Need to Know
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Tortoise cuts through the noise of modern news, digital doctors enter the workplace and what parents' social media use means for their children’s data.

Tortoise takes a slow approach to breaking news

Tortoise, UK

UK – The new media company aims to cut through the noise of modern news by focusing on slow journalism.

Plans for Tortoise were announced earlier in 2018 by James Harding, former director of BBC News. Having recently exceeded its Kickstarter target by over £400,000, the platform will launch in January 2019. It aims to strip back how people access and consume news at a time when the sector is increasingly crowded and overwhelming audiences with information across myriad digital channels.

To do this, Tortoise will host open news conferences called ThinkIns, which allow the public to contribute their opinions to a live conversation, informing and shaping the company’s point of view. It will also publish a daily digital newsfeed, running no more than five pieces a day, with each story tackling one subject in depth. Quarterly, Tortoise will combine its thinking into a small book of longer reads.

In an era of non-stop digital distraction, a more considered approach to journalism is needed. For more on why clickbait news is losing its influence, read our macrotrend The Focus Filter.

Cartoon Network is opening a tech-driven family hotel

The Cartoon Network Hotel, Pennsylvania The Cartoon Network Hotel, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania – Opening in summer 2019, the entertainment network’s first hotel will immerse children and their families in their favourite tv shows.

Developed in collaboration with Palace Entertainment, The Cartoon Network Hotel will use a combination of character animation and technology to make the entire property interactive, with hidden surprises for children to discover across the nine-acre resort.

Cartoon Network’s shows are evident throughout the hospitality experience. As well as featuring an outdoor amphitheater to bring streamed entertainment to guests, the hotel offers interchangeable room themes that can be customised to children’s favourite shows. ‘With just the right mix of technology, design and animation, we’re aiming to bring our characters to life in a way that we haven’t seen done before’, says Christina Miller, president at Cartoon Network.

As children begin to call the shots when it comes to travel, subscribers can explore our Children’s Travel Market to see how their demands will transform the future of family holidays.

Exploring the meaning of work in the fourth industrial revolution

Liverpool – FACT Liverpool’s latest initiative asks artists to pause and reflect on working life today, and how it will look tomorrow.

The Future World of Work is an 18-month cultural program that will culminate in an exhibition in 2019. Through a suite of workplace residencies and artworks, FACT will address how gender representation, inclusivity, social care and automation will affect the purpose of work in the decades aheads.

The project centres on an artist residency program, in which creatives are placed in businesses such as national broadcasters, hair salons and healthcare providers, allowing them to investigate how technology will impact a diverse range of industries, and not just offices and factories.

Beyond dystopian warnings of automation, robots and employee monitoring, brands must also prepare for a more optimistic Far Future in which workplace technology is subtle and beneficial.

SewBo, US SewBo, US

Health screening is the new office perk

Health check kiosk in cafe, Smartfuture, Singapore Health check kiosk in cafe, Smartfuture, Singapore
Health check kiosk in office, Smartfuture, Singapore Health check kiosk in office, Smartfuture, Singapore

Singapore – Start-up Smartfuture plans to roll out 5,000 health check-up kiosks in offices by the end of 2019.

The company has already installed 26 self-monitoring kiosks around Singapore, which employees have been using to check key health metrics such as BMI, blood pressure and blood glucose. Based on their results, staff then receive personalised diet and fitness recommendations, as well as the option to consult with a wellness expert over the phone or in their homes.

According to Smartfuture, employers will also benefit from offering the kiosks, with the ability to view a dashboard summarising the health data of their workforce. Focusing on its future plans, the company says that by the end of 2019, its kiosks will be encouraging 300,000 workers to pursue a more active and healthy lifestyle both in and outside of work.

Tired of long waiting lists, consumers are no longer relying on face-to-face consultations with doctors and instead seeking health advice on demand.

Stat: Children’s digital footprints are increasing

According to a new UK government report, internet giants and toy manufacturers must be more transparent about their collection of data in relation to children. It found that children aged between 11 and 16 post on social media an average of 26 times a day, which means that they are likely to have posted 70,000 times by the age of 18.

Although there are restrictions on access to children’s data, these do not apply to parents’ posts, many of which feature young children. The report found that parents do not realise how much they are documenting their children’s early life, and are posting an average of 1,300 photos and videos per child before they the age of 13.

In the wake of GDPR, brands must double-down on protecting children’s data. Earlier this year, SuperAwesome launched a kid-friendly alternative to YouTube’s embedded video player.

Thought-starter: Has cyberbullying become a Gen Z epidemic?

Foresight writer Holly Friend explores the brands empowering young people to use their online presence to reclaim so-called flaws and rise above online trolls.

Today’s teenagers, almost constantly online, are more vulnerable than ever before. A study from Pew Research Center recently found that 59% of US teens have been bullied or harassed online. Unsurprisingly, given its emphasis on appearance, much of this hate speech is localised to Instagram – 42% say they were targeted on the platform.

Research into how artificial intelligence (AI) can be harnessed to weed out cyberbullies is already under way at Ghent University. There, researchers are working on an algorithm to spot negative comments on social media and remove them before damage is inflicted. However, they are struggling to enable the AI to identify linguistic nuances such as sarcasm.

In a bid to further tackle cyberbullying, recent ad campaigns have outlined the actions people can take in order to rise above the comments, whether using social media or the clothing they wear. Anti-bullying campaigner Monica Lewinsky created #DefyTheName, a public service announcement that features a host of successful celebrities who are referred to by the hateful names they were called in their childhood.

Read how brands are tackling bullies in the full microtrend, Bullying Backlash, here.

Diesel Hate Couture autumn/winter 2018 Diesel Hate Couture autumn/winter 2018