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Down Under

Tech.

— Differently Connected

According to the Australian Survey of Social Attitudes, half of Australians have actively reduced their use of traditional social media. Facebook’s decision to block the sharing of links and news for users and pages in Australia certainly didn’t help, and actually it led to an appeal on Twitter with the hashtag #deletefacebook, inviting people to distance themselves from the main social channels.

A new social-media critical awareness is growing among Australians across all generations, but especially the younger Gen Z.

This also derives from the emergence of new alternative platforms that offer more “authentic” connection styles, such as Yubo and String: social media without likes, influencers or advertising.

Young Australians say they feel armed with new choices and renewed awareness, traditional technology platforms should rightly start fearing this, rather than exploiting their users. They should begin focusing on increasingly honest, intelligent and rewarding proposals and forms of engagement.

Design.

— The Inclusiveness Drawn on the Walls of Melbourne

It is very visible now, how people choose their favourite brands following shared values, ethics, and vision. Converse for example has encouraged intercultural Conversations through a mural in Melbourne that represents indigenous identity.

As part of its “City Forests” campaign, Converse commissions artists from around the world to create mural artworks capable of celebrating social progress through inclusiveness. The mural by indigenous artist and activist Aretha Brown aims at inspiring new observations and conversations about identity and environmentalism.

Brown – whose indigenous name is Gumbaynggirr – wanted to break the stereotype that “all indigenous people live in remote communities” and wanted to give a new, contemporary and free voice to indigenous youth “whose stories integrate with urban stories”.

But the most significant and innovative aspect of this artistic project are the eco-friendly properties of the mural: a paint capable of absorbing the atmospheric pollutant as if there were 128 trees.

After all, “respecting nature to live in perfect harmony with it” is a principle in which the aborigines have always believed in.

Lifestyle.

— A Bouquet for You, Bro

It is not enough going to the other side of the world to find models that overturn an obsolete and counterproductive concept of masculinity. A study carried out by The Men’s Project found that the social endorsement of stereotypical male norms such as self-reliance, tenacity and rigid roles still produces severe psychological disruptions in the male Australian population. Gotcha4Life, a nonprofit organisation that works to prevent mental health problems tells us with a flower.

“Flowers are a highly emotional gift and most flowers are given by and for women,” says Kellie Brown, founder of Fig & Bloom, a florist chain collaborating with Gotcha4Life.

Broquets are floral arrangements that are part of a campaign to encourage emotional intimacy between men. “We want also men to have fun giving and receiving flowers. We hope that the gift of these man-to-man Broquets will open up a new kind of conversation and strengthen new connections within the male universe.”

Thanks to initiatives like this, Australian society could consolidate new meanings of “being a man” and the Alpha male could finally convert into an equally sensual Agapanto male.