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Zak  Dychtwald

Zak Dychtwald

China Expert, Millennial Explorer & Cultural Futurist


Zak Dychtwald is a lifelong fan of interesting people, big ideas, great food, new adventures, science fiction and religious meaning. A writer, consultant, and public speaker, he has traveled extensively throughout five continents to explore what makes people and cultures tick while searching for glimpses into the future. Read More >

After graduating from Columbia University in 2012, he moved to China to explore the country and get to know China’s young people on their own turf.  Over the next four years, through living in tenements, hostels, and high rises, traveling thousands of miles throughout both the Eastern megacities as well as China’s developing interior, interviewing locals from Guangzhou to Chengdu to Shangri-La, Zak realized that the China we talk about in the West is far different than the new futuristic China he saw emerging.

When the world talks about China, the focus is usually on the past: old stereotypes, old politics, old traditions and the older generations. But China’s future is being determined right now by their Millennials. In their lifetime, these young people have witnessed: the Internet open up China to the world, a massive longevity boom coupled with a baby bust creating a 4-2-1 demography, and surging capitalist success directed by their “Communist” government. While their parents were consumed with survival questions around food, housing, and subsistence, young China is asking: Who do we want to be? How do we want to live? What should be the purpose of money? What will China’s role be in the 21st century? He covers this and much more in his first book Young China: How the Restless Generational Will Change Their Country and the World (St. Martin’s Press; 2/18) which is already receiving high praise.

Through his writing, speaking, and consulting, Zak’s overarching goal is to enrich and advance the way the world understands China. He has recently relocated to New York City where he is the Founding CEO of the Young China Global Group - think tank and consultancy. A fluent Mandarin speaker, he spends a third of the year in China. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Speaking Reel

Speech Topics

Young China Rising: From Imitation to Innovation

When we think of China, we too often think of “old:” 5,000 years of history and tradition, outdated leadership, and an imitative, sluggish economic model. But a large and utterly unique  generation is creating a new Chinese culture with a fresh set of needs, desires, fears, expectations and dreams. Young China is rising—take a dive into the people and trends that will impacting the world now and into the future. Zak Dychtwald explains and illustrates how China’s future will impact your marketplace, your workplace and your life. 

Are You China Ready? The Five Things You Absolutely Must Know if You Want to Sell to Young China

Among China’s Millennials, there is a tremendous thirst for Western products and services – from laptops to lipstick from snack foods to university degrees. However, this proud, aspirational, product-hungry Millennial market does not necessarily equate “product cool” with Americanization. A new hybrid of east/west, past/future appetites are emerging. In this unique presentation, Zak Dychtwald will outline the five things you absolutely must know if you want to sell your products and/or services to China’s 400 million young consumers.

The East/West Millennial Mindset

The worldwide millennial generation is the most globally connected, aware, and cosmopolitan in human history. Their unique way of seeing the world is transforming the way all generations think, interact, and consume around the world. In this speech, Dychtwald compares and contrasts the U.S. and Chinese millennial markets and defines opportunities in technology, consumption, and branding that will decide if your company sinks or swims in the 21st century.

A Boomer/Millennial Smackdown: Presented by Zak & Ken Dychtwald

Son and father - Zak and Ken Dychtwald (Age Wave, Boomer expert) - will together present a fun, mind-stretching and actionable analysis of how much money and time Boomers and Millennials have to spend and how they envision family, friends, work, money, success and purpose. They will explore what keeps each cohort up at night, the ideal role of tech in their lives and what they’re looking to do, buy and be at this point in their lives.