In a time of global chaos, we outline the steps businesses can take to imagine new scenarios and build future-fit strategies to turn uncertainty into action.

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02 : 04 : 20

Shipping containers for intensive care, a product shortages tracker for Covid-19, and people trust their employers more than traditional news sources.

Covid-19: Carlo Ratti creates ICUs from shipping containers

CURA by Carlo Ratti Associati, Italy

Italy – Architecture studio Carlo Ratti Associati has turned shipping containers into intensive care pods that can be quickly added to hospitals fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.

Measuring 6.1m each, the pods, dubbed Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments (CURA), can be delivered on the back of lorries and contain two beds. The first prototype unit is now being built at a hospital in Milan, one of the cities in Italy with the most coronavirus cases.

Aiming to replicate the environment of hospital rooms, the units feature ventilation systems that generate negative pressure inside and prevent contaminated air from escaping. According to the team behind CURA: ‘The aim is that they can be quickly deployed in cities around the world, promptly responding to the shortage of ICU space in hospitals and the spread of the disease.’

In Wellness Architecture, we explore how organisations are using their skills to provide solution-based design to support the health and wellness sector, something architects are now demonstrating by making use of abundant materials as hospitals struggle to meet the space demands required to treat coronavirus patients.

Condensed urban warehouses for the robot age

Attabotics, US Attabotics, US
Attabotics, US Attabotics, US

US – Attabotics has created an alternative to large-scale, out-of-town warehousing, using a vertical format to reduce space.

Taking inspiration from a nature documentary about leaf-cutter ants, Attabotics has drawn from the effectiveness of using compact warehouses and robots to retrieve items. While traditional ‘pick and pack’ warehouses rely on humans to retrieve items and require large amounts of space to accommodate low shelving units, Attabotic’s robots are able to navigate towering storage units from above.

With potential for such compact vertical warehouses to exist in urban locations, the concept can also help to reduce the carbon footprint associated with e-commerce and delivery of goods by bringing fulfilment centres closer to customers.

With advancements in automation increasingly indicating a retail future optimised by robots, examine further insights for the sector in Grocery AI-sles.

Covid-19: This tracker documents real-time product shortages

Global – A science and tech researcher is using Google Maps to create a live platform that tracks the impact of Covid-19 on daily essentials and infrastructure around the world.

Created by Hannah Thoreson, the tracker uses the existing structure of Google Maps to provide the public with an open-source platform where they can share information relating to the supply of food, medical items, local travel services, and any issues with local communications and connectivity.

The platform's Food and Paper and Plastic sections detail product availability of essential foods and items such as toilet paper, nappies and condoms, allowing users to gain an overview of what is or isn’t in short supply in their region, as well as the situation elsewhere in the world.

While the tracker is a small-scale project at present, it could provide a tool for brands to direct supplies and services to key regions based on public reporting, in turn demonstrating their support and care for consumers.

In times of global crisis, the potential of data-mapping and open-source information services becomes particularly apparent – something we explore further in our IAM Weekend 2020 Show Report.

Coronavirus shortage and economic impact tracker using Google Maps

Stat: Employers are most-trusted during Covid-19

Edelman has released a special report documenting how global citizens' trust is fluctuating in relation to Covid-19 information.

In an online survey conducted across 10 markets, including Germany, Brazil, Japan, the UK and the US, respondents considered the sources they trusted most when reading news about the global pandemic. Between traditional news outlets, social media, health brands and employers, the latter were deemed the most trustworthy.

Some 63% said they believed information about the pandemic provided by their employer, compared to 58% who believe information shared by their government, and 51% who believe what's shared by traditional media. By contrast, only 28% believe what they read about Covid-19 on social media. Notably, however, 56% trust information shared on health company websites, demonstrating how much people trust health brands, retailers and organisations over media outlets at this time.

As we identify in Brand Culture 2020, it’s becoming increasingly important for brands to ensure both physical and mental wellbeing are key components in the workplace, something coming to the fore at this time.

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