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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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