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The importance of technology in education is becoming increasingly undeniable in schools around the globe. As the future steadily approaches us, today’s students and teachers simply cannot exclude digital literacy and technological competence from the skillset being learned. COVID has accelerated the integration of technology into schooling, as remote learning has required innovative solutions to everyday lessons.

Australia’s reform to its national assessment program, NAPLAN, to include digital literacy in its testing is a clear indication of the necessary advancements of education in keeping up with the times.[1] COVID has meant that learning these crucial digital skills has become a top priority and students and teachers alike will benefit from this long-term. Online learning, innovative technology and digital abilities as seemingly niche as coding, are now essential for students’ preparation for the future.

We have all grown used to the trends and influencers of social media, but developments of the last year are seeing the platforms we have come to know enter a new stage. The ‘creator economy’ involves the proliferating number of independent individuals who are making an earning by using social media to share their skills, knowledge and abilities. Leaving behind the influencers and polished posts of yesterday, the creator economy is ushering in a new era of marketing, influence and branding online – businesses best pay attention!

Downturns and hard times are often perceived as a curse in business. When lockdowns hit, sales dry up and market share dwindles, leaders often long for the former glory days of growth and prosperity. However, in the same way that nature has seasons, industries have cycles that serve an important purpose. The key to surviving, thriving and achieving enduring relevance in the long-term is to work with rather than war against seasons and cycles – especially the adverse ones.

When seeking to understanding their customers over the years, brands and organizations have had little option but to rely on blunt instruments and generalized patterns. The valuable work of marketers, analysts and strategists centred on segmenting society into broad groups based on gender, ethnicity or geographic location. These groupings would then inform how products and messaging could be tailored for relevance. In the modern age of data analytics, however, it is not only possible to understand and target an audience of one but it is increasingly becoming the expectation.

From online shopping to online dating, the digital age has introduced people to a range of options that previous generations could only have dreamed of. For every option that is swiped left or scrolled past, there is an array of others waiting that may or may not be better suited to our personal preferences.

COVID has drastically changed the way we shop. Online shopping, direct to consumer business models, curb-side pick up and e-commerce have all skyrocketed in popularity during the pandemic, leaving many businesses scrambling to catch up. With COVID having accelerated the transformation of consumer behaviour, businesses and brands need to move their position in line with the times.

Here are four ways to reposition your business or brand:

It wasn’t always trendy to be sustainable. In the past, speaking and acting on issues of climate change and the environment often rendered you a hippie or a leftie, or worse still, a vegan. However, what was once an issue kept in the margins is now overwhelming the mainstream, with the need for urgent action being widely acknowledged by businesses, leaders and public officials alike.

The empowered consumer is a trend that has been changing the marketplace for years. As consumers have a louder voice, more access to information and a larger array of options than ever before, the relationship between businesses and customers is changing and the balance of power tipping in favour of the customer. COVID accelerated this to a new level altogether.

We have always known that the future of our work will look dramatically different from the present. What we did not know is that the global pandemic would pave much of the groundwork for this future’s arrival.

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.

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