2026 – the year of the face to face pivot

This came via Clint Lalonde and a super cool drawing from Amanda Coolidge’s son. It has nothing to do with the post

When the current crisis is over in terms of infection, the social and economic impact will be felt for a long time. One such hangover is likely to be the shift to online for so much of work and interaction. As the cartoon goes “these meetings could’ve been emails all along”. So let’s jump forward then a few years when online is the norm. We can imagine the following:

  • Hip start-ups rediscovering office working – but they won’t call it this of course, it’ll be something new like “cooperative physical co-location”. They’ll rave about the physical water cooler moments around the, erm, water cooler.
  • Unis will offer advice on “physical literacies” with things such as “you can’t always have time to consider in a face to face setting as you do online, so you can gain some thinking time by developing some stalling tactics, such as saying “errrrrm”, “That is a very good question” or “could you elaborate a bit further”
  • Schools will offer advice on safe face to face practice, and guidance to parents on limiting face to face time which can be damaging for children’s brains.
  • A new Californian school consortium called “DeFlipping Education” will set up a number of face to face schools with teachers physically colocated and set to a convenient and regular time frame to help structure students’ learning.
  • Consultants will help unis pivot to face to face by shifting their online courses and how to UnZoom their current provision to comfortable large halls where the students can focus on just the lecturer.

I just want to get in first with the predictions, so I can say “I told you so” later.

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