The Youth Lab


Even if the year is starting to wind down, life certainly isn’t - from fashion drama to football drama, big stories from across the world this week sparked discourse among youth audiences. For 52INSIGHTS this week, we’re sharing 10 things that really got us talking.



  • Young people are calling for more radical climate action. A report from the Economic & Social Research Institute, (ESRI) in Ireland revealed that 16-24 year olds are willing to fly less and eat less meat, however they are (and this holds through for the public at large too) not good at understanding which specific actions are beneficial. They, like young people in the UK, are also calling for more action from positions of power - 54% of young people aged 18-24 in the UK think the government isn’t doing enough (YouGov).
  • The shocking reality of just how common domestic violence still is, especially during World Cup season, was front and center of a UK campaign by Women’s Aid called “He’s Coming Home”. The charity reports that since 2018, there has been an increase of up to 38% in instances of domestic violence when football games are on. With this year’s tournament happening in the winter, more people will watch at home, potentially sparking even more domestic violence. The impactful campaign hopes to “subvert the usual football tropes and shine a light on the chilling fact that for many women it’s a time of fear, not celebration… The visual spectacle of the flag retains its power, but with a new, chilling twist.” (Itsnicethat)
  • A new report from Hot & Cool called “Unfit Unfair Unfashionable” provided clear guidelines on the kind of fashion lifestyle changes needed to contribute to a fair transition towards climate neutrality, considering the drastic inequalities seen from carbon emissions and fashion consumption in different countries. They suggest that if you’re not going to take care of your clothes or buy second hand, people should be limited to 5 new items of clothing per year. A great time to explore TikTok #ClothingHacks.


  • This week, luxury zeitgeist brand Balenciaga had people talking for all the wrong reasons. Two recent campaigns caused mega controversy, with images of children holding teddies in BDSM accessories and props that depict images of child abuse. The brand quickly acted - taking images down, sharing a statement, and launching legal proceedings of up to $25million against the set designer. In spite of the controversy, brand ambassador Kim K made a statement that while she is reassessing her collaboration with them, she isn't done with Demna at Balenciaga yet.
  • Checked your Spotify Wrapped yet? It’s here (in the app that is). The eagerly awaited personal data round-up from music streaming giant is likely to be shared widely across social media in the coming days - in 2021, there were 60 million social shares of Spotify Wrapped content. The Wrapped storytelling has a real “I feel seen” kind of vibe, your music choices can tell a lot like the kind of year you’ve had, or even who has been using your account.
  • Apple’s new campaign 'The Greatest' celebrates technology’s role in facilitating accessibility through innovation, with a disabled cast sharing their talents (with the tech giant’s accessibility functions in use). With 15% of the global population experiencing disability, the campaign is a huge milestone in disability representation.


Moving Past Symbolic Representation - Representation matters even more than before. It can show up in so many different ways, from taking into consideration how something is produced or sourced, to the faces in a campaign. More and more people expect brands and businesses to create things that are fair and equitable for the masses. It is an investment, but it will reflect positively on brands and businesses in the long term as well as contributing to a more inclusive and healthy environment for the people and planet.

Time To Reflect - As 2022 starts to come to a close, it’s a good opportunity to pause, take stock, and celebrate the successes, no matter how small. ‘Near Nostalgia’ works well - so get busy re-sharing stories of interest with fans and friends for ‘Peak Engagement Part 2’. …While you’re at it, make sure and recognise the great work by teams and colleagues and reflect on how much has been achieved in 2022, despite the year of crises. Happy Goodwill Season ; )