Maarten Leyts is a pioneer in studying youth culture, creators, and emergent trends. With Trendwolves, the company he founded in 2006, he has been translating insights around youth trends and young families into products, strategies and value for European brands - from banking to the cultural investments of the European Union. As the former President of JINT, the youth policy, development and investment arm of the Belgian government, he built a global network working with youth champions, activists, educators and entrepreneurs all over the world, a network that continues to thrive and inform his ongoing work around global trends driven by the youth. His new book Gen (Z)Alpha in Meta, published spring 2022, predicts the consumers of the future through understanding the world that GenAlpha is shaping right now. It examines the impact of technology and digitization on the values, brain development and social interactions of this generation, and shows how young entrepreneurs and influencers use new media to create and engage in the Metaverse. Maarten is also passionate about equipping GenAlpha with both entrepreneurship and ethics training to address the challenges around DEI; algorithmic biases and fairness; and environmental sustainability that many of today’s top brands have not baked into their DNA. Maarten is based in Belgium and is father to both GenZ and GenAlpha kids, with the latter polymaths active on Russian social media sites. Session time: Thursday - 2 February 2023 4:00 - 4:30PM CET
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