Rethinking Student Loans

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Rethinking Student Loans

The cost of higher learning has become a hot button topic as tuition and housing fees reach an all time high at campuses across the nation, with accessibility and education financing coming into question. There is over $1.5 trillion owed in student debt across the nation collectively.

Student loans themselves aren’t inherently bad, however the monopoly that top lenders have on the market often pose a problem in terms of options and flexibility. In fact, many prospective students, recent grads and young adults struggle with the student loan process at its various stages as they try to maintain financial well being, seeing the loan debt as a necessary investment for their future. This is particularly true of students of color, who often bear the heaviest burden of student loans when compared to their counterparts.

Student loans won’t be going away anytime soon, however there is room for innovation in the industry. Youth focused lending businesses like affirm as well as youth oriented insurance programs like Lemonade have proven that new approaches to the financial services sector can be successful, especially for young adults who are accustomed to more tech focused solutions that promote accessibility and ease of use. Commonbond is one lender looking to strive towards student loan reform with more efficiency and transparency, but in the grand scheme of things that is just a step in addressing the greater issue of many youth having to play catch up just to survive let alone capitalize on their education to be successful. Recently, Morehouse College’s commencement speaker surprised the graduating class with a vow to pay off their student loans, sparking widespread gratitude and admiration, but at its core his gesture underscored the necessity of giving new grads a true opportunity to grow without an albatross weighing them down.


Livestream Farm to Table

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Livestream Farm to Table

When livestreaming first broke out, branding got a lot more personal - follow your favorite influencers to get a glimpse of their day-to-day life in real-time! Livestreaming quickly became a digital marketing tool for brands and social influencers alike. 

It was a tool especially well-received by the Chinese, and Taobao, Alibaba's C2C marketplace pioneered shopping for products via livestream. Millions of viewers went on the platform to be entertained and shop along. While livestreaming has mainly focused on fashion, entertainment, and lifestyle industries in the past, Taobao once again spearheaded the expansion of livestream shopping, and this time, expanded into the farming industry.

This past April, Taobao-Live highlighted the agricultural industry, cultivating 1,000 farmers from 100 rural counties to become livestream hosts. Consumers can now be a part of the growth of their produce, watch how the eggplants and snap peas were loved and cared for up until they were harvested for sale. Perfect for the current health and wellness trend, livestream brought a more foreign industry like agricultural farming to be a more relatable experience. Amazon and Instagram haven't caught on yet, but we can expect livestream shopping to spread among various e-commerce platforms; it is an online experience that builds on immersive, immediate, and convenient shopping. While human touch is still crucial, brands should take this opportunity to leverage their consumer experience, emotionally connecting with consumers before and after a transaction. 

We all have a story to tell - how is your brand stepping up in the streaming game?