Generation Z (people born between 1995 and 2015) is probably the most-debated and analyzed generation since the "baby boomers". What makes them different from previous generations is that they are digital natives, that they had access to technology since their earliest years, they grow up with the world's knowledge a few clicks away, almost anytime and from almost anywhere. Adding to that, they are the first generation that grew up in a world that is politically and economically stable, with no major wars or threats, at least not in the Western world. They grew up in a world that is safer, more prosperous and more peaceful and that has made them more free, more daring, less polite, more open to risk and change, less stable and prone to seek rapid gratification. They grew up fearless and that shows up in their day-to-day interactions at work. All of these traits have made them rather infamous. Their parents’ generation needs to lead them towards performance but have ended up leading people that they do not understand and whose inner workings seem paradoxical and are usually very different from what they are used to.
While these differences may seem large and sometimes impossible to reconcile, they are not actually all that new. All generations are different from the generation that preceded them, often in the same way. We have all been more enthusiastic, idealistic, brave, open and adventurous in our youth, that is youth's charm and allure, after all. Today's rebels are often merely tomorrow's conformists. This generation's work needs are not particularly different from the needs of previous generations, they are simply more capable when it comes to articulating and expressing their needs. From this perspective, they are the generation with the biggest chance to change employee relations all over the world, because fear is simultaneously the best motivator (in terms of intensity) and the worst motivator (in terms of quality) and is used excessively in today's organizations. It's time to give it up, and this generation will force us to do that.
In Romania, this generation carries extra meaning. It is the generation of the West, the generation that grew up in a country that was open toward the world in general, especially the Western world. It's a generation that has traveled and is continuing to do so, both physically and also virtually. It is a generation that through immersion and imitation has adopted western societal values. From the research done by various psychologists and sociologists, especially Daniel David, we know that Romania is facing a rare situation, one where a generation's values are directly opposed to the values of the generation preceding it. This is a great challenge to our society but also a great opportunity to rebuild work relations on more productive ground, in a way that is conducive to performance. What Generation Z wants from their working life is what we all wanted, but didn't have the courage to ask for: a constructive organizational culture. It is time to get down to work if we want our differing youngsters to remain by (and on) our side.
Access to conference between 8:30 - 16:30.
Doesn't include access to Speed Private Talks!
The price doesn't include VAT.
Access to entire conference,
including Speed Private Talks access!
The price doesn't include VAT.
08.30 - 09.00
Registration and welcome
09.00 - 13.30
Opening Speech Iuliana Stan
Who is Z? - Panel with Gen Z
Keynote speech Adrian Stanciu
11.15 - 11.40
What’s in us for Z? | panel with employers
Florin Talpeș, Bitdefender
Diana Segărceanu, Avenor
Wili Apreutesei, Romanian Police
Andreea Roșca, moderator
Keynote speech Shaun McCarthy
13:30 - 14:20
14.00 - 16.30
Keynote speech Rob Cooke
What do we do for them?
What’s in Z for me? | panel with consultants
Adrian Stanciu, MsM Ro
Adrian Florea, Trend Consult
Dorin Bodea, Result
Andreea Roșca, moderator
17:00 - 18:00
*Speed Private Talks (SPT) cu keynotes
* Only for participants attending the entire event and limited to 20 places.
IMPORTANT: Translation from Romanian to English will be provided throughout the entire conference!
Access in the conference room is allowed until 8:50!
Journalist, Co-founder, Romanian Business Leaders Foundation
Nearly two decades of working in journalism have taught me about the incredible power of curiosity and of asking questions. About the value of facts and arguments. Nearly ten years of entrepreneurship have taught me that the only way in which we can win is to change and to learn constantly. As the founder of The Vast & The Curious and as a co-founder of the Romanian Business Leaders Foundation I have worked with and interviewed tens of remarkable entrepreneurs and specialists.
Host & Initiator
Managing Partner, Human Synergistics Romania
My parents moved from the countryside to the city more than 50 years ago. 20 years later, I moved from the city to Bucharest. Today, young people leave Romania to study in other countries, sometimes even on other continents, and this is seen as something normal. Countries are the new villages, continents have become the new counties. My parents were searching for stability, I wanted a career, today's youth wants freedom and inclusion. We’re all global citizens now and we feel it with every piece of information we receive. Like my mother refuses to take plane flights, maybe I will refuse an invitation offered by my son to take a few-hour rocket ride to space and back. My child will insist, thinking that I’m ‘outdated' by not accepting it. At the same time, it is my duty to make his invitation possible.
Today, we’re building the Organizations of the Future, and the wisest of them will manage to combine and align all the generations, with all their aspirations. Those organizations will definitely not be about women battling in a world by men, for men, but rather about performing through diversity. They won’t be about the superiority of one generation, X, Y, or Z, but they will be about combining all this diversity. We won’t talk about organizations with fixed structures, or about freelancing, we’ll talk about superior collaboration for relevant and meaningful projects or missions. Even if life and the world as we know them won’t be the same 20 years from now, we are the ones responsible for creating the best frame for the future to come to life and to envelop us. It's our duty to make it possible, even if we may have a hard time adapting to it. One organization at a time.
Associate Dean, Knowledge and Leadership Maastricht School of Management Romania
"The old people are the ones who are courting the past", someone I cannot remember once told me, when in an inspired mood. Personally, I do not think that the differences between the generations are as big as they might sometimes seem. Yesterday's rebels are today's conformists, that is simply the natural way things happen. Something peculiar is happening in Romania, though, in that we are going through a profound shift in the values of our society. The world I grew up in and the world that the people who are 25 today grew up in have very little in common.
Chairman, Human Synergistics Australia & New Zealand
I am a baby boomer. Over my 40+ year career I have seen Gen X and Gen Y come and go and now it’s all about Gen Z. Each generation brings its own expectations about what they want from work, but in many ways, they are not dramatically different. The content changes but the passion remains the same. For Romania, Gen Z may be very special. Born into a post revolution increasingly westernised lifestyle they challenge the status quo, and this demands organisational cultures that integrate differences, resolve conflict constructively and look to capitalize on diversity. Innovation and rapid change are the new normal and Gen Z will drive this.
Robert A. Cooke is CEO and Director of Human Synergistics International and Associate Professor Emeritus of Management at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Cooke was previously an Associate Research Scientist at the University of Michigan’s Survey Research Center (Institute for Social Research) and a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, where he was a National Defense (Title IV) and Commonwealth Edison Fellow.
The author of more than 75 articles, chapters, and technical reports, Cooke’s research has appeared in such journals as Psychological Reports, Science, The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Journal of Applied Psychology, Educational and Psychological Measurement, and Group & Organization Management. Cooke’s research has been selected for the William Davis Memorial Award for outstanding scholarly research and the Douglas McGregor Memorial Award for Excellence in the Applied Social Sciences. His teaching has been recognized with the MBA Professor of the Year Award and the Alumni Award for Outstanding Teaching at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Senior Partner / Business Advisory, Trend Consult
We often hear that there are two realities in Romania: one that is modern, connected to western civilization, educated, entrepreneurial, capitalistic, and another one that is held back, rural, almost illiterate, dependent and fearful. Me and my friends have always considered ourselves to be a part of the progressive, modern, civilized Romania. But I am no longer sure if I am keeping up with this new generation, raised in freedom, digitalized, connected, mobile.
I'm looking at my youngest son, Tibi. At 16, I was proud to have the courage to ride the train alone from Craiova to Piatra Neamt (I had to change trains in Bucharest !!!). Tibi spent 2 weeks alone in Fukuoka, in southern Japan, from where he returned via Seoul and Moscow. And now he is organizing some sort of congress for young people from 10 countries. Our world is changing, nothing new about that (ironic, right?). But I fear that our attempt to drag forward that archaic Romania is making us fall behind a generation that is bias-free, direct, mobile and connected. If my parents' generation was concerned about survival (they are still asking me what we ate today ...), and we were obsessed with performance (money, career, recognition), I'm looking at the new generation and try to decipher its code of motivation. They certainly can not be bought through the classic transaction (money for time). I smell something about the meaning of work, permanent development, novelty and curiosity, meaningful relationships. A blue generation is coming, just as we would like to be! Romania 3.0!
Manager and Senior Consultant, Echipa Result
Globalization and interconnectivity are characteristics which almost fully define the Z Generation. But at the level of organizations, these tendencies have existed for centuries, and the economy has been "global" for a long time. Does the organizational culture of companies have to undergo changes, does the focus on the interests of the organization have to shift in the 21st century? Or is this new generation Z meant to learn and use for their personal interest well-established economical models? Lately, many organizations have invested heavily in cultural remodelling programs, being convinced by the formula "culture makes all the difference." But for the first time in known history, intergenerational changes occur not only at the level of values and ideals, but also at neurophysiological level. How will these transformations impact organizational management and development ?, this is the great challenge that will most likely generate structural transformation in the foundations of future organizations.
Upon graduation of the Police Academy – Faculty of Law in June 2000, I started working in Bucharest Police as an investigator in cases related to violent crimes, organised criminal groups, breaking and entries and extorsion in a organisation which had over 7.500 employees.
At present, I am part of a team which manages the National Police and has a little over 55.000 police persons. With an average age of just 37 years old and approximately 20% with less than 5 years of experience, Romanian National Police is one of the youngest police agency in the European Union. Policing is a service provided by people to people. More then often, this interaction does not occur in the most pleasant circumstances for the citizens we serve since police is (generally) called in to solve issues. Thus, unveiling the truth, inclusiveness and dialog, the central characteristics of Generation Z make a lot of sense and bring added value to our service.
Co-Founder / Executive Director, Avenor College
In 1997 when I graduated from university I had no idea that members of the new Generation Z were being born. The children and the youth of this generation don’t accept anything without questioning it, they don’t accept any pattern or paradigm. They tell things as they are and they accept diversity naturally, making the need for masks almost obsolete. Everything is happening at such a speed that they’re always adapting. They’re pragmatic and minimalist.
In 2007 I co-founded a school which set to reinvent education in real time in order to keep up with the ways and the speed at which the world is evolving. Entering the field of education, as a parent, with corporate and entrepreneurial professional experience, I figured pretty quickly that soon the greatest challenge will be changing the mentality from “control” to “collaboration”. In education especially the shift from ego centric school to egoless school is essential.
All of the 500 students studying at Avenor today are part of Generation Z. Avenor College is not just a modern school; it is an organization based upon collaborative leadership, where education is being done with passion, dedication, generosity, a lot of competence, important material resources, and also from the heart. Thus, I wish to share some of the experience with you all at the conference about Generation Z and the Future’s Organizations.
Founder and CEO, BitDefender
Florin Talpeș, CEO of Bitdefender, creator and producer of one of the world's leading security solutions and the most well-known Romanian IT brand. In 1990, together with his wife Mariuca, Florin Talpeș founded Softwin, an important provider of software solutions and services in Romania. Founded in 2001, Bitdefender is now a company whose products are distributed internationally through a network of partners in over 150 countries. As one of the pioneers of the software industry in Romania, Florin Talpeș was also founder and president of the National Association of Software and Services Industry (ANIS). As President, he led the development of the national software and services strategy in Romania.
Founder and CEO, Saladbox
"This generation looks like nothing that I've seen so far."
In 2012, Dan dared to bet on an idea that everyone said was a neurosis: a concept of fast food with salad. SaladBox started with a 9 square meter experiment in a mall in Cluj. Today, it's a global business, with dozens of restaurants in 12 countries. He was joined by Narcoffee Roasters, Pep & Pepper and other concepts, experimental or already growing.
I always left my jobs when I felt I had nothing to do with the organization and when I could no longer find my place. Several times I went wrong, but most of the time, my departure was an opportunity for professional and personal growth.
I am a man of communication but also a man of people and my personal mission is to help people grow, reach their potential and become better with them, then with others. This is what I do daily and try to be honest by practicing myself first, then chatting about it. I am a graduate of Journalism, I work in communication, events and fundraising for over 10 years, and at present I work in the NGO environment at the Bucharest Community Foundation. For the rest of my time I practice transformational coaching and study psychology and neuroscience. I know good to listen beyond verbal communication and to support people in achieving their higher goals.
Ana Guță, 17 ani
I am Ana, I am 17 years old and I am 11th in the National College “Gheorghe Lazăr”. I am passionate about art, music, psychology and biology. I do not know yet what I want to do next, but I want to get involved in as many projects with an impact on the environment I am in. I think our generation is a kind of "experiment generation". We grew up with the Internet and this gave us the opportunity to access a lot of information, very easily.
Rareș Păun, 18 ani
We, the Z-generation, are guided by our dreams, not by our society. We become what we want to become, we are determined, well prepared, confident in our own powers, full of ideas and energy.
Blockchain evangelist and enntrepreneur, Founder, Aurus
Blockchain evangelist and entrepreneur, Ștefan has experience in software startups all around the world in various domains. He spent the past years of his life as a blockchain advisor alongside UnderDevelopment Office, helping companies find the best way to use blockchain, to innovate within their field. His latest conquest is fin-tech.