The Story

The Renovation Generation

A podcast series from Vietnam meeting the young minds re-imagining their country’s future.

In unprecedented times of peaceful prosperity, these Vietnamese are writing their own scripts, living lives that were merely a dream thirty years previously.

The stories shared in these podcasts are personal: about love, boundaries, parents, and freedom, yet also part of a universal discourse, in the dawn of the digital revolution, increasing globalization and shrewd capitalism.

In the backdrop of Đổi Mới, the name given to the 1986 ‘renovation policy’ that would transform Vietnam, we share 30 portraits of those born after that year, dubbing them the ‘Renovation Generation’. With Đổi Mới came flooding international trade, foreign alliances, and increased economic prosperity. We talk about the unique challenges of a generation with such an enormous discrepancy between themselves and everyone born within the same national borders before them.

The Background

Renew, Innovate, Change. Those are the possible translations for the Vietnamese words Đổi Mới. It is also the name given to the 1986 policy reform that would transform Vietnam from a centrally controlled market system, to a ‘socialist led market economy’. Đổi Mới, or: Renovation Policy.

They are the first generation for as long as anybody seems to be able to remember to have grown up in times of peace, independence, unprecedented economic growth and with it, a shrewd form of capitalism with all its inequality and like the rest of the world, in the dawn of the digital revolution and increasing globilization.

Vietnam has one of the fastest growing Internet populations and if anyone was wondering, one motorbike for every three people.  An increasing rift between the under-30s and their parents and grandparents generation is forming.

Currently the median age in Vietnam is just under 30. Meaning 50% of the population has less then three decades of life to look back on. Almost a quarter of them are below the age of 14. The population nearly doubled from 50 million after North and South Vietnam reunified in 1975 to over 90 million today.