HP Innovation Issue 18: Summer 2021 | Page 23

enormous impact on earlier generations , Gen Z is more likely to reimagine today ’ s digital devices and what they can do , rather than be shaped by them .
Like their counterparts worldwide , members of Gen Z in the United States often reject labels and are a more pluralistic cohort than any before them . They ’ re more racially and ethnically diverse than previous generations , and roughly half of them view binary gender labels as outdated . In a survey by Ernst & Young , only one in five members of Gen Z say they are interested in politics , yet at the same time , some 60 % are very worried about climate change . They see themselves as increasingly being called to action , both environmentally and socially . ( For more statistics that shed light on Gen Z and its attitudes , see “ By the Numbers ” on page 12 .)
Daryl Butler , HP ’ s Global Head of Marketing for Gaming Systems & Services , has a unique perspective on Gen Z , having both worked alongside them and also stood by them in social justice organizing . “ I think young people have basically said , ‘ Enough of that ,’ ” Butler explains . “ ‘ We ’ re not going to rely on the system to fix the problems .
We ’ re going to fix them ourselves . We ’ re going to mobilize , and we ’ re going to be more active at the voting booth .’ ”
Their activism and engagement extend beyond the political sphere , with majorities of Gen Z consumers indicating they want to support companies that are inclusive and that help consumers engage with social issues .
“ They ’ re also holding brands more accountable ,” Butler continues , “ and using their wallets as tools to effect change . I think that ’ s one of the things that ’ s really materially different .”
At Innovation , we recognize 15 inspiring Gen Zers in addition to Patton who are working to make the world a better place . Their methods are wide-ranging — some tap into grassroots organizing , while others raise awareness with elegant tech-based solutions . Together , they represent a cross section of the biggest challenges they ’ ve inherited : climate change , plastics pollution , lack of health care for Indigenous people , violence against women , and social injustice . During a period in history where it is easy to be pessimistic about the planet ’ s future , they are much-needed sources of hope .
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