Gen Z Trends

Gen Z’s Challenge to Us: Rise to the Occasion or Be Left Behind


Ever heard the saying, “Youth is wasted on the young“? Gen Z is flipping that age-old adage on its head. They’re only just entering the workforce, yet they’re already demanding more from it than any previous generation. And they’re not asking for bean bag chairs and foosball tables; they want radical climate action and sustainable solutions.

Gen Z’s Wake-up Call to the World

According to Deloitte’s 2023 Gen Z and Millennial Survey, a staggering 42% of Gen Z is ready to walk away from their job or industry due to climate concerns. This isn’t a vague threat – they’re making good on their promises.

Enter the world of Moonshot Pirates. Here, we do not wait for the future to happen; we create it. Our Shape the Future Challenges connect brilliant Gen Z minds with visionary companies to co-create sustainable solutions for real-world problems. And you know what? It’s working.

Digital Natives Making a Difference

Let me introduce you to some of our pirates and their brilliant ideas. 

Meet Ecoteck, a team of young visionaries who looked at our daily commute and saw an opportunity for change. They devised smart glasses that deliver real-time information right before our eyes, tackling distracted driving and inefficient commuting head-on. They’ve made it their mission to redefine driving, not in the future, but today.

And there’s Autopreneurs. When they looked at the traffic cameras dotting our highways, they saw not just surveillance devices, but life-saving tools. Their AI solution assesses road risks, helping prevent accidents before they occur.

Not forgetting LOOP. This team of innovators is tackling epilepsy, a condition that affects 50 million people worldwide, most of whom can’t afford treatment. Their solution? A wristband that detects incoming seizures, and a handheld device that stops focal seizures in real-time. They’re not just treating epilepsy – they’re creating a unified platform for brain treatment, recovery, and augmentation.

Then there’s Salty Sirens, a finalist nominated by the Shape the Future challenge partner Volkswagen Group. Their game-changing solution is a sodium-ion battery for maritime vessels. This innovative battery would take in saltwater from the ocean and directly power the vessel. Talking about making waves!

Empowering the Shapers of Tomorrow

Impressive, right? But these young people aren’t just shaping the future; they’re challenging us to rise to the occasion with them. It’s a call echoed by Thomas Greiner, working in Innovation Strategy at ASFINAG: 

“I’m glad that ASFINAG has the courage to get challenged with new approaches from the younger generation. By working together, we are changing the future of mobility in a sustainable way.”

Engaging with Generation Z isn’t just about staying relevant. It’s about aligning with a generation that’s ready to take on the world. By investing in these young innovators, we aren’t just shaping the future – we’re empowering it.

So here’s our challenge to you: Will you rise to the occasion with us, or be left behind?

Above mentioned projects

EcoTeck by Harman ManikCyra Anindya AleshaAgastya Rathee

Autopreneurs by Tobias LendlOliver SommerLilia GerberLuis Kalckstein

Loop by Emilio Bazán SánchezZara Pehlivani

Salty Sirens by Rujul BugeManasvi Meka, Anisha Srinivasan, Raina Raphy, Julia Seiple

Enjoyed reading this article? Ever invited a pirate for a coffee? Now’s your chance.

Tagged as gen z, young innovators

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