The 2010s seemed to signal the dawn of a new era in activism, where youth are leading the way: Malala, Emma Gonzalez, Greta Thunberg. It’s perhaps unsurprising, then, that on the topics of activism and politics, the overwhelming sentiment coming from Gen Z respondents was: We’re on it. 

That’s not to say that they seemed confident things will get better. In fact, most of their predictions about the future—in regards to issues such as climate change, wealth disparity, and human rights offenses—pragmatically (and at times with shocking pessimism) pointed to conditions worsening. But they also seemed to recognize power in their own self-awareness. Overall, their responses implied an expectation that the next decade is going to require an increase in political engagement, and a sense that they’re ready to step up in order to create a more just and sustainable future.


 said they identify as activists.

(Activism US + UK, VICE Voices 2018)

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Nora Alamiri

21, Pennsylvania 

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Activism Poster Left
Activism Poster Left
Activism Poster Left

While older generations have long debated over the relative effectiveness of online activism and on-the-ground organizing, our Gen Z respondents appeared to view them as two sides of the same coin.

A majority said that, in the next 10 years, they plan to use both offline and online activism to fight for issues they believe in. 80% said they will join organizations that fight for the issues they care about 

79% said they will attend protests and rallies

70% said they will use social media to voice concerns and create change

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IIn regards to climate change, they showed an extreme level of pessimism. Nearly half predicted that by 2030, their government will have put these mitigators in place: local emissions goals for cities and towns, mandated decreases in personal energy usage, large-scale plastic recycling and re-use efforts, increased water conversation, and stricter sustainability thresholds for companies. But even more respondents predicted that by then, climate change’s consequences will already be much worse—to a level of catastrophe far more severe than even cynical predictions by climate scientists.

By 2030… 

79% predicted that natural disasters will occur with extreme frequency 
73% predicted that some countries will have run out of water 
66% predicted that coral reefs will be permanently destroyed 
60% predicted that ice caps will be permanently melted 
52% predicted one or more major cities will be underwater 
48% predicted that climate change will start a new world war


said they want to get involved in politics.

(Future Census US + UK, Vice Voices 2018)

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Lena Habtu

15, New York 

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Gen Z

Gen Y

Gen X

6 in 10

6 in 10 said they believe the wealth gap will get worse over the next decade. Asked what they expect their government to do in the next 10 years to combat income inequality, the top answers were: increase taxes on the rich and raise the minimum wage. In addition, 20% said they expect their government to embrace economic socialism by 2030. 

Only 8% of Millenial and 4% of Gen X respondents made the same prediction. 

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Nine in 10 showed a belief that by 2030, identity-based violence will still be an issue. In the next ten years, they expect that we will be addressing the issue through several, interlocking strategies.

73% said we’ll create more local organizations that fight for human rights

73% said politicians will focus more on human rights

57% said we will implement basic socialism to ensure access to basic services for all


said they embrace increased immigration.

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The VICE Logo Guide to 2030

A project by VICE Media Group 2020 / All Rights Reserved
Statistical information from VICE Voices