The Current

Teens share what defines Generation Z

Meet three Canadian teenagers who take us into their schools, lives, and ultimately show us how they differ from the generations who came before them. From Vancouver to Calgary to Ottawa, we meet teens with diverse and universal stories.
Sam Dyck is a student at Forest Lawn High School in Calgary.
Introducing Generation Z: Daniel McInnis 0:24

"Generation Z is a different species from Millenials. The internet and technology is not something that is an extra addition to their lives ... it is their lives." - Amanda Slavin, Demographer

"They are the smartest generation. They care a lot. Youth activism has been growing year over year in both high school and university ..." - Don Tapscott, Demographer

"I know all the claims for this being the most informed, worldly, outwardly direction generation in a long time but when we look at the concrete measures of achievement we simply don't see any gains and in some areas we see deterioration." - Mark Bauerlin, Demographer

Three different demographers, with three different takes on "Generation Z".

But enough from demographers ... we're setting out today to really find out how Gen Zers sees themselves,  in their own words.

So, for this segment we hand it over to three Canadian teens:

Sam Dyck is a 16-year-old Forest Lawn High School student in Calgary. He is also a member of the school's Queer Straight Alliance.

Brenda Cerna is a 16-year-old, grade ten student at Vancouver Technical Secondary School.

Daniel McInnis is a 17-year-old, grade 12 student at St Francis Xavier High School in Ottawa. He's also the National science fair winner for his low-cost medical 3D scanner. 


This special Gen Z edition of The Current was produced by The Current's Shannon Higgins and Josh Bloch. It originally aired in March. 

Are you a teen? We want to hear from you. Tell us what you think about how your generation is being represented and what you think sets young people apart today.

Tweet us @TheCurrentCBC, or post a pic on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #GenZCBC to show us what you think defines young people today.


♦ Get ready for Generation Z - Macleans

♦ Generation Z: The kids who'll save the world? - The Globe & Mail

 Younger Canadians say their employers shouldn't expect them to be loyal - Business Vancouver