Aquent Aquent


by Katja Forbes


Covid-19 showed us how vulnerable we are. We are affected at all levels of our lives: Healthwise, social and, above all, economical. The economic effects in particular have hit us hard —we were not prepared. 

Some companies are little affected, as they serve urgent needs in the crisis, such as Amazon, Netflix or gaming companies. Others are losing business massively because their offer is not in demand during the crisis, e.g. Lufthansa and exhibition providers. The most common reasons we’re seeing are:

  • Reliance on a traditional business paradigm
  • Lack of innovative (digital) technology
  • Broken global value chain
  • Change in consumer behaviour and needs 

Lockdown hits traditional businesses hard. The traditional business paradigm supports profit, performance, being better and competition. It’s a lonely fight using linear thinking. It’s not driven by purpose, belonging or co-operation which underpin more evolutionary businesses.

There will be no back to normal.

When we restart our economy, it will happen under conditions that did not exist before lockdown. This worldwide experience has changed our behaviour and shifted the values. This value shift will lead to a long lasting renewal.  We need the ability to manage the complexity of our world and adapt quickly to new situations. Traditional business models need to be challenged and adjusted to be more resilient and adaptable.

Watch the recording from our Australian Aquent team, as Katja Forbes talks about how businesses have, and will continue to, adapt. She talks about quick feasible solutions for the current situation, approaches for the time directly after the lockdown and strategies to be better prepared for a crisis in the future.

About Author

Katja Forbes is an Australian pioneer in the field of experience design and all of its components – research, emerging technology as well as service design, customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX). She is the Managing Director of Designit, Australia & New Zealand, a global, strategic design firm who work with ambitious brands to create high-impact products, services, systems and spaces – that people love. Katja is proud to be an International Director on the Global Board of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA).

Back in 2014, Katja founded syfte, a specialist business in research and experience design. In late 2018, her business was acquired by the international firm Wipro, and she was announced as ‘Managing Director of Australia & New Zealand’ for Designit, Wipro’s strategic design arm. 

One of Katja’s personal motivations is to inspire other women, especially in her industry, to reach toward their definition of professional success. She is a sought-after keynote speaker for various organisations and associations including Interaction Latin America, Design Up (Bangalore). Women In Design, Leaders in Heels, Women In Commerce, Code like a Girl (Melbourne Knowledge week), Inaugural CMO Conference 2017, Telstra and Macquarie

Bank. Katja was recognised as one of the Top 10 Australian Women Entrepreneurs 2018 by My Entrepreneur Magazine and named one of the 100 Women of Influence by Westpac and the Australian Financial Review in 2016.

Author's Website

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