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 It’s a place to learn interpersonal skills that will never become outdated—like how to collaborate, resolve conflict, clearly communicate ideas and teach others.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


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