Today, we hear from Andrew McPeak. Andrew is a writer, curriculum designer, and speaker who has served with a number of non-profit organizations (and has spoken to thousands of Millennials) over the last 5 years. He now serves on our team at Growing Leaders.

This has been a year of change for our county and our world. In the midst of this change, there is one shift that is perhaps more important than any other: a new generation is rising to prominence. Generation Z (those born since 2001) will soon be in your classrooms, lecture halls, and board rooms, and if we aren’t ready, they may take us by surprise.

This year, I had the pleasure of sitting down with over a hundred members of Generation Z in focus groups across the country. Through these conversations and our ongoing research, we’ve uncovered many fascinating trends about the next generation that will shape 2017.

As you consider how your work with them will change in the new year, think too about these realities. If we aren’t preparing for this new generation, we may be lost when they arrive. Here are five insights we gained about Generation Z this year.