The challenge

Facing the future, now: Populus helped prepare governments and organisations for the next generation of global youth with the Misk Global Youth Survey

“This research serves to underline the importance of developing and empowering young people all over the world – not just in Saudi Arabia. Meeting the challenge of change brought about by the fourth industrial revolution will not be easy, but young people the world over have the potential and the attitude to meet it.” 

Shaima Hamidaddin, Executive Manager at the Misk Foundation

What we did

The Misk Global Youth Survey carried out by Populus was a survey of 21,000+ people aged 16 – 35, in 21 countries, from every continent.

The findings were presented at the Misk Global Youth Forum by the Misk Foundation’s Executive Manager Shaima Hamidaddin, alongside Bill Gates, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, and Allen Blue, Co-Founder of LinkedIn.

We took a comprehensive, tailored approach in uncovering the truth about the challenges and opportunities facing young people around the world. The research showed that global youth are unfamiliar with the ‘knowledge economy’ and fear lack of tech skills.

The results

More specifically, our research showed that:

  1. 57% of young people around the world are unfamiliar with the concept of the ‘knowledge economy’
  2. 88% of 16-35 year olds use social media and are as likely to cite internet access as they are issues like addiction or cyber-bullying as problems
  3. In Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and the USA, 95%+ of young people regularly use social media, yet in India, Nigeria, Indonesia and Pakistan, fewer than 30% have internet access, with those three countries alone representing a quarter of the world’s population
  4. A clear majority of young people (59%) are positive about the impact of technology on work, and just 4% believe that technological change is a challenge to their generation.

The questions covered living, learning and working to better understand how global youth rate their mind-set, tech skills and assess their preparedness. Cultural differences and various degrees of awareness explains some of the discrepancies. For example, western young people reported concern around disruption, while youth from the so-called emerging markets feel far more confident about the future.

Populus was meticulous in getting the optimum sample to best represent this group globally: we used a stratified sampling approach to obtain a sample that best represented 16-25 year olds in each market, while minimising selection bias. During the data processing stage, we applied weights on age and gender, to bring the sample in-line with the national profile of 16-35 year olds.

We delivered:

The research has informed organisations and governments on young people’s attitudes towards the Knowledge Economy.