(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 24, 2018, Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers his speech during the VivaTech (Viva Technology) trade fair in Paris.  Facebook's woes mounted Wednesday, December 19, 2018 as it faced a lawsuit alleging privacy violations related to data leaked to a consultancy working on Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, and as a new report suggested it shared more data with partners than it had said. The suit filed by the District of Columbia attorney general is likely the first by an official US body that could impose consequences on the world's leading social network for data misuse.
Mark Zuckerberg is a perfect example of the successful millennial. / AFP / GERARD JULIEN

Generation Z versus the millennials – coming soon to a street near you

In the last few years, populism and nationalism have risen, largely driven by the resentments of an older generation that feels betrayed by the way the world has turned out. But if you thought things were bad now, the future could be even worse, with another group of men and women poised to fall into the same trap.

Members of Generation Jones – those born between 1955 and 1964 – and the baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1954) grew up in relative confidence that their place in the world was assured. Many of them passed these ideas on to their own children – often referred to as “boomers 2”. However, the financial crisis, the internet age and shifting demographic trends blew away those illusions.

Like a badly titled horror flick, Generation Z versus the millennials could be coming soon to a street corner near you. Born after 1995, Gen Zs have never known a world without the internet. Millennials, or Gen Y (typically born between 1980 and 1994, although some definitions include those born up to the year 2000), on the other hand, were handed the raw deal of coming of age in the years immediately preceding the financial crisis, then seeing all of their assumptions scuppered by austerity and the digital revolution.

Influential millennials include Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Kim Kardashian and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Gen Z includes Malala Yousafzai – the youngest person to win the Nobel peace prize.

Where Generation X (born between 1965 and 1979) – including myself – have found relative happiness in our middle age, we did have a relatively easy run of it, and didn’t have to spend our youth worrying about the effects of disruptive technology.

Millennials don’t have that luxury, squeezed as they are by the angry old boomers 2, who tend to make the decisions, and the energised, ultra-capable youngsters rising fast behind them.

Fortunately, I don’t need to worry so much about my own children (Gen Alpha, from 2012). Born into a changing world, digitally native and equipped to handle whatever is thrown at them, the kids will be alright.

It’s those in their late twenties and in early thirties who need our help the most.

It is worth saying that these labels, much like the signs of the zodiac, can be vague, self-fulfilling and that many people who fall on the cusp of generations exhibit the  traits of both.

There is also a tendency these days to keep adding new labels and to subdivide people into narrower and narrower taxonomies. It is also dangerous to make sweeping generalisations about large groups of people. Gen Zs are said to be seen as confident and motivated, while millennials are cast as ungrateful, entitled and unmanageable in the workplace. All of these descriptions could apply equally well to plenty of people on their fifties and sixties.

While we Generation Xers sometimes have a hard time understanding millennials, those same millennials could face a similarly fraught relationship with the Gen Zers behind them. Millennials have not had much time to evolve past the problems of living a life according to pre-crisis norms, such as taking on high levels of personal debt. Gen Zs, by contrast, are already saving for the future.

For the past decade, millennials have also been fed a daily diet of messaging that their futures will be filled with political upheaval, precarious employment and diminished prospects.

To their credit, they have responded by changing their own sense of what constitutes wealth – a sustainable and ecologically diverse planet over owning a home, the ability to be passionate and productive over earning a large salary. Ethics and social impact have become the bottom line for this age group.

Gen Zs, meanwhile, are already with the programme, showing signs of real activism on the political front and taking more responsibility for governance. They also champion equal rights for all over the idea of life being an individual race to the top. They will also have new tools to work with such as peer-to-peer payment systems and a wealth of innovations, thanks to artificial intelligence.

Both groups care a great deal about the dangers of climate change and the importance of bio-diversity. Sounds like a formula for a better world, doesn’t it? Let’s just hope that the millennials and the Gen Zs can work together to create it.

We must make sure that millennials are not left behind. If not, we will experience a period of similar regression to that which we are experiencing now. How can we do that? The more mature of us can stop sneering at them for a start, whether behind their backs in the office or in the relative anonymity of social media. Life isn’t easy for anyone, these days, so we should all make respect for those younger than ourselves a standard part of common decency.

Mustafa Alrawi is an assistant editor-in-chief at The National

Martin Sabbagh profile

Job: CEO JCDecaux Middle East

In the role: Since January 2015

Lives: In the UAE

Background: M&A, investment banking

Studied: Corporate finance

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government


Author: Abdullah Khan
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Pages: 304
Available: Now

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

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Saturday Benevento v Atalanta (2pm), Genoa v Bologna (5pm), AC Milan v Torino (7.45pm)

Sunday Roma v Inter Milan (3.30pm), Udinese v Napoli, Hellas Verona v Crotone, Parma v Lazio (2pm), Fiorentina v Cagliari (9pm), Juventus v Sassuolo (11.45pm)

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July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone


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Recycle Reuse Repurpose

New central waste facility on site at expo Dubai South area to  handle estimated 173 tonne of waste generated daily by millions of visitors

Recyclables such as plastic, paper, glass will be collected from bins on the expo site and taken to the new expo Central Waste Facility on site

Organic waste will be processed at the new onsite Central Waste Facility, treated and converted into compost to be re-used to green the expo area

Of 173 tonnes of waste daily, an estimated 39 per cent will be recyclables, 48 per cent  organic waste  and 13 per cent  general waste.

About 147 tonnes will be recycled and converted to new products at another existing facility in Ras Al Khor

Recycling at Ras Al Khor unit:

Plastic items to be converted to plastic bags and recycled

Paper pulp moulded products such as cup carriers, egg trays, seed pots, and food packaging trays

Glass waste into bowls, lights, candle holders, serving trays and coasters

Aim is for 85 per cent of waste from the site to be diverted from landfill 

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