Your Big Year USA

Marti Grimminck, founder and CEO of International Connector, was back at ITB Berlin this year. Grimminck works as an educator for many organisations, facilitating leadership teams through a paradigm shift in their approach to the emerging workforce today. She was at the show talking about a new project for young travellers. We asked her to tell us more.

This summer, 4 young GenZs will travel from Chicago to San Francisco in the name of Your Big Year. With support from amazing US cities such as Nashville, St. Louis, Birmingham and the US National Parks Conservation Association, and a band of youth travel specialists including Smaller Earth, World Nomads and the Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA), we will see a new voice and perspective on travel.

Who is Generation Z?

T hisemerging demographic is just hitting adulthood, and the generation is bringing a fury of new technological habits, expectations and more importantly new social rules. Similar to Millennials, GenZs are keen to forge their own way and make their own decisions on products and services. The self-customisation opportunity allows them to authentically find what is their personal interest.

Generation Z consumer is not to be overlooked anywhere globally. In the US alone there are 65 million, with a total buying power of $43bn. Furthermore, GenZs bring an additional $600bn of family purchasing power and 93% of parents of this generation say their children influence their family’s spending (Chamber of Commerce).

What makes them a challenge to reach is that their media consumption is different than older generations. In fact, according to a study by the University of Maryland, 79% of GenZs display symptoms of emotional distress when kept away from their personal electronic devices.


What exactly is Your Big Year USA?

Your Big Year USA production will set off in July 2018 from Chicago with four young travellers and a filmmaker. The trip will explore all means of travel from flights, car, train, bus and even bicycle, as well as all means of accommodation from hostels, hotels, sharedspaces, camping and RVs! In each of the city stops, the Your Big Year travelers will explore what makes this destination unique including diving into historical, cultural and sociological elements. For example, in Birmingham, the youth will have a civil rights tour with a ‘foot soldier’ of the civil rights movement.

The trip will be documented in a series of short-content webisodes, a reality-TV 3.0 format, supplemented by social posts, snaps, chats and tweets, again, reaching the Generation Z and millennial audience

Photo: Marti Grimminck Founder & CEO, International Connector