Covid-19

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.

Need to Know
21 : 06 : 22

DNA could make data storage more sustainable, a new three-digit dial code for mental health emergencies and money eclipses Covid as top travel concern.

Glengoyne’s whisky box forces drinkers to switch off

The Offline Edition by Glengoyne, Scotland
The Offline Edition by Glengoyne, Scotland
The Offline Edition by Glengoyne, Scotland

Scotland – Recognising the common distraction of digital devices during in-person social interactions, the brand has unveiled a whisky box that blocks phone signals for up to four smartphones. Glengoyne is positioning The Offline Edition as the ‘world’s first’ offline whisky, which it hopes will enable more meaningful, uninterrupted moments between friends and families.

The Offline Edition boxes will be installed in premium whisky bars around the world, while limited quantities will be available to purchase from the Glengoyne website. Through this product, Glengoyne empowers its customers to switch off in a literal sense, and enjoy moments of togetherness. ‘No matter where we are or how hard we try, there’s a temptation to check our phones, or be distracted by someone else’s screen lighting up at the table,’ says Barbara Turing, brand manager at Glengoyne. ‘It’s no surprise that time away from our tech has become one of the greatest luxuries of all.’

To discover more around convivial food and drink experiences, delve into our community of Kindred Diners.

Strategic opportunity

Hospitality brands can take inspiration from this concept and similarly create products or services that promote in-person interactions and encourage digital disconnection

The universities using DNA to preserve our histories

Álfar by EPFL+ECAL, Switzerland Álfar by EPFL+ECAL, Switzerland
Álfar by EPFL+ECAL, Switzerland Álfar by EPFL+ECAL, Switzerland

Switzerland – Arts and design university ÉCAL and university of science and technology EPFL are collaborating to re-invent data storage and actively preserve cultural heritage. Taking aim at the energy-intensive and environmentally damaging aspects of data storage, the schools are launching an object that can store information for thousands of years using DNA.

The Álfar device converts digital archives into DNA’s four bases, resulting in a synthetic molecule that is 200,000 times denser than a typical digital storage unit. What’s more, the DNA molecule remains stable over time and requires no energy to maintain, ensuring a more planet-friendly alternative to conventional data storage devices. The device, which uses nano-engraving and simple ocular techniques, will allow cultural and private institutions to preserve valuable archives for the future.

With the potential to transform how we store information, this is a significant new development within the evolving market for Sustainable Data Centres.

Strategic opportunity

While some information and documents must be kept, others, such as data-draining emails, images and tabs, can be deleted. What can your organisation do to give its employees the tools they need to keep their digital files organised?

America introduces a 911 for mental health

US – Responding to the growing need for fast and equitable mental health support, a new three-digit dialling code will connect Americans with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The 988 code, which provides an accessible alternative to the usual 10-digit number, arrives as part of a partnership between The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and mental health service Vibrant Emotional Health (Vibrant).

On track for an official rollout in July 2022, the 988 code comes in recognition of the stark rise in mental health issues in recent years. ‘The need for quick, easy and reliable access to emotional support and crisis counselling has never been greater,’ explains Tom Coderre, acting deputy assistant secretary for mental health and substance use and the interim head of SAMHSA. ‘The Covid-19 pandemic laid bare the stressors faced by Americans; too often, such stressors result in suicidal and mental health crises.’

As we explore in Synchronised Care, levels of stress, anxiety and depression have been exacerbated since the onset of Covid-19, calling for improved services to be put in place.

Pexels

Strategic opportunity

Thinking beyond tokenistic mental health campaigns, brands across sectors have a responsibility to raise awareness of such services, as well as ensuring that any advice given to consumers is guided by a medical professional

Stat: Increasing costs hit international travel

The Goodtime Hotel, Florida The Goodtime Hotel, Florida

Money is eclipsing Covid as the top concern deterring consumers from travelling abroad. According to research by fintech company Wise, rising costs are affecting 46% of US consumers’ international travel plans.

As countries end the need for costly Covid tests and quarantine restrictions, consumer demand for international travel is returning. Indeed, 43% of US consumers are likely to travel internationally in the next year. But while the urge to travel is back, a new factor has emerged as a key impediment: money.

According to 47% of US respondents, not having enough money is the main obstacle to travel, compared to 37% who cite Covid. Those surveyed also mention running out of money (46%) and fears about having to extend their trips due to contracting Covid (42%) as key concerns.

The results show that, just as the retail industry has had to employ a variety of measures to help its customers combat inflation, the travel sector must support its customers like they did during Covid when promoting Staycations, for example.

Strategic opportunity

Looking ahead, travel companies have an opportunity to connect visitors with local businesses that might also be suffering under the impact of inflation

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