In previous generations, the role of technology in everyday life was clear, with each innovation finding a clear role in serving the interests of the individual. Not only was the role of technology clear, but its distinction from humans was clear. People used a computer when information was needed or used a phone when a call needed to made, but its role as a servant to the human was evident.
The notion of robots or technology overtaking us was the stuff of science fiction and had no real substantial basis in the real world. However, as our lives have increasingly centred themselves on our technology, these distinctions between human and robot, servant and master are becoming less and less clear.
Future-proof teams are ones that can confidently walk into tomorrow, knowing that they have prepared for what is next. The future of our work is demanding greater levels of innovation, creativity and original thinking than it ever has before. In order to maintain the forward thinking that tomorrow requires, our teams need to have the people and structures in place today.
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last decade are now seeing the retail experience evolve into something that renders the idea of ‘going shopping’ almost outdated.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.