News 23.11.2022

Need to Know

Space Perspective will launch people into space from repurposed ships, Wimbledon relaxes all-white clothing requirement for women and lack of tech education leads to UK job gap.

Space Perspective will launch into space using repurposed ships

MS Voyager by Space Perspective, US
MS Voyager by Space Perspective, US
MS Voyager by Space Perspective, US

US ­– Space Perspective has reached a new milestone to make space travel exploration a reality with the acquisition of a ship to be converted into the world’s first marine spaceport.

With plans to start flying people to space in 2024, the luxury space travel company needed a launch pad for its spacecraft. To that end, Space Perspective acquired the MS Voyager ship, a 292-feet long vessel to be repurposed as a movable launchpad for its space balloons.

Although it may seem like a complication, marine spaceports create ideal launch conditions as they can navigate to areas of good weather, enabling year-round operations. In addition, Space Perspective is upgrading the ship to use biofuel and reducing its carbon footprint. ‘Removing geographic borders for launch and landing accelerates our mission of making this transformative experience accessible to the international marketplace – safely, reliably and with minimal impact,’ says Jane Poynter, the company’s founder and co-CEO.

The new development of this future-facing project signals that the concept of ‘air-scapism’ – whether it is space exploration or lower-altitude Airborne Stays ­– is under way.

Strategic opportunity

Consumers are looking for new forms of escapism to get away from daily struggles. Innovative travel concepts ­– like air-scapism – combine radical immersion and disconnection from reality with the excitement of novelty

Wimbledon relaxes all-white clothing requirement for women

UK – From 2023, women tennis players competing at the UK's Wimbledon tennis tournament will enjoy more relaxed clothing rules, updated to alleviate anxieties that can stem from the obligation to wear white while menstruating.

Wimbledon is known for its strict policies and enduring tradition of all-white attire for players. But, following discussions with the World Tennis Association, clothing brands and medical teams, the tournament organisers agreed to update the rule in a bid to help women players feel more comfortable on the court when on their periods. The updated policy allows ‘solid, mid/dark-coloured undershorts provided they are no longer than their shorts or skirt’.

‘We are committed to supporting the players and listening to their feedback as to how they can perform at their best,’ says Sally Bolton, CEO of the All England Club. ‘It is our hope that this rule adjustment will help players focus purely on their performance by relieving a potential source of anxiety.’

Although a very small change, the policy update underlines how easy adjustments can positively affect wellbeing by removing an unnecessary source of stress for women. This comes as more sports are undergoing an inclusive and youth-fuelled makeover, with a bigger emphasis on self-expression and individuality.

Photography by Mudassir Ali

Strategic opportunity

Wimbledon’s progressive move highlights that even tradition-bound sports are evolving to support the wellbeing of athletes – and particularly advocate for women and girls

Tech curriculums are needed to future-proof British jobs

This Is Not the Horizon by Anne-Iris Espinat Dief This Is Not the Horizon by Anne-Iris Espinat Dief

UK – In the future, the UK could be facing a shortage of workers if schools fail to introduce tech-focused curriculums that cover topics such as AI and computer science.

According to a recent survey in the UK by YouGov commissioned by Amazon, 72% of secondary school teachers are in favour of making an active effort to boost education on AI and computer science. Without it, 75% say they fear a long-term skills gap. While today’s adolescents are generally self-sufficient in digital education, there is still a large selection of jobs that require technical education such as metaverse architects or paramedic drone programmers. At present, educational institutions aren’t dedicating enough resources or budget to these areas. Some 64% of STEM teachers say they have limited access to computer science resources and this figure rises to 79% when considering AI, despite demand for related jobs expected to increase by 40% in the next five years.

During a period of radical change, the concept of the workplace, as well as future jobs, are being re-imagined by experts. YouGov and Amazon’s full list of future workers is available here, while LS:N Global explores how C-suite roles could evolve here.

Strategic opportunity

Businesses must look beyond the current employee landscape and consider what jobs might be needed in future as society, technology and the environment evolve in different ways.

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