Years ago, social media well and truly lived up to its name. Platforms which enabled the easy exchange of photos and statuses, these media allowed individual engagement for purely social purposes. The last decade has seen social media evolve into something much more overwhelming, addictive and ultimately lucrative than their original ‘social’ role, especially as their most native users have grown up into their most powerful and profitable consumers.
While trends are known to come and go, it is not often you see the economy come full circle. Over 100 years ago, before the turn of the century and the advent of the Industrial Revolution, the notion of a salary was not commonplace. Some estimate that as little as 10% of workers had one, the rest of the population surviving off what we would now refer to as the ‘gig economy’.
What if instead of going to the shops, the shops came to you? For years, the idea of ‘going shopping’ has been understood as a kind of event; shops have been considered a destination for outings, socialising and buying, and a source of retail therapy. However, changes on the social and technological scene in the last decade are now seeing the retail experience evolve into something that renders the idea of ‘going shopping’ almost outdated.
When the world was in deep lockdown last year, a major trend that dominated social media surrounded people’s memories of ‘normal’ life. Clips of life before lockdown boasted scenes of exotic travel locations, shots of passports in hand, bustling crowds, concerts, festivals and interestingly, cinemas.
One example of this trend that circled platforms like TikTok in particular, promised to take viewers back to pre-COVID life as it played the familiar sounds of popular cinema ads, shots of popcorn and dimmed lights, and the famed 20th Century Fox intro.
However, coinciding with this was the seeming demise of cinemas and theatres with the proliferation of streaming services and the accelerating effects of lockdown on these trends. Platforms like this proved to be an unforeseen plot twist in the standing film industry narrative.
“It is trust, more than money, that makes the world go around.”
This statement of Columbia University economics professor Joseph Stiglitz finds new relevance in today’s circumstances. With the past year presenting unprecedented threats and challenges to society, recent measures have seen public trust in major institutions plummet to all-time lows.
‘Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn.’ We have all heard the adage, so much so that it is often dismissed as a cliché.
While most of us know this statement and agree with the philosophy behind it, the reality is that very few teachers and schools genuinely involve students in learning and make education active. Despite John Dewey’s urging over a century ago to embrace experiential education and abandon the model of students being passive receivers of learning, the ‘expounding’ approach persists.
We often think of emerging technology as the field of high-level businesspeople and Silicon Valley tech wizards. We don’t often see today’s innovations as being a tool for enhancing accessibility, increasing affordability and empowering equality.
However, recent developments have seen it do just this. Here are 3 fields in which technology is making everyday life more affordable and more accessible for the everyday consumer.
With the UN predicting that 68 percent of the world’s people will live in urban areas by 2050, it is essential that spaces we are living in are viable and sustainable for years to come. The cities we are familiar with, complete with collections of grey buildings, tangled roads and traffic, are set to change and the plans for these changes are already being implemented.
Here are 3 kinds of cities we will see in the future: