Future 50
A New Generation of Leaders Arrives

For influencing other teens to strategically chase their dreams

When he was 8 years old, Jenk Oz came up with an idea to send his friends an email covering the very latest in his world: sneakers, shows, games, extreme sports, whatever. By the time he turned 11 in 2017, Oz launched it as a content hub called iCoolKid and staked his claim as the United Kingdom’s youngest CEO. Now known as Thred, the site is a Gen Z go-to for news, pop culture and social change. Or as the company immodestly puts it: the internet’s ultimate highlight reel of coolness.

Thred is but a sliver of Oz’s influence. As an author and speaker—including TED Talks—Oz also runs a consultancy, helping business leaders make sure their projects connect with digital natives and the trillions of U.S. dollars they might spend. 

The company Oz built is “dedicated to understanding, employing and developing Generation Z.” And that includes helping young people build a project mindset. Part of his message: Use time during summer holidays from school to tackle initiatives that make a difference in the world, whether it’s organizing a charity event or launching a startup. 

Among Oz’s adages: “If you treat your idea like a dream today, you’ll have a dream tomorrow. But if you treat your idea like a company today, you’ll have a company tomorrow.”