Time to move forwards, to reimagine the future … we are all now participants in a seismic experiment … from chaos to catalyst, time to accelerate innovation

May 17, 2020

Thanks to a small bit of contagious RNA we are all now unwilling participants in a seismic experiment that is shaking the foundations of society, technology, economics, healthcare and more. Dan Pink wonders if it’s a message from the future. Klaus Schwab calls it the bonfire of blinkered capitalism. Satya Nadella describes it as a shift “from hierarchies to wirearchies”.

As we move from survival to adjustment, from chaos to catalyst, the next normal (or abnormal) is being shaped right now. The next generation of businesses are being forged. The leaders of the future are stepping up. Great leaders are made in a crisis, and innovation thrives in tough times. How will you seize this moment to do more, to be more, to create a better future?

It’s a watershed moment. As the virus followed the flows of money, goods and people around the world, the networks that facilitate our modern lifestyles facilitated the pandemic. 183 countries have reported Covid-19 cases, 3 billion people across the world have been under some form of lockdown, with a $2.7 trillion projected economic loss (according to Bloomberg).

Right now, we are seeing a huge unmasking of our current systems – the fragility of business and society, the consequences of urbanisation and globalisation, our dependence on technology and healthcare. Activities in which consumers are likely to change behaviour most are in travel, shopping, and socialising. And to some extent in work, education and health.

We are faced with a choice to re-build the world as it was, or to realise the possibilities before us. To build stronger economies and more inclusive societies, to harness the power of our resilience and ingenuity to shape a better world of our choosing. We each have a role and a stake in solving humanity’s most pressing challenges, and also seizing its opportunities.

I believe we will see a rising social conscience in business, more future-proofed portfolio-based strategies, an acceleration to digital, a humanising of technology, a shift to dematerialisation, to more personalised experiences, more distributed businesses, supported by more agile ecosystems of global and local supply and demand, a more flexible workstyle, fast projects replacing traditional jobs, a more liquid learning style … and better leaders who look forwards not back.