There will be no ‘back to normal’

By Christopher Haley, Jack Orlik, Eszter Czibor, Hugo Cuello, Teo Firpo, Marieke Goettsch, Lou-Davina Stouffs, Laurie Smith: “The pandemic will change the world permanently and profoundly. Even if countries can control the spread of COVID-19 in the coming months, there will be vast political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental consequences which will last many decades.

In this article, we summarise and synthesise various – often opposing – views about how the world might change. Clearly, these are speculative; no-one knows what the future will look like. But we do know that crises invariably prompt deep and unexpected shifts, so that those anticipating a return to pre-pandemic normality may be shocked to find that many of the previous systems, structures, norms and jobs have disappeared and will not return.

For this reason, adaptation and innovation are more important than ever. Tempting though it is for organizations to ‘batten down the hatches’, in anticipation of resuming business as normal in a few months, many will emerge to find that their market has evaporated, their partners or supply chains have shifted, and that their stakeholders have radically different priorities. At Nesta, we’re using this analysis as a basis to explore the role of innovation in possible future scenarios in the aftermath of COVID-19. We hope it also helps others to facilitate important discussions within their organizations as we all look to adjust to the new world that emerges.”

Source: NESTA (National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts) est. 20 min read.