On a Monday we have lectures on economics and business. Though many people question the why’s, in recent weeks it has started to fall into context. Having been an economics and business student, I understood the contexts and facts immediately, but to actually put them into the context of the design industry was a new concept.
Having a working understanding of the world around you is important in many ways. Not only does knowing what is going on in the news help you adjust your work to fit in with a key audience, but also to help gain potential conversations with employers when asked ‘Are there any questions you have for us?’. It is a difficult question to answer, as many people will blank.
In a recent interview, many candidates during the presentation side of the interview, failed to mention, or avoided mentioning, a recent loss in a major client. When questioned on it, many people either declined to answer or walked on eggshells. The truth of the matter is, being able to discuss such realities will help move forward. Losing a major client may mean a lack of finance, but it was forgotten was the fact that the company had just branched out into Spain. The loss of one client seemed no real problem when quite a few were gained. Markets will always change.
The main reason for this change was due to the UK’s economic crisis. The government is in far too much debt for the average person like you and me to comprehend. Changing government contracts to cheaper or more efficient companies will inevitably aide in saving money. The main aim of the government is to not only look after their nation, but to attempt to get the country out of debt and boost economic growth. A thriving economy will be one on the road to financial repair. How did we get into so much debt though?
This question has multiple answers, and although we are still paying off about five generations worth of debt, we must also consider other factors. Many people in the UK are in debt. The average student in my year will owe roughly £50k by the time they graduate. Those who aren’t students will have loans, credit cards and mortgages. The collapse of banks was caused by people being declaring bankruptcy and therefore, never repaying what they owed. Banks needed to borrow money to fund their debts that lead to a domino effect on a dangerous level, which inevitably plunged us into a double dipped recession.
On a wider scale, John Maynard Keynes so eloquently reiterated that when America sneezed, the world caught a cold. When things started to head south in America, Europe also started to decline. Greece in particular is still hanging on by a thread. We must realise though that they are in debt to many other countries. If Greece fall many other countries will fall with it, including Spain and us in the UK. We loan money we do not have in order to save our traders.
Moving away from the economic crises, we must also consider other geopolitical futures. Though BRIC economies (Brazil, Russia, India and China) may one day lead the world in economic power, perhaps the ones that we should focus on are the ones with oil supplies. Oil is a scarce resource that one-day will run out. Oil is one of the main ingredients for several everyday things we take for granted. Of course it is fuel that we use to power our cars, but most people forget that it is also one of the main ways we make plastic. In years to come the design industry will need to find solutions to issues regarding these factors. With a lack of oil comes the need for alternative resources which may, or may not, have been discovered yet.
With a crisis comes innovation and collaboration, so perhaps we should be thankful for global pressures as it will increase our need to innovate and move on.