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Trends for 2021 and beyond

Africa rising
Kids in Africa enjoying their freedom

With the year, two and a bit months underway, there’s been enough time to reflect on trends that will shape the decade ahead. I’ve put my thoughts together and come up with these six.

A search for Moocs returns almost 35 billion responses in under seven seconds on Google. That many. There are possibly as many Moocs as there are searches for them. We are talking about Massive Open Online Course. There are no barriers to entry (free) for these courses and there are thousands. The topic selection is divers and you can literally learn anything under the sun –  if you can’t think of something they’ll put plenty of ideas under your nose.

With Covid-19 upon us, I can only assume the popularity of these learning platforms have escalated. How well they translate in the real world as recognised skills and qualification is a question that remains unproven. But if you love learning for the sake of the experience, there is no harm.

It’s commonly known that sitting for too long is bad for you. According to various research, this sedentary option contributes to heart disease. Now tailing off 2019, there is a ready market for standing desks. Benefits are said to include increased productivity, greater job satisfaction and better workplace communication.

 

Have brands gone soft? If not, apparently it’s time they make the choice to convert. In a recent Webinar on The Future Of Media, three of the four speakers spoke about the need for brands to be authentic and meaningful. Apparently showing the ‘human’ side has great leverage.

This may be old news but it cannot be ignored. Social media has experienced exponential growth and it’s literally a life-force no functioning human being can live without. That’s just at base. For SMMEs and large corporates, maintaining your social footprint is a business imperative.

No longer are companies seeking to compete but rather to find synergies to augment their offering in the market place. You can go further together – that’s the popular concept – and companies across industry are look to join forces to get more of the market by offering combination packages.

Arise Africa (sounds like a Time Magazine cover title – I think it was). Tapping into what makes Africa tick is by no means something that gets done in the blink of an eye. There are 54 countries to master. No one-size fits all – and this can be taken literally. Our 2 litre milk bottles would not pass muster anywhere in Africa where heat is optimal and refrigeration is scarce. A one-off 250m carton is more likely to fly. The point is each country has its own challenges, and specific business and consumer profiles. However, despite these grave challenges, it remains a sought-after market.

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