Ford releases its 2021 trends report on consumer behaviour
“As we barrel into 2021 and look forward to a post-pandemic world, it’s clear that the changes brought about by COVID-19 have changed us – but to what degree?” commented Sheryl Connelly, global consumer trends and futuring manager for Ford Motor Company. “Ford and other companies are keenly interested to know what changes will stick long after COVID is in our rearview mirror. And while no one can predict the future, that doesn’t mean we can’t prepare for it,” added Connelly.
Key findings from its global survey of 14 countries:
- 69% of respondents reported that they are overwhelmed by the global changes currently taking place, with 53% saying that adapting has been ‘harder than imagined’, however 47% said it was ‘’easier than imagined’
- Those that found it hardest to adapt were younger generations with 63% of Generation Z stating it has been harder than they imagined, compared to 42% of Boomers
- Worldwide anxiety is high, 63% of adults globally stated that they feel more stressed than they did a year ago, with four in five adding that they should take better care of their emotional wellbeing
- More than one in four adults globally who own a vehicle have reported that they use their vehicle to relax, with almost one in five stating that they use their vehicle to find privacy
- Globally one in two people reported that they feel lonely on a regular basis, with younger generations feeling it the most acutely, with Generation Z being almost two times more likely to feel lonely on a regular basis compared to Boomers, resulting in many reconsidering there living location
- 76% of adults globally reported that they expect to see brands taking a stand on social issues, with 75% believing that brands today are trying to do the right thing
- Globally 75% of adults appreciate the ways companies have improved the shopping experience since the outbreak, with 41% not wanting to go back to the way they shopped before
- When it comes to smart city planning 67% of adults remain hopeful for the future when it comes to autonomous vehicles, with 68% of parents stating that they would prefer their children to ride in self driving cars than with a stranger
- Reflecting on sustainability 46% of Generation Z globally believe that the pandemic has made people more wasteful, with 47% saying that the pandemic will have a long term negative impact on the environment
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”