How to teach Gen Z to be Collaborative, Innovative and Responsive

Monday, February 06, 2017

When I was eight years old, my third-grade teacher, Ms. Calov, taught me to be an inquisitive learner. Through her contagious enthusiasm, she turned me from an ordinary kid who did only what was required, to a perceptive student who asked for more projects and always connected what I learned to the world around me.

The kinds of soft skills I learned from Ms. Calov are increasingly important for Gen Z, the generation cohort after millennials. To be prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow, these students need to be collaborative, innovative and responsive to their environment. Here's a look at how today's teachers are fostering curiosity, creativity and other skills in their students, with help from technology.

- Mark McCrindle

Encouraging collaboration

School is no longer just a place to learn math, science and writing. It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others. Technology can encourage this kind of interaction. For example, since Gen Z is the first digital-native generation, teachers are asking students for help using technology and to show their peers how to use new tools. Students are working on group projects when they’re in separate physical locations, developing their ability to communicate through written feedback and explain the thinking behind their suggestions.

Encourage lifelong learning and innovative thinking

Teachers today are encouraging students to have a love of learning and adopt an entrepreneurial mindset, so they can adapt to new careers and industries. The average employee tenure in the U.S. is 4.2 years, a decline from 4.6 years two years prior. In Australia, we’re experiencing a similar effect where employees are staying in jobs for a shorter duration—the Australian average is three years. This means Gen Z will have 17 different jobs in their life, and they’ll need to continue to learn new skills and how to use new tools as they progress in their careers. By designing learning tasks that have a real-world application, teachers are engaging their students as problem finders and problem solvers—roles that are crucial in any job.

Foster an adaptive mindset that’s ready for change

As the economy shifts and new jobs like VR engineers and cognitive computer analysts emerge, the next generation will need to be able to learn quickly and connect the dots between related topics. To teach these skills, many teachers are “flipping” learning —asking students to reflect on global issues and synthesize information from videos, podcasts and written material, instead of simply assigning a chapter in a textbook.

Six decades later, I still remember Ms. Calov. Her inspiration reminds me of a Mother Teresa quote: “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Ms. Calov created many ripples by fostering a love of learning and empowering a community of learners. But with technology, every teacher can teach students lifelong skills to carry them through their careers.

Learn more by watching Mark’s recorded talk from Education on Air.

A Snapshot of the Changes Transforming Real Estate

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Change. It’s happening all around us, and it’s easy to be intimidated by the scope and scale of it, but if we can observe the trends and the shifts, then we don’t have to become victims of change but rather we can proactively respond. That’s what’s key. Having the confidence to move forward strategically and proactively, to embrace the trends rather than hide from them.

Earlier this year Mark McCrindle presented Understanding the Times, Shaping the Trends: A Snapshot of the Changes Transforming Real Estate at the Real Estate Institute of Victoria National 2016 Conference. Here are some of his thoughts on trends shaping the Real Estate Industry.

How are generational differences impacting the REAL Estate industry?

Generationally, it is more important than ever to understand the six generations that we have in Australia. While the younger generations might not be active clients in terms of real estate vendors, they do influence parental purchasing and decisions a lot.

We can sometimes pre-qualify people based on our perception of where they’re at in their life stage, but actually there are a lot of people in their late 70’s who are still active in property, perhaps downsizing to buy their next place. Then you’ve got someone in their early 20’s who’s maybe not buying their own place, but perhaps looking at an expensive home because they will be living in that home with their parents. We have to understand the diversity of the generations and all of them may well be active influencers in the buying decision.

Do you have any recommendations on how the Real Estate industry can engage their community?

Sometimes the best connections are actual connections, not just personal ones. The events, the openings, the events where we invite the community along and talk about the area and what’s happening. That brand experience, where people can come to meet and greet with free pizza or cocktails, that sort of thing is what works well, people are looking for that social interaction.

Any tips for those working in real estate?

Well I’d sum it up with the 4 R’s of Real Estate in the 21st Century:


Keep it real and authentic


To adjust and adapt


Keep it relational in terms of how we connect


We can’t just rely on yesterday’s wins, we have to adjust and adapt to remain responsive to the needs of today


Mark is an award-winning social researcher, best-selling author, TedX speaker and influential thought leader, and is regularly commissioned to deliver strategy and advice to the boards and executive committees of some of Australia’s leading organisations.

Mark’s understanding of the key social trends as well as his engaging communication style places him in high demand in the press, on radio and on television shows, such as Sunrise, Today, The Morning Show, ABC News 24 and A Current Affair.

His research firm counts amongst its clients more than 100 of Australia’s largest companies and his highly valued reports and infographics have developed his regard as a data scientist, demographer, futurist and social commentator.


Future proofing careers: How to stay relevant for tomorrow’s workforce

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

44% of Australian jobs (5.1 million current jobs) are at risk from digital disruption in the next 20 years, and 75% of Australia’s fastest growing occupations require STEM Skills - Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Yet digitalisation is not the only thing affecting the change in tomorrow’s job market.

Population trends both nationally and regionally are redefining Australia. Demographic and social trends, such as emerging cultural diversity, the implications of an ageing population, household transformations, and increased mobility are creating significant changes. Workforce trends such as teleworking, tenure shifts, multi-career expectations, and emerging attraction, retention, and engagement factors are informing the demands on 21st century workers.

As these technological, generational, educational, and demographic shifts redefine job demands, it’s more important than ever before for individuals to be innovative, collaborative, proactive, and responsive to ensure they remain future-proofed for tomorrow’s workforce.

What does it mean to stay innovative?

In the next 10 years, there will be significant shifts to the labour market. There is a basic reality around job functions in developed economies with a relatively high cost of labour: everything that can be automated, will be automated, and every role that can be offshored to lower cost-base countries will be offshored. However, technology and business innovation will create new and diverse roles in areas that technology can’t compete. Roles that require creative input, people-focus, leadership skills or high-level communication talent can be futureproofed as they are not be effectively replaceable by technology.

Being Collaborative

It’s important not just to focus on academic outcomes but the people skills; not just the learning, but on the ability to work well with others. 1997 was the first year in which we began spending more time looking at screens than in in face to face interaction, and today, individuals spend over 10 hours on screens every day. In tomorrow’s job market, if someone has a good ability to communicate, motivate, and engage – they’ll go far.

Staying Proactive

In today’s flat-structured work environments, people need to be self-leaders and managers and stay self-directed. In previous decades it was the norm to have a very structured workplace with a chain of command where employers were looking for compliance rather than proactive innovation. Today there is the need for a self-starter mentality in every organisation – for employees at all levels to take charge and show proactive initiative.

Being Responsive

It’s important to keep eyes on the external environment. Individuals who can not only remain experts at their craft but extend their knowledge to various domain areas will stay future-proofed. A career that is future-proofed may in fact by its very nature change and adjust nearly every year. Be responsive and observe what’s happening around you.

By being innovative, collaborative, proactive, and responsive to the changes taking place, individuals can navigate the challenge of being future-proofed for tomorrow’s workforce.


Eliane Miles is a social researcher, trends analyst and Director of Research at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a data analyst she understands the power of big data to inform strategic direction. Managing research across multiple sectors and locations, she is well positioned to understand the mega trends transforming the workplace, household and consumer landscapes. Her expertise is in telling the story embedded in the data and communicating the insights in visual and practical ways.

From the key demographic transformations such as population growth and the ageing workforce to social trends such as changing household structures and emerging lifestyle expectations, from generational change to the impact of technology, Eliane delivers research based presentations dealing with the big global and national trends.

With academic qualifications in community engagement and postgraduate studies in international development and global health, Eliane brings robust, research-based content to her engaging presentations and consulting. As a social researcher, she has been interviewed on these topics on prominent television programs such as National Nine News and Today, as well as on radio and in online media.


To have Eliane present at your next event, please feel free to get in touch via email to or call through to 02 8824 3422

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


ashley mckenzie showreel financial future snapshot cars careers baby names report FOMO university suburban living Sydney keynote speaker goals students participants generations Wellington Sydney’s south west relational 2012 public holiday presentation social life government house growing population collaborative gold coast high density Australia Day event salary teaching friendship recap TEDx Sydney Hills Business Chamber google for education world divorce live the dream leadership focus group renter of the future conference volunteering population map mateship SMART Hornsby Shire Council rich teleworking happiness conference speaker household research pack sun weekly earnings environment mythbusting christianity professional presenters Tasmania politics WA faux-ciliser internships Generation Y professional development waverton local community future of education future global financial crisis financial planning generational trends research on coffee ipswich care support social analyst rise of local real results urban who is generation z census data cancelling plans trends of 2016 capital city media wage outsourcing Australian Trends transport professional services NBRS Architecture Canberra financial dreams clothing tattoos personal growth Valentine’s Day area demography celebration educhat visualisation teachers qualitative research narcissism baby name trends Andrew Duffin Christmas presents mover and shaker housing trends manly researcher equip VET sector work thrive engage Financial Planning Association of Australia kate middleton research report typical australian financial micro apartments google resource Australian Dream high density living home REIV Conference marrickville speakers pack IT Specialists housing NBRS Australians organisations environmental scanning future proof New South Wales baby internship baby name predictions research visualisation social media wealth and income Myth bus australian communities forum changing face of sydney giving growth of sydney Cobbitty-Leppington earning car social analysis millennials video tea spirituality geomapping shopper's pick challenge woolworths EFF Gen X teach quote VIC religion entertainment 1980 divorce rate global poker master residents DIY wellbeing infographics capital cities screenagers communications Tuesday Trends education sector Generation X 2016 census results February 16 millenials dreams future of shopping South Australia Mark McCrindle in the media charity skills career define public speaker Territory Elderslie-Harrington park futurist employmer mobile holidays Australian Census property social issues lalor park royal family builders culturally diverse forum Australia street tableau coffee lovers non profit cultural diveristy hobart Queensland: QLD average Australian faux-cilise graphs small business public speaking easy rider The Daily Edition australians staying home more media release schools students Hunter Valley australian stats award winner Willowdale blaxland criminal survey Charlotte vegetarian ABS housing market click post rationalism cultural diversity high school crows nest future proofing Christmas lunch Real Estate shopping community engagement Queensland Jura Australia Melbourne events customer moreton bay social researchers sports society Real Estate Institute of Victoria 2015 Aussies apartments Australian community trends easter list census not for profit research school students Research Executive cartodb Australian Population mccrinlde retirement ashley fell Merry Christmas tips business index Financial Planning Week lifestyle bondi hills litter low density communicate hornsby What is food insecurity? student tv hunger online the great screenage optus Wagga Wagga social research research data new york times marriages omnibus 2020 staff interactive volunteering data #censusfail home owner sunny days annual income paying to work home ownership finance local communities socialites collaboration monarchy census fail income The ABC of XYZ the lucky country prince george cash financial fears Australian Families brisbane office opening data experience education property price conference presentation panel Australian Communities Trends trend emerging technologies office jobs of the future emerging generations Assistant Store Manager house price survey design optus my business awards trends story Netflix statistics year 7 forecast CBD visual sydney event deloitte belief gen z young people sydney speaker 24 million australian community trends report anzac goal ultimo Crime Rates gig economy ideas living sustainable norwest baby name TAS hills shire overcast investment social change demographic trends alpha infographic wall breakfast sydney hills 1994 safe Maxim Accounting investor parents children 2016 daily telegraph potts point education research commute healthy future educated urban taskforce relevant Christmas season screenage Do It Yourself entrepreneur travel online shopping commuting dessert acf15 case study Kirsten Brewer mccrindle research language SA ageing population younger generations plans commuters ACF employment news leader Australia Day 2017 Western Australia program mother's day keynote speaker crime workplace culture infographic conferences new office earnings focus groups youth Mark McCrindle priorities australian social research demographic transformations long weekend mythbusters casual life men daily commute names workplace meetings menai social NSW System's Architect winter train 1975 40 million innovative digital dream aged care impact 2017 high density apartments learning styles marketing school learn faith eliane miles royal influence Hills Shire Council culture neutral bay media activity NFP event Australian Bureau of Statistics gen alpha spend trades tertiary education James Ward population grandparents insight mccrindle Deaths wages population growth VET cancelling event shifts millionth national private wealth increasing densification Wodonga pharmacy sentiments ethnography social commentator debt baby names change in depth interviews trend tuesday mining boom sector wide study emerging trends Births house price rise cost micro ferry house prices JOMO states investing christmas affordability mortgage research Mount Annan-Currant Hill australian real estate Social Trend 1968 families Christchurch buildings aussie culture HSC sydneycity group session census 2016 urban living index organisational culture 2014 brand travelling employers mentor royal princess charlotte stay home fresh wealth energy 10 years young australians social lives unaffordable motivate TED Australian demographics demographer nfp food keynote parenting Business analysis Lower Hunter water consumer marriage social enquiry study ease of travel group moderators guide demographic speajer not-for-profit pyrmont Gen Y business NT summer bureau pharmacies jobs slideshare ACF17 ACF 2016 apartment baby names australia report Bathburst professional networking curiosity growth middle class education future report Research Director huffington post Performance Sentiment Index charities local Macquarie University women housing affordability seasons australia newspaper CPI suburbs brand experience product forecasting city meals 23 million aged care puzzle World Water Day social trends Word Up medicine education future social impact etiquette society trends victoria Love Duchess of Cambridge Population Clock FPA cold insights youth unemployment cancel plans professional speaker selfie hello fresh identity affordable townhouses Northern Beaches Christian School debate ACF2017 Adelaide sector economy New Zeland the average aussie authenticity January 26th Sydney population Geoff Brailey greatness 2013 baby boom media commentary innovation trends analyst analysis training contiki PSI TED talk winter blues domestic dare to dream population milestone socialising cooking Australian Home Skilling McCridle father's day church trends of 2017 future of work in the media average aussie 2016 census wealth distribution year 12 publication rent Lower Hunter Region offenders Channel Seven REIV National Conference australian communities trends report world youth day personalities workforce resilience employmee global generations entrepreneurs of today poor work-life report NEETs Caregiver donation suburb shopping centre unemployment hopes chairty wedding Aussie wealth inequality consumerism choice workers going out fears vegemite rule keeper average sydneysider office space mccrindle in the media census results school satisfaction logan research services cica the hills shire community mccrindle tea holiday DESTEL generation urban living national crime rates land of the middle class megatrends McCrindle Speakers generation Z teacher sydneysiders English Work place cost of living financial independence volunteer households supply and demand social shifts not for profit learner property market optimistic faux-cilising tuesday Northern Beaches couple rental stress facts staying in national wealth work mates sydneysider presentations sector wide gender cloudy days public transport weather New Zealand work from home shbc TDE royal baby renting Kiwi technology Australian schools dreaming award economic sunburnt country workshop future-proof responsive baby boomers engagement wolloomooloo generation alpha sydney metro Sydney gig grave decision Jura Coffee food bank Northern Territory 24,000,000 entrepreneurial schools coffee purpose Royals GPO Engineering Manager darwin the australian dream housing growth leadership workshop Australian communities university degree SMSF money follow christian volunteers Scouts internet SRE social commentary balance the hills donate the changing face of repayments "know the times" business performance friends market research family ACT Report Northern beaches Event earn owning a home ACT proactive demographics Res Vis child care Financial Planning Association learning Education Future Forum brands rising house prices data analyst twentyseventeen Channel 7 food insecurity communication toys know the times village wealth and income distribution ageing state speaker community event data visualisation rain Tuesday Trend speakers social researcher thought leadership eliane perth budget Vocational education communities intern storytelling