Citizens around the globe are glued to the news as the coronavirus continues to silently spread. But Jonathan Brill, a gifted futurist who has helped some of the world's leading companies navigate uncertainty, suggests that what we really need to focus on is life after the pandemic.
While globalization has improved quality of life for billions, its speed and efficiency also “increases the impact of synchronous economic shocks,” writes Jonathan Brill. Essentially, this is what we’re seeing with the coronavirus now. Many of the hardest hit countries, like Italy and Spain, have placed a hard stop on their economies, likely forcing their trading partners to take action as well. What kind of implications will these drastic measures have on our economy on the long-term?
“We are about to discover that the technological and economic foundations we have built to handle asynchronous shocks don't work when the whole world slows simultaneously,” says Brill. “A number of economically critical systems will be pushed to the edge, if not over.” Those include supply chain systems, health care, transportation, corporations, governments, and even digital sales channels. The effect, as debt services will soon eat into social services, will be a cry from citizens to restructure the social contract.
Despite the new economic reality we will soon face, Brill cautions that we can’t afford a weak response from world leaders. “It would be a game of economic dominoes,” he says. Moving forward, we need to continue to grow the global economy by building resilient, proactive systems. “These systems will involve emerging technologies and inevitably challenge many of the privileges and rights that we hold most dear.”
In the end, Brill maintains we will have ourselves a radically transformed world—for the better.
Read his full article here.
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