As the world slips into the second wave of the worldwide pandemic variants now emerging, we take stock of the year that was, discuss anticipated trends for the year that will be, and highlight the life-affirming ways our lives are expected to change as the clock ticks down the minutes remaining in 2020.
The team at Correxiko thank you for your part in our evolution and success, and wish you the very best of what life may offer us all in 2021. Happy New Year!
In this wrap:
It’s easy to see why 2020 dramatically affected our lives in the most negative of ways, but the year also surprised us with some revolutionary thinking that gave us new and life-affirming ways of working, living, collaborating, communicating, and entertaining ourselves.
Back in 2019, the world didn’t see the pandemic coming – and so we weren’t prepared for the all-out assault to our way of lives that it brought us in 2020. No-one had rested up or taken stock, and we complacently filed into the new year, thinking things would just be more of the same.
For many, the pandemic focused their goals and whole segments of the market leapt forward in decades’ worth of what seemed like overnight advancement. The state of readiness with which we accomplished these life-affirming changes is reason enough to know that people were simply waiting for a catalyst to trigger them forward.
For others, the restrictions eliminated business models that had worked before but simply no longer could, and still more industries and niches closed their doors. Families, industries, companies, and communities were forced to re-think their goals, hopes, visions, and dreams in an effort to simply just eat.
For the “average Joe” out there, life went on. We buckled down and tried our best to survive this B-grade Armageddon movie plot we never bought a ticket to.
2020 saw a global increase of loneliness and depression as the world tried to adjust to the loss of constant contact and touch, and the lack of social interaction with other human beings. We lost friends and lovers, family members and co-workers, with hardly a moment to say our goodbyes.
Mental health shot into the spotlight as more and more people struggled to cope with the ongoing affect that the pandemic had on financial markets, income streams, broken families, and forced “jail time” with lockdown and curfew. The most positive mental health aspects of 2020 include the sudden loss of stigma attached to having a mental health condition.
Lifestyle and habits played a pivotal role in the spread of the pandemic, but also offered us a chance to change all that and take control of this new normal that had been given to us. Embracing the change became one of the hardest things we had to do, as we re-learned how to be the new version of humanity we now had to be.
Evolution on a human scale did not increase, but it sure left us breathless with excitement as the world around us exploded in more interactively-rich ways than we had ever dared to dream of. Not one aspect of our lives was left unchanged, and some days we just couldn’t deal.
10 Life-Affirming Ways That 2020 Astounded Us
Luckily for us, 2020 also gave us some astounding evolutionary milestones that we cleared with winning colors!
Over the past two-to-three centuries, the world has evolved on many levels – not all of them noteworthy or good.
The first industrial revolution saw a move to coal for heating and cooking, as well as for powering industry. The second industrial revolution relied on both natural and petroleum gas and its many uses to propel humanity forward.
The third industrial revolution – and perhaps the most innovative of them all – introduced electronics and nuclear power into our homes and lives, and that technology kept getting smaller and smaller until we discovered nano technology.
The fourth industrial revolution (or 4IR) began in earnest towards the turn of the 21st century and revolved around reinventing labor, skills, and production methods that incorporate renewable energy principles and the internet of things into ways of working smarter, harder, faster, and longer.
We then built machines that could carry on when our frail human bodies got tired, but decided that a smarter machine would take over the world, so artificial intelligence (or AI) took a back seat – until the pandemic arrived.
In 2021, technology and the human capacity to learn, understand, and effectively use the nano tech currently at our fingertips is limited only by how many scientists we can safely fit into one laboratory to work on it – with masks on, of course.
Or we could embrace the new.
Habit-changing for life, 2020 sure taught us how to respect another’s space, even when we’re with someone we love. Coupled with lockdown and the numerous conspiracy theories out there, we learned to enjoy our alone time and discover ourselves in ways that we’d never had time for before.
Time, of course, became relative … but the human brain is not designed for either extensive time periods of social interaction, nor for never-ending human contact. The human brain is not designed to be completely alone, either. That’s why we speak aloud, so our brains have a voice that connects them to each other.
This connection is the soul’s lifeline, and without that, some people struggle to make sense of the new normal that is so isolating in nature. Mental health became a focus point for 2020, by far the loudest call-to-action the world had ever known.
Could 2021 bring a renaissance that shifts perceptions to maximize human well-being?
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A focus on mental health issues highlighted the fact that people needed real help to cope, and suddenly whole towns became communities instead. Heroes stepped up where once there had been none, and the poor and destitute found hope again.
Communities rose as one to stand together to fight the pandemic destroying our lives, and even war seemed halted in some way for a while. As the pandemic rages on and mutates, may we hope that the community spirit we found in our time of need is one that remains beyond the need.
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Loneliness, depression, anxiety, and stress. These are the top buzzwords for 2020.
The world turned to their mobile phones and the internet to escape monotony, to connect with others, to find food, advice, medicines, and to do their jobs – if they were the lucky few.
Changes in digital communication and the apps and platforms that support those changes became critical services we could no longer live without. The tourism sector was the hardest hit as far as not being able to rely on in-person business anymore, while the telecommunications industry grew in leaps and bounds for the very same reason.
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Social distancing eliminated any hopes of large-scale performances by keynote speakers and rock stars alike. The additional bans on travel and other industry-related restrictions meant that artists and organizations had no choice but to embrace technology.
In the process, the tech giants responded by giving the world more responsive technology. With so much time on our hands, we learned to stop and enjoy the music, but noticed that the sound wasn’t as great as it could be.
Technology got smaller, crisper, clearer. Voice-assistive technology and high-contrast modes were in demand, and the world standards for sensory input devices increased dramatically as more and more people demanded to hear their favorite noise better.
Artists clearly felt duty-bound to release everyone’s favorite noise, working safely within lockdown regulations to release albums produced from their own homes. If Video Killed The Radio Star back in 1980, cloud storage systems and internet-based databases killed the vinyl and plastic music distribution methods faster than anyone could anticipate in 2020.
Job losses due to the pandemic far outweigh the predictions and estimates we naively made back in 2019. The world realised that they needed to do something fast – and in collaboration with others just like them.
Never before had a digital skillset been so important to have, or so impossible to achieve. The world once again turned to their tech and devices for solutions. The greatest skillset can only be used once the greatest mindset is in place, and people began thinking beyond the fact that there might not be a box out there after all.
Innovation, design, intellectual property rights, customer retention, administration, blue collar, graduate and leadership styles had to be learned overnight and rolled up into the service one human being can deliver at any given time … while still maintaining a healthy physical, emotional, and mental state of wellbeing.
Employees became contractors, and contractors became entrepreneurs in the traditional sense of the word. The age of the solopreneur dawned and you could quite literally be anything you wanted to be.
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For those who didn’t know how to turn their skillset into a paying job, elearning platforms worldwide made everyday knowledge accessible to all who could connect to it. Libraries became popular again, but not for the reasons you think.
Libraries have been making the move to digital systems for decades, but people have been tired of reading the same lines over and over again. The world learned to write, to draw, to sing, to create, to cook – and then to show others how to do the same thing successfully thanks to YouTube and other popular video hosting sites.
People learned new skills to replace the redundant set of skills they could no longer use safely, and a demand for specialist services grew. Libraries became places of elearning and free wifi hotspots we could connect to and continue our digital journey.
Technology evolved to meet the increased need for performance, and industry complied by creating machines that were faster, sleeker, smarter than before.
Collaboration and communication became this sector’s buzzwords as people struggled to do both practically overnight. The demand for enhanced skillsets continues to grow at a rate faster than we can train the workforce of tomorrow. Without collaboration to bridge inherent gaps in communication (due to language, learning, or cognition), remote working would not be possible.
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Productivity became an all-consuming goal for everyone in every industry. Even though the pandemic had forced us to take a step back, in reality, it had only forced us to focus more mentally on solving the problems at hand.
In isolation, machines are our only lifeline to the world we once knew. Could machine-assisted – and thus AI – systems prevent us from burning out?
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Statistically, nearly 98% of all organizations incorporate some form of elearning into their business models. If your company has not yet made the shift to elearning systems, consider the impact of an unskilled workforce not yet ready for the challenges that 2021 will bring.
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It isn’t just that you need to travel to take photographs, or that you need a specific camera to do it with. Thanks to lockdown, anyone can do anything, remember? And upload it to YouTube for the rest of us to find.
As more and more people discover the beauty of the world around them, technology once again responds by integrating the technology we use all the time into one smart device. Innovation comes to the fore to produce cameras that almost exceed market averages for cameras these days.
Photographers, videographers, cameramen (or women), and even crime scene investigators face a challenge unlike any they have seen; to stand out in a sea of billions of people all clicking away at once. How will the photography industry respond?
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As the world turns to video conferencing to bridge the divide between point A and point B, the tourism sector is set to see a monumental decline in the number of for-business trips consumers may be taking, and with good reason, too.
Sanitization stations are all well and good, but how can you be sure that the hotel you’re staying in is really clean? Or that a disgruntled employee hasn’t left you something to remember them by? Well, you can’t.
The current restrictions on both local and international travel are likely to stay for a while. Beyond the current crisis, there are other strains and mutations waiting to be noticed.
It makes sense to be prepared for them.
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As the world gears up for Lockdown 2.0, it is important that we support local businesses and use local skillsets as much as possible. Technology can’t fix everything but it can give us access to the information portals that will tell us how to solve the problem or knowledge gap we may face.
2021 is not a magical cloth that can wipe 2020’s slate clean, and a lot of existing challenges will roll over at midnight, too.
Are you ready?
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Once you become involved with a Correxiko product, we know you’ll stay loyal simply because there isn’t a product out there that can compete on our quality and effectiveness.
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