In “Our COVID Future”, Alex Evans and David Steven unpack the three layers and timeframes of the pandemic effect: A 2-year public health crisis, a 5-year economic crisis, and a one-generation crisis of insecurity. Then, they build four scenarios based on whether responses will be polarized or collective, and centralized or distributed. Each scenario shows who has power, who are the economic winners and losers, and how places and people are impacted. Scenarios like those are meant to expand and frame strategic thinking before making decisions. If you see any other similar exercises, please let me know.
COVID-19 accelerates certain pre-existing trends. One of them is the digitalization of higher education. With confinement and restrictions of movement, higher education has moved online over the past couple of months. Several universities such as Cambridge announced that they will stay online until summer 2021. In the medium term, NYU Stern Scott Galloway predicts that big tech will partner with elite universities to develop hybrid (i.e. online/onsite) models of education affordable to more people. Less prestigious universities will empty out while on-campus experience in elite universities will become a luxury good experience reserved to the richest.
My graph this week is from the UN Development Programme documenting the first-ever drop in human development since 1990. The Human Development Index combining data on health, education and income takes a hit with mortality increasing, school closing and unemployment growing.
My quote this week is from UCL economist Mariana Mazzucato talking about the Green New Deal [7’31’’]: “There is no thinking. Let’s just do it. We don’t have a choice.”