Need to Know
15 : 02 : 22

Ikea invests in next-gen biotech talent, Meta introduces safer spaces to the metaverse and Netflix’s opportunity to court older viewers.

Ikea is recruiting for eco-food technologists

Taste the Future by Ikea, The Netherlands

Sweden – As part of its campaign to recruit fresh technology talent, the Swedish retailer is challenging candidates with 3D printing its iconic meatballs.

To inspire potential candidates to think outside of the box, the retailer has launched the Taste The Future campaign, including a short film that encourages applicants to think outside the box when it comes to plant-based food solutions. The recruitment drive shows that the brand is ramping up its efforts to disrupt the eco-friendly food and drink category in the coming years.

‘We’re looking for down-to-earth data scientists, future architects, cyber-guardians, unboxed engineers and common sense-makers. People who want to co-create a better everyday life at home for the many with thin wallets,’ explains Karen Rivoire, employer brand leader at Ikea.

A playful take on the traditionally dry hiring process, the recruitment push also acts as an advertising campaign for the company’s principles. Empowering employees to break from convention, Ikea is showcasing how brands are Reworking the Workplace.

Strategic opportunity

Recruitment campaigns can also be ways to promote your company’s key principles. Consider developing a future-facing prototype to inspire the next generation of talent

Brent Cross welcomes vibrant wayfinding signage

Brent Cross signage by Fieldwork Facility, UK Brent Cross signage by Fieldwork Facility, UK
Brent Cross signage by Fieldwork Facility, UK Brent Cross signage by Fieldwork Facility, UK

Brent Cross – The London district has unveiled an eye-catching wayfinding project that guides people from the tube station to the Brent Cross Town development. Designed to echo the net zero pledges of the new London development, the bendy yellow signs show cyclists and walkers how many minutes are left in their eco-friendly journey.

Created by design studio Fieldwork Facility, the project intentionally avoids the conventional designs associated with signposts, instead creating intrigue with snake-like signs that appear wrapped around lamp posts and growing out of kerbside grass. By doing this, the wayfinding demonstrates how practical and informative urban elements can be created to complement the intended values of particular areas. As Robin Howie, founder of Fieldwork Facility, notes: the project aims to ‘capture the spirit of play and bring a little bit of joy to the neighbourhood’.

While we’ve previously explored the Positive Barriers put in place to aid health and safety during the pandemic, this project shows the evolution of wayfinding for long-term tourism and placemaking purposes.

Strategic opportunity

Urban planners should strive to offer more creative solutions to functional elements like signage. Consider, for example, how infrastructural elements can act as prompts for social or environmental action from residents

Meta protects personal space in the metaverse

California – As we transition into the metaverse, companies are extending safety and anti-harassment policies into the virtual realm. Striving to eliminate the problem of virtual groping, Meta is introducing a feature that will protect avatars’ personal space in the metaverse.

The policy will include a four-feet boundary that prevents avatars from entering each other’s personal space. Taking the form of an invisible cylinder, avatars will be given a personal two-feet radius, preventing others from touching or harassing them. If anyone tries to breach the space, they will simply be bounced off, without any haptic feedback. The policy ‘prevents avatars from coming within a set distance of each other, creating more personal space for people and making it easier to avoid unwanted interactions,’ explains Vivek Sharma, vice-president of Horizon.

As the boundary between our online and offline selves becomes more porous, policies that help protect digital safety are needed. Furthermore, as haptic wearables become more sophisticated, the need for legislation that empowers and protects netizens – in line with the Affirmative Avatars market – is more urgent than ever.

Meta by Facebook, US

Strategic opportunity

Representation is just as important in the metaverse as in the offline world. Consider which features your company can integrate to allow for maximum expression in the digital realm

Stat: Young UK viewers are losing interest in Netflix

Samsung, US Samsung, US

Streaming service Netflix is experiencing a decline in youth viewership in the UK, while older audiences show more interest in its content. According to a report from Enders Analysis, in 2021, all age brackets under the age of 55 watched less Netflix than in 2020.

Meanwhile, between 2019 and 2021, the amount of Netflix watched per day by over-65s doubled from less than five minutes to about 10 minutes. Similarly, 55–64-year-old viewing increased to 15 minutes per day. These figures indicate new opportunities for Netflix to explore ways of courting older consumers through more diverse content that appeals to their tastes, rather than focusing its efforts on Gen Z.

To tap into this group, streaming services can take inspiration from the humble medium of radio. Despite being a traditional entertainment channel, the sector has been able to successfully diversify in recent years – leaning into strategies such as localising content or using strategies to boost relaxation.

Strategic opportunity

Streaming and entertainment platforms should avoid focusing heavily on young audiences, instead opting for strategies that entice older audiences or even appeal to intergenerational groups

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