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What is the Future for Generation Alpha?

Festival of Economics

Watershed  |  £5 – £10

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Faced with falling fertility rates, a cost-of-living crisis and the enduring impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, we look at what the future looks like for the current generation of children.

While every generation has its challenges, Generation Alpha (those born between 2010 and 2025) has endured the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic as young children, compounded with the ever-increasing domination of technology and social networking. 

What does the future have in store for Generation Alpha? Will they go on to have children? Will they be able to retire? Should they forget about the possibility of home ownership entirely? Our panel of experts mull over these questions and discuss what the lives of the children of millennials might look like. The New York Times economics and business reporter Eshe Nelson is joined by Michael McMahon, Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford, to discuss this. Joining them on the panel will be Paul Lindley, founder of Ella’s Kitchen and author of Raising the Nation: How to Build a Better Future for Our Children (and Everyone Else), Olivia Sweeney, former Black and Green Ambassador and consultant at Resource Futures, a sustainable waste consultancy and Sarah O’Connor, columnist, reporter and associate editor at the Financial Times.

Eshe Nelson is a business and economics reporter for The New York Times in London.

Paul Lindley OBE is an award-winning British entrepreneur, social campaigner and best-selling author. In 2006 he founded Ella’s Kitchen, the UK’s largest baby food brand.

Michael McMahon is Professor of Economics at University of Oxford and Senior Research Fellow at St Hugh’s College.

Olivia Sweeney is a lifetime environmentalist and a former Black and Green Ambassador. As part of this, she and two other ambassadors were invited to share the outcomes of their work in the Blue Zone at COP 26.

Sarah O’Connor is a columnist, reporter and associate editor at the Financial Times.

The Festival of Economics is supported by

Pay What You Feel

This event is part of our new ticket pricing structure where we ask people to pay what they feel they can afford in accordance with their means. Read more about it here. Read on for the ticket prices for this event.

One free carer ticket can be booked at the same time for a paying disabled visitor. If you need to book more than one, please contact us before booking to arrange.

Pay It Forward

The Pay It Forward option enables you to book a ticket above the standard price, and will help to subsidise a ticket for someone who requires the Pay What You Can option. This option is aimed at people who are able to meet their basic needs and would like to help somebody else with the cost of their ticket.

  • Is this for me? – I have access to a regular and stable income and I have the means and desire to contribute towards making the event affordable for others and supporting Bristol Ideas.


This recommended price is based on what we’d traditionally charge for a similar event. It helps us make sure that basic costs are covered. This price is aimed at people who are able to meet their basic needs and have enough to live on.

  • Is this for me? – I have access to a regular and disposable income, and I can comfortably afford the recommended ticket price.


This option is lower than the recommended price. It is subsidised by Bristol Ideas and fellow audience members who have booked at the Pay It Forward rate. This price is aimed at people who could do with support to get by.

  • Is this for me? – My access to income is low and unstable and I worry about meeting my basic needs. I would select a concession rate due to my personal circumstances.

No one will be turned away due to lack of funds, so please contact us if you have any queries.

Booking Information

Ticket booking is via Eventbrite. Please review Eventbrite’s terms and conditions and Privacy Policy as Bristol Ideas do not accept any responsibility or liability for the policies. You can read Bristol Ideas’ Privacy policy here.

Please note we only refund tickets if the event is cancelled. Events start punctually and, out of consideration to other audience members and speakers, our policy is not to admit or issue refunds to latecomers. Full Terms and Conditions here.


  • Watershed’s main entrance and Box Office are both on the ground floor which is accessible via a ramped, electronically assisted entrance door.
  • There are two Blue Badge parking spaces to the rear of Watershed on Canons Road.
  • Guide dogs and hearing dogs are very welcome.
  • The first floor of Watershed is accessible via lift from the main entrance and includes level access to all areas, including the cinemas and event spaces.
  • The cinemas and event spaces have induction loops.
  • There is an accessible toilet (with baby changing facilities) near Cinema 1. Follow the signs for the Cinemas and the accessible toilet is just on your left through the double doors before Cinema 1.
  • There are gender neutral toilets in the cinema corridor on the first floor.

Visit Watershed’s Access page for more information.

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