The ongoing pandemic has expedited digital transformation for everyone, shifting and reshaping everything from how we eat, work, give, to how we practice self-care.
If we review the many advances of technology, these innovations have consistently simplified -- and in some cases -- even reduced our need to directly communicate with others. Take for example how we order food, or arrange for a delivery. All steps are taken without the need to talk with anyone at all.
We’ve seen these advances in Korea where the development of self-serving shops with the heightened need for social distancing. In other cases, digital has catapulted other aspects of communication. A prime example being in personal sharing. Millions of people every day are taking the brave step to share how they have been feeling, whether it's depression, medical disorders, anxiety, and more, making it more human to accept and understand that we are not alone in our struggles, and that these struggles are not mutually exclusive.
How we interact, learn, exchange opinions, support, or oppose any one issue has changed vastly with the rise of technology. And it is these very advances that can work together to make the world a fairer, and just place. Digital initiatives can help to increase awareness and impact for the 17 Sustainable Development goals. From ending poverty, promoting sustainable farming, commodifying universal literacy, and more. While we are no strangers to the downside of digital with privacy, security, and inequality - we as the main users of these technologies have to choose how we harness this potential.
In this series, we’ll explore the industries most impacted by digital disruption, and concurrently ascertain how we aim to use this momentum to fuel the many causes we care about.
Digital Impact: The Future of Work
The labour force has continuously evolved based on the demands of each sector. New patterns of work efficiencies have sprouted, making others obsolete. McKinsey reports that 800 million people could lose their jobs to automation by 2030, placing significant pressure on employees to be flexible in their approach to returning to the office. Automation has been continuously transforming the workplace for years - think back to the first “at home” computer, Windows 95, Excel, and now machine learning reporting, changing, and in some cases ultimately replacing entirely the jobs that we know.
While adjusting to work-from-home during a pandemic without any prior guidance was a challenge for a lot of folks, the sectors most affected by this (academia, policymakers, private health, to name a few) are expediting their digital transformation journeys to include not only HOW they work, as in what kind of technology to adopt, but also WHO it impacts when it comes hiring, and upskilling entire teams. Best practices are being amended to create a virtual workplace that can operate across borders and serve a dynamic purpose for in-real-life, and virtual scenarios. The future of work is now, and with no time to hesitate, companies are reconsidering how they choose to keep employees engaged and connected, all whilst ensuring that they achieve a sense of belonging regardless of physical location. Keeping this in mind, collaboration is and will be viewed as a core skill.
For employees, some of these changes come highly welcomed, with further flexibility, and digital solutions that allow for automation of redundant tasks. While select others woefully anticipate the pressure to conform or be left behind.
Digital Impact: Education
The future of work has a direct correlation with how we view our education systems. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have been on the rise, while soft skills and adaptability shape a well-rounded candidate for the future workforce. Digital enhancement in education becomes a matter of ensuring individuals can relearn and up-skill as an always-on approach vs. a traditional acquired experience from university or college.
According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Survey, “a wide range of occupations will require a higher degree of cognitive abilities — such as creativity, logical reasoning and problem sensitivity — as part of their core skill set. More than half of these do not yet do so today, or only to a much smaller extent”
We are in a very different world than what our current education system was designed to serve. It begs the question, “how do you teach a digital native when they can just Google it?”. With an overwhelming amount of information available today, the students of tomorrow are more empowered to guide their learning, with mentorship and self-sufficiency as they progress. It will take blurring the traditional boundaries of the curriculums that we know, to a more real-world application type of learning. Learning is no longer confined to the classroom, but it’s on-the-go, on-the-job, and fluid, making the entire experience more adaptable to our current lifestyles.
Digital Impact: Fundraising & Volunteer Management
According to the NGOs and Charitable Organizations Global Market Report, 2021: COVID-19 Impact and Recovery to 2030 - overall giving grew 4.1% over the past year (the 6th consecutive year of growth). Online giving grew by 12.1% over the past year. Online monthly giving revenue grew by 40% as recurring donation options became increasingly popular with online donors.
Online donation pages had an average conversion rate of 8% on mobile devices last year, but the number of transactions completed through mobile devices increased by 50%.
This is a significant impact concerning how we view methods of fundraising, and how NGOs and communities seeking to provide meaningful impact can harness the power of digital. Now more than ever NGOs need to be able to shout about the incredible work that they do and aim to do, diversifying ways of giving and adapting with the evolution of the platforms where potential donors are most active on (Social).
While we may go back to some version of pre-pandemic days, there is no doubt that technology will continue to advance and simplify how we connect. At REISE we feel this is a prime space for conversational commerce, to thrive in a space for good. Messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and Viber are used by more than three billion people every month. This is staggering when you compare the potential reach of online vs. F2F at scale. While commercial brands utilize conversational commerce to enhance the path to purchase, charities and nonprofits are no strangers to the volume of inquiries received within their channels daily. From an investment standpoint, overhead is needed to accommodate best practices within community management goals. Advanced community management efforts allow us to automate some aspects of this journey, while still having a bot-to-human handover for personalised advice, and information about the causes we care about. The three ways we see CS as a win for our NGOs include:
Donations: One-off and recurring. Instead of leading our potential donors to an external website, we can interact, provide information and encourage donations on the platforms they are already on.
Education: Raising awareness of the varying programs and current causes at hand becomes crucial for all organizations. A personalized approach supports better engagement with our potential donors.
Usage: Understand our potential donors better, with real-time insights and valuable information amid every conversation. A fantastic example of this in practice is The World Food Program’s initiative to use a chatbot named Mila in Lybia to provide humanitarian support for individuals seeking access to information and insights into local needs.
All in all, automation is here to stay. Following this momentum, we are sure to see a radical change in the way organisations operate and interact with communities and individuals
So there you have it! Our take on disruption across Work, Education, and Non-profit. See you next week for a brand new take on digital disruption with the REISE team, as we tackle the future of Commerce and Health.
Want to learn more? Schedule a chat with us today, we’ll be happy to brainstorm the future of digital impact, with you.