Global Youth Get Their Culture From Everywhere

Global youth are seeing the world in a different light, looking past traditional Western icons and toward other regions.

Today’s youth are growing up constantly connected to the world around them —  culture travels to them from all over, free of the constraints of geographic borders. In the blink of an eye, they can update themselves on the latest fashion, behaviors, opinions, music, brands and other items of interest originating from anywhere.

They’re seeing the world in a different light, looking past traditional Western icons and toward other regions. For example in Asia, young entrepreneurs and others on the lookout for whatever is new are turning to neighboring countries in their own part of the world for inspiration, as well as Western countries.

Discomfort is breeding creativity in emerging countries like Mexico, Brazil and South Africa, which are fertile zones for new ways of thinking. Youth in these countries are creating unique styles that mash up pride in their own roots with elements from other cultures.

Rita, a 17-year-old we talked to in Spain, isn’t limited by geography when seeking interesting content. “I use YouTube to discover music and other strange things not in the mainstream. Local artists from far away and stuff like that.”

And 16-year-old Joe in Sydney told us this: “My offline world is quite small – school, homework, soccer, chilling with friends. My online world is endless. That’s where I discover weird, new music like Keith Ape from Korea.” Arguably in the past, this type of discovery would have been impossible.

Western culture is of course hugely influential – everyone still knows who Kim Kardashian is! But it may be losing a bit of its “cutting edge” quality as youth draw from a limitless world of inspiration all around them.