This site has been retired and is no longer maintained. The new site can be accessed through this link: Please use this link going forward. You will be directed to the new site in 10 seconds. The old site will be deactivated on October 31, 2016, please update your bookmarks accordingly.




To view / download "Decades of Youth" Infographic and "Meet the Founders" Summary and Pictorial, click here (

New York, NY – December 2, 2015 – MTV today revealed the findings of a study it conducted with members of the generation born following 2001 – commonly referred to as "Gen Z" – to answer the simple question, "If you had the opportunity to name your own generation, what would you call it?" 

Over the course of multiple in-person and virtual creative ideation sessions with more than 500 potential names brainstormed, MTV fielded a nationwide survey of more than 1000 13- and 14-year-olds that officially crowned "The Founder Generation" as its top choice. The study revealed this generation's feeling that, following on the heels of the disruption seen during the advent of the Millennials, the Founder Generation will be tasked with building a new social order.

"The name 'Gen Z' has always seemed like a bit of placeholder to us – it doesn't convey any sense of identity for this generation – so we thought, 'Why not ask them to name themselves?" said Jane Gould, Senior Vice President of MTV Insights. "As it turns out, not only do these kids have a clear identity, they have a stunningly intuitive sense of the changing times they've been born into, and the huge opportunity that lies ahead to make new history." 

What we know about The Founder Generation…

The Founders are the most diverse and accepting generation in history as births of people of color continue to outpace white births in the U.S. (since 2011) and gender fluidity is becoming increasingly accepted.

     * 90 percent of 13-14 year olds say: "my generation is going to start a new society where diversity is accepted and encouraged" 
     * 91 percent of 13-14 year olds say: "technology has helped my generation understand people who are different in terms of race, religion and sexuality"

They are the post-9/11 generation (almost all are born after September 11, 2001) and have never known a world where terrorism isn't a real domestic threat.

They don't know a world without YouTube and mainstream social networking sites that offer constant connection and where idols are entirely self-made.

They've been swiping screens since birth and their birth announcements were likely on social media.

They feel very strongly that they are laying a foundation for a new future.

     * 91 percent of 13-14 year olds say: "I'm optimistic our generation can build a better world"

A common theme that emerged during the naming process was a generation much more pragmatic and focused on rehabilitating the world around them, which was reflected in the top five names from MTV's survey results from 1,047 13-14 year olds in rank order:

1. The Founder Generation – founding a whole new world

2. The Bridge Generation – bridging the gap between the old and new world

3. The Builder Generation – building a new world

4. The Regenerator Generation – regenerating the world as we know it

5. The Navigator Generation – navigating the new world for older generations

The MTV research found significant differences between the emerging Founders and Millennials, who are best known for championing LGBT and racial equality as well as upending entire industries from music to hospitality, transportation (taxis), media and more.

Founders are seen as "pragmatists" who will forge a new world in the wake of Millennial disruption, while Millennials broadly have been characterized as "dreamers" who have actively disturbed and dismantled the system. The inherent differences between generations can largely be attributed to parenting styles as well as the global and local forces impacting society at the time of their birth and into early childhood.

Following 9/11 and the financial crisis, Founders were parented by realist Gen X parents who instilled a more balanced sense of optimism with a dose of practicality. In contrast, Millennials, who were born of Boomer parents, experienced a childhood where "the world was their oyster" and success was a given (or so they thought). In addition, Millennials exhibited an external confidence that the world would propel them to success while Founders have taken a more active role in building an internal locus of control necessary to navigate a tough world. 

MTV's "The Founders Generation" study was conducted in partnership with Red Peak Youth, the youth-focused unit of strategic branding agency Red Peak Branding. The research included creative qualitative groups fielded locally and virtual creative exercises with young people around the country to talk about what differentiates them from other generations and what they'd name themselves. In addition, the study included a quantitative nationwide survey of 1,047 13-14 years-olds.

About MTV

MTV is a global media brand inspired by the freedom and passion of youth.  For more information, check out  MTV is a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA).











decades of youth final 12 01 2015 Assets/Forms/DispForm.aspx?ID=5172decades of youth final 12 01 2015