Technology has played a massive role in growing purpose-led business models, something we advocate here at Bigger Than Me, so when we came across a list of innovation trends that have real tangible purpose to them, we thought it would make a really good read.
The source of this blog is a feature called 21 meaningful, trend-driven innovation opportunities for 2021.
We have cherry-picked the innovation trends that resonate with us and have some awesome purpose to them.
Here are the top 5 innovation trends that we’d love to see become a huge success and achieve the goals their creators envisioned.
1. Educational Material through WhatsApp
One of the sectors that were hardest hit in South Africa when lockdown occurred, due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, was education.
Many public schools were already under-resourced before the pandemic so when distance learning became the only means to keep educating scholars, the challenges of not having data or suitable devices, for many was debilitating.
With FoondaMate South African students can access education material via the WhatsApp chatbot without a fixed internet connection.
Students are able to download past papers, get Wikipedia articles in text format, get help solving maths equations and obtain definitions for words that are confusing.
2. Carbon Labelling
Imagine the price of goods being transparently linked to their carbon footprint!
It seems like an ingenious way to make consumers understand the impact of the food they choose to buy and would perhaps also encourage buyers to focus on seasonal products.
The ‘klimatbutik’ is a pop-up shop launched by Swedish food brand Felix and that’s exactly what they do – price items according to their carbon footprint.
Customers have a weekly carbon budget of 18.6 kg, so they can measure the environmental cost of their purchases.
Carbon labelling is a fantastic way to educate consumers on the hidden costs and would hopefully also encourage supporting local. Reportedly restaurants and fashion brands are starting to adopt this approach too.
3. Tables made from recycled hosiery
Swedish Stockings is a sustainable tights brand.
They partnered with designer, Gustaf Westman, to turn old hosiery into a range of tables.
It takes 350 pairs of tights to make a table and these tights are obtained through Swedish Stockings’ Recycling Club.
The brand’s Recycling Club is exactly as the name suggests. It’s an initiative to collect donations of old tights which were being recycled into commercial grease tanks.
Somehow creating furniture seems more appealing and novel though. 😉
We’d like to see more brands make use of their waste to enter new markets and reduce wastage.
4. Transforming employees into owners
Ride-hailing apps have become a global norm over the past decade but this business model is not without some glaring anomalies and employee welfare is one of them.
Colombian based ride-hailing app, MAT, uses an employee-owned business model.
They call their drivers ‘ambassadors’, who become shareholders, assumedly after a certain length of time.
It is a great business initiative for an industry that is known for bad pay and difficult working conditions and hours.
Gen Y & Z consumers ae more likely to support a brand that looks after its employees and follows ethical business practices. The surveys have been done and the results are telling.
5. Wellbeing in the virtual space…
To improve users’ wellbeing Microsoft have added some new features to its Teams app.
Their first new feature is ‘virtual commute’ to create mental bookends for the remote workday. This helps one transition from work to home life which can be difficult at times.
Microsoft have also partnered with Headspace, a meditation app, to further enhance one’s day in front of a computer screen. There is also a new emotional check-in feature.
As we move toward a more virtual working world, mental health is becoming increasingly important so we’re sure there will be many more innovations on business communication platforms in the future.
Have some interesting innovations to share?
Drop us a message. We’d love to hear about them.
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