Meaning Making: 8 Values That Drive America’s Newest Generations

Generation Z values ___________.

How do you answer that question? How does your organization answer it?

How do young people answer it? That’s the question we started with. Meaning Making: 8 Values That Drive America’s Newest Generations is here to help you answer these very questions, with our research and investigation into the values that young people, ages 13 to 25, practice and uphold.  

Springtide surveyed young people nationwide and the eight values highlighted in this book—accountable, inclusive, authentic, welcoming, impactful, relational, growthful, and meaningful—emerged as all-important for both young people and the organizations they join to practice and embody.  

Accountability is about clear expectations, shared purpose, and forums for feedback. 

Being impactful is about actively engaging key social issues and thoughtfully minimizing harm. 

To be inclusive is to be welcoming, supportive, and respectful. 

Practicing being relational includes thoughtful investments in both bridging and bonding connections. 

Authenticity is characterized by the ability to be totally oneself, without worry about performing a certain way. 

Valuing growth means encouraging a disposition of curiosity and learning, as well a capacity for flexibility and adaptability. 

The value of welcoming is both a gesture of hospitality and a felt experience of belonging. 

Meaning making is about grasping for more, moving beyond what’s expected, pursuing the big questions and living them out. 

Meaning Making offers narratives, definitions, data, and case studies to unpack and understand these eight core values. Filled with practical tips on how to act on this research, you can begin to weave these values into the fabric of your organization’s culture. 

Get a free digital chapter highlighting one of the eight values in Meaning Making.

What does it mean that Generation Z wants to practice these values?

What does it mean for organizations and individuals in their lives?

Join Dr. Josh Packard, Springtide Executive Director, and Ellen B. Koneck, Head Writer at Springtide, in these short videos that unpack the 8 values highlighted in Meaning Making. They discuss the data, define terms, point out examples, take reader questions, and highlight the actual voices of young people with clips from our podcast series. Each episode is perfect for your half-hour lunch breaks. You’ll come away with a deeper understanding about how you might bring these values to life in your organization.


Voices of Young People Podcast

In season 2 of our podcast, Josh talks with young people to hear their lived experience, based on the values found in Meaning Making.

Join the conversation

Use the hashtag #MeaningMakingBook to spread the word and share your stories on social media. If you're on Twitter, click to tweet below using Springtide's draft—or create your own!


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