses on community, so we created large ample surfaces for them to work together or alone. With multiple tabletop shapes, sizes, and heights to choose from, Akt Tables can be customized to outfit any room with the intention of creating shared space. Flanked by Akt Chairs, which can be moved around the room or stacked to promote active learning, many Akt Table shapes are easily conjoined to encourage group activities and brainstorming. Gen Z wants to organize groups with similar interests, so they feel collectively emboldened to change the world. When spaces have been designed to intentionally meet that need, Gen Z feels ready to share resources and skills with their peers. The Akt furniture line will modernize campuses and workplaces with sleek lines, appealing color schemes, and overall comfort, creating a health-conscious and collaborative space where Gen Z is empowered to Thrive.  

Topics: Learn from Home, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, MooreCo Workplace, New Products, Higher Education, generation z, Educators