Education in the 21st Century, preparing your child for the future

Marisa van der Merwe of Mini Chess talks about the future of education, the challenges facing teachers and the current education system that is not working.

Education, as we know it, is changing forever.  MiniChess dived in with both feet to meet the challenge head on when lockdown kicked in.

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Tips and tricks when attending a virtual meeting or webinar

virtual meeting

Whether now or in the future when attending virtual meetings or hosting a webinar one should follow these guidelines to make a good impression:

  • Decide where you are going to position your laptop so that you sit comfortably at a desk or table
  • Make sure the area where you are conducting virtual meetings is noise free or noise levels are low
  • Consider the view behind you – ensure it does not detract i.e. movement in the background – and looks professional i.e. consider personal pictures/paintings on the wall behind you.
  • Place your laptop on a stack of books for example to ensure that the laptop’s camera is at your eye height when seated – no one wants to look up your nose!
  • Adjust your laptop’s screen towards you so that the ceiling above your head does not form a large part of the on-screen area

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Confronting challenges in difficult times

robots are here

Life always throws curveballs – whether on a personal or business level – and as we enter a new decade and a new era of change, we need to face up to the changes that will come our way and the challenges that will present themselves.

From a business and economic perspective we are faced with increasing competition, rising costs, falling staff morale, bad debts and trying to adapt to ever-changing consumer needs. Understanding the challenges that face the franchise sector and navigating the changing economic landscape has to be a franchisor’s top priority. Whether it’s solidifying the existing infrastructure, re-designing the franchise model in line with changing trends or finding the right franchisees, every entrepreneur today needs to find a way of doing business… against all the odds… and with the prospect of opening up new doors to new opportunities.

The prospect of a new way of doing things within the dynamics of 4IR is both exciting and frightening and ensuring that we can keep up with the fast-paced changes is probably our biggest challenge.

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Business trends to watch out for in 2020

2020 Trends

The changing face of customers

The days of marketing all things to all people are gone – technology provides statistics to business owners to understand the buying patterns of their customers to be able to customize and personalize products or services to suit every customer. Whilst this provides the perfect e-commerce solution that streamlines the route from production, marketing, data capturing through to payments, it can never replace the personal service that will make the difference at the end of the day.

Whilst consumers have embraced APP technology they still want to feel they are being treated as individuals and given special and personal attention – especially if they encounter problems when things go wrong on the AI automation side.

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It is said that the 4th Industrial Revolution is not about the rise of the machines


US President Barack Obama once said, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

There has never been a more important time for change. As the world stands on the brink of the 4th Industrial Revolution, we are acutely aware that these changes will impact on the way we live and the way we work; jobs as we know them will become obsolete as robotics and artificial intelligence take over not just the low-paying jobs in production and manufacturing but also the high level jobs like those of lawyers, accountants, doctors and insurers.

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You have been replaced


The obsolescence of the middle class never hit home before as much as it did when I read ‘Choose Yourself’ by James Altucher. He describes in his book how robotics and technology are set to take over most of the jobs performed by the middle class and coined the phrase ‘you have been replaced’  by robots – many people just don’t know or realize it yet.

He believes that unemployment should be around 50% as most employable people should be entrepreneurs and/or outsourcing their skills to various clients. Yet in South Africa, many young people are looking for jobs and one wonders what jobs they had in mind. It seems robots over time would take over the performance of most repetitive or mundane tasks – or even highly skilled tasks – like taking over agricultures’ crop production by analyzing, for example, soil for crop optimization. Another example that comes to mind is the surgeon performing precision and detailed procedures that robots can do better than humans.

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Customer experience at the heart of franchising

Happy customers

We are living in an era where Customer Experience (CX) plays a significant role in the success of a brand/business. It is now a topic of discussion in many boardrooms and CX has become a strategic measure on most business plans. FASA service providers The Franchise Firm is holding an interactive session of Customer Experience Journey mapping on Tuesday 15th October 2019 highlighting the moments of truth and the moments that matter. Find out more about the dynamic CX Mapping process that will allow your teams to view your CX journey from the Customer’s Point of View.

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Plant based burgers – meatless burgers the new trend


When is a burger not a beef burger? Well, when it’s a burger with the same look and texture and tastes better than the real thing? That’s what the makers of this latest fast-food trend are telling us and everyone, it seems, is climbing on the plant-based meat substitute burger bandwagon – and loving it! So much so that leading manufacturer Beyond Meat, the beef- substitute maker, posted a record-setting 192% rise from its IPO price of $25 per share in its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Backing by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and actor Leonardo Di Caprio helped the shares soar along with a growing consumer appetite for meat alternatives.

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The Extinction Rebellion, going green revolution has begun


The Extinction Rebellion climate-change protestors over the Easter week-end in London brought the city to a standstill as demonstrators showed their determination to influence climate-change and the excessive use of plastics which ruin our oceans and clog our rivers. The focus, both for individuals, business and governments is to find solutions to cut back on pollutants. Whilst South Africa may not be at the forefront of change, developers and retailers are starting to take the threat seriously.

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