In a survey of over 3,000 young people in 100 countries, most identify themselves as members of a “global community,” concerned about the problems of the planet.[i] Youth today are the first global generation, the first to experience a new world different from what their parents knew growing up.[ii] Most of the 25,000 youth surveyed in 2010 express satisfaction with “the age in which I live,” especially the Indians. These young people, ages 16 to 29, have a “new consciousness” brought about by globalization’s electronic communication that creates a “global flow of emotions.” When analyzing what shapes their identity, youth reported that their global humanity (81%) is more influential than their nationality (70%), ethnic group (53%), or their religion (43%). Their personal education and profession are most important in shaping identity, especially in emerging countries. In most countries, a majority of youth believe that what happens in the world has an impact on their lives, with the exception of young people in Finland, Romania, Morocco, Israel, and India. Another sign of their international outlook, youth are more likely to trust the UN and other international organizations than their elders. The editor of the study predicts youth’s global consciousness will replace class and national consciousness, perhaps leading to a Western-influenced humanist “cosmopolicy.”
[ii] This paragraph is drawn from Dominique Reynié, ed., “World Youths,” Foundation Pour L’Innovation Politique,” 2011. Electronic survey in 2010 by TNS Opinion of 25,000 youth born between 1981 and 1994 in 25 countries, plus 7,714 respondents aged 30 to 50, pp. 13, 16, 72.