Ref: GS-Political-youthquake



Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2017, youthquake is defined as “a significant cultural, political or social change arising from the actions or influences of young people.”

Youthquake – coined in the 1960s by the then editor of Vogue magazine Diana Vreeland – was originally a cultural movement that involved music, pop culture, and shaped the fashion industry. The word staged a comeback in the wake of the British polls in June 2017, when young voters almost carried the Labour Party to an unlikely victory. But this political awakening of the oft-maligned millennial generation is not just happening in the UK. Other examples include France, where we’ve seen Macron rise to power on the backs of the young, and the US, where Bernie Sanders has energized youth voters. As for Trump, we are seeing young people taking to the streets in protest – just not the way he planned. So why is this happening? While economics is certainly one reason, there is much more at play. Thanks to globalization and social media, young people regard themselves as global citizens. Human rights, the environment and cultural diversity are big themes for them and technology is helping turn their anger into coherent political movements. For example, protesters, such as those who marched in pussy hats after Trump’s inauguration, use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to organize their causes.

Did you know?

According to the Financial Times, the world’s two billion millennials are coming into the most important age range for economic activity – it’s a time when households are formed, babies are born, and money is spent on other things besides going out. Companies that have built their brands for baby boomers, have good reason to fear this millennial moment.

IMD Speaks

Grathwohl, Casper. “Youthquake: Behind the Scenes on Selecting the Word of the Year.” Oxford Dictionaries, December 14, 2017. (accessed November 27, 2018). Myers, Matt. “How 2017’s Youthquake Started.” Vice, September 28, 2017. (accessed November 27, 2018). Arlidge, John. “Global Youthquake: How a New Generation is Finding its Political Voice.” Evening Standard, July 13, 2017. (accessed November 27, 2018). Ganguly, Manisha. “’Youthquake’ Named Word of the Year by Oxford.” CNN, December 15, 2017. (accessed November 27, 2018). Gapper, John. “How Millennials Became the World’s Most Powerful Consumers.” (accessed November 27, 2018).



In a rapidly changing global environment, how do we keep track and make sense of the different events and trends around us?  What are the missed opportunities we could have known about?

At IMD we believe these are crucial questions that business leaders need to be asking themselves.  “IMD Global Signals™” help you explore the various trends (signals) happening in the world. The signals are regularly updated to reflect the changing times.