As I’ve said in an earlier post, predicting life after pandemics has been a fools errand. Futurist Amy Webb described it this way: “Any time a new change is foisted upon us, very quickly there is a bias to thinking that the new present is the future. That is almost universally never the case.” Many Futurists and other thought leaders are providing their thoughts on what this post-pandemic world might look like. In an article focused on The Unexpected Consequences of the Pandemic, author Bryan Walsh says that we know COVID-19 will fundamentally alter the world, but those changes may not be the ones you expect.
As we peer into the Looking Glass, we know that uncertainty is staring back. Our exponential world and all its building blocks and scenarios has created this looking glass phenomenon – something I explored in this Leadership Course back in 2017. COVID-19 underscores this uncertainty, serving as both an accelerant and an obstacle. A good example is explored in this Article on automation. Will the pandemic serve as an automation accelerant, as businesses replace laid off employees via automation? Or is it an obstacle to the capital investment required to enable automation?
In a recent Post Gerd Leonhard explores the great transformation catalyzed by COVID-19. He uses this quote from Milton Friedman to focus on the need to think differently.
“Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable”
What might a post-pandemic society look like? In a Recent Post, I attempted to address that question by taking a journey backward to a similar time; exactly a century ago. What does a backward journey have to do with a post-pandemic society? The answer lies in a famous quote:
“The further backward you look, the further forward you can see” Winston Churchill
My colleagues (Kevin Mulcahy, Rose Rodriguez, and April Harris) created a video that captures the Blog Content: A journey to the past, and then a look ahead. You can find other videos that focus on a reimagined future on this YouTube Channel.
While the immediate focus of our global health crisis remains on the present, as we approach the other side, many will focus on a post-pandemic future. Painting pictures of possible futures was already critical in this time of rapid change; the pandemic elevates the urgency. I have been sharing the perspectives of many global thinkers in the interest of providing foresight to those who will need it when the focus shifts. A virtual session focused on a post-pandemic society is being planned, and I will likely participate. In discussing that possibility, I was presented with this Article.
COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on China’s economy. Jenna Ross at Visual Capitalist describes how the effects on their economy could foreshadow what the rest of the world can expect. While China turns the corner on the health side of the story, the economic side is telling its story. This Article via the World Economic Forum uses visualization to tell this economic story. Countries in the early stages of the outbreak should take notice.