A survey of over 1,000 young people aged between 20 and 30 from around the globe finds that millennials rate social and economic inequality as the top challenge the world faces globally and locally.
Asked what sectors will drive growth in their cities in the short term, technology, tourism and government were the top answers. On the question of what they look for in a job, the opportunity to make a difference in society dominated the survey, with 65% of respondents selecting this choice. Ninety-one per cent of respondents indicated that they would be willing to relocate to advance their careers.
The Global Shapers Annual Survey 2015 is one of the most geographically diverse surveys of millennials, with responses from 125 countries worldwide and 285 cities. The respondents are all members of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, a network of over 450 city-based hubs of young, civically engaged leaders aged between 20 and 30.
“The Global Shapers Annual Survey 2015 reveals that millennials care about society in their reflections and also in their own career and economic choices. In addition to the diversity that we observe, the survey reminds us of those things that millennials value everywhere,” said Yemi Babington-Ashaye, Head of the Global Shapers Community, World Economic Forum. Beyond inequality, the survey finds that youth unemployment and government transparency are the second and third most important issues that need to be addressed in cities. At the global level, climate change and education are the second and third priorities.
The Global Shapers Annual Survey also explores what millennials seek in employers and the level of trust in key institutions in society including: religious leaders, news media, the army, the government and NGOs.
Nelson Mandela tops an impressive list of leaders that millennials admire, with Pope Francis and Elon Musk in second and third place respectively. The social entrepreneur Muhammad Yunus is among the political and business leaders in the top 10.
Elsewhere in the survey, 75% indicated that they would buy local instead of imported goods and services. The survey also reveals which sectors the millennials consider need reforms to adapt to young people. Finally, the tablet computer comes firmly in third place in the list of devices that millennials use to navigate the internet, with personal computers more popular than smartphones.