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Minor Tweaks

Systemic solutions for retail & travel and food supply & communities.

Photo of Natalia Konstantinidi
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Many industries have been affected by the global pandemic. There truly is no one solution to this problem, no magic recipe to avoid the economic ruin or societal collapse. The only thing we can do is contain and hopefully minimize the impact.

In this proposal I focus on three major categories in which we can alleviate some of the pain by applying minor operational changes. The categories are: Retail & Travel, Community, Education and Food and finally Federal Assistance.

Retail & Travel

When it comes to Retail & Travel the options seem pretty disheartening as what you need is consumers. But consumers are not spending whilst at home, so it’s hard to prevent loses. What you can do though, is to keep your customers engaged, excited and interested in what you have to offer. Your customers are just staying home looking for ways to keep themselves busy, entertain their children and try to get away from the mundanity of this new reality. Here comes you: the designer, the hotel owner, the restauranteur etc. These industries have common denominators; consumer profile and targeted marketing. Therefore, by partnering with different industries you can combine your audience and engage it even more, which will build customer loyalty for the future.

As designers we have the ability to dream and travel with our minds. That’s something we can offer our customers. Partner with a restaurant or a hotel and create a theme for each week. Design dishes and have the restaurant make them (and maybe deliver them). Challenge your audience to come up with recipes, designs, drawings for each week’s theme and share them on your social media platforms and newsletter. Organize mini competitions where the winner gets their design produced by your team or gets a free meal at the restaurant you work with or even a free night at the hotel you pick. When you’re in the business of creating experiences for people you can reach them no matter how far.

Community, Education + Food

Communities can be defined by neighborhoods, city blocks, buildings, floors etc. I personally live in a large New York building with more than 400 apartments. It is a wonderfully diverse mix of residents who go in and out of the building for their essential shopping needs. It only seems logical to try and create a system within the building to cater each other’s needs. That can include grocery shopping for people who have limited mobility, home schooling assistance for children whose parents are in the front lines of this pandemic as well as cooking for our neighbors. A website can be created for people to post their needs or their ability to be of assistance to their neighbor. Most buildings belong to large real estate companies who can help set up this system.  

The media craze and public panic caused by this global pandemic resulted in consumers running to the grocery store and stocking up on large amounts of food (and toilet paper but that’s another story). It is inevitable that a huge amount of that food will end up in dumpsters as naturally only a small minority will consume all they have bought. Now more than ever we have to save this food from being thrown out and cater it to the ones in need. Delivery services can pick up food and bring it to neighborhoods and families who are food insecure.

Federal Assistance

On the federal level, things have to be rearranged. We all know that the top 1% holds more than half of global wealth. We can now look at this as an opportunity as it is clear that no matter how bad things get the top 1% will have financial stability. As unemployment rises in America and people have difficulty paying taxes, the government ought to alleviate this pain by lifting taxes on the poor completely. If that happens there will be a hole in government funds, which the 1% could fill until the economy stabilizes again. This can work as a quick fix in order to minimize economic collapse.

What is the need are you focusing on?

Shortage of food and assistance for people with limited mobility. 

Which type of submission are you sharing?

  • Identifying a gap that needs to be addressed

Describe the business pivot or adaptation in 3-4 sentences.

Focusing on coming together on different levels and industries in order to alleviate pain and minimize the harm.

Do you plan to implement this solution?

  • Yes

Describe the impact that this solution will create in the world.

In the short-term it will help with food supply and public engagement. In the long-term, such practices will illustrate the benefits of forming communities, whether these are online or in our close proximity.

What is the name of your business or organization?

Almira Design

What does your business/company do? Whose needs does your business/company address? Who do you serve?

We are a fashion company that has been badly impacted by this pandemic, but as we are a young company pivoting is not that hard for us at this point.

What is your profession?

I am a fashion and industrial designer. I currently run my own studio from New York. Our production is based in Athens, Greece.

Where are you located (country)?

Between USA and Greece

Where are you located (region)?

  • North America

What industry is your business/company in?

  • Designer(UX/CX/Design Research)

How many people does your business/company employ?

  • 0-10

How old is your business/company?

  • Less than 1 year old

Which classification describes your organization/business?

  • Business

What kind of stakeholders and partnerships are needed to pursue this solution?

  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- NGOs
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Private Sector
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Government
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Civil Society Groups
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Grassroots/Community Groups

Do you need help building partnerships and finding partners?

  • Yes

If Yes to the above, please share 1-2 sentences describing the specific help you desire.

I think that coming together at a community level in different neighborhoods in NY can be greatly beneficial in order to both understand our neighbors needs as well as to help bring people with solutions together.

What do you think are the main barriers to implementing this solution?

Given the status quo, fear is our biggest enemy at the moment. Fear of coming together, touching other peoples food etc. But there are always solutions to these problems.

If you are currently working on a pivot, what have you learned so far?

I am working on implementing these marketing ideas. I see that people do want to be included in our creative processes and that inspires me greatly.

Are you aware of any open source efforts, hackathons or other collaborative efforts related to your solution? Are you participating in these efforts?

no i'm not aware of any at this moment

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