12 bullets by Futurist Gerd Leonhard: essential Post-Corona Foresights
Last week, I wrote a fairly lengthy piece on The Great Transformation and what our world could look like, backcasting from late 2020. Many people have requested a shorter version, so here it is; slightly updated with some added angles. I hope you like it!
Let’s start with Milton Friedman’s famous quote:
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.
So let’s make sure the right ideas are ‘lying around’!!
1. Post-Corona, healthcare will once again become a public matter and responsibility, and the spread of privatized healthcare will be reversed. Investments in healthcare, particularly in bio-technologies, will skyrocket. Millions of new jobs will result. Complex ethical challenges will emerge, related to ‘big data’, tracking & surveillance, AI/IA and genome editing.
2. Post-Corona, the fossil fuel industries (oil, gas and coal) will rapidly become burning platforms, with divestment reaching record heights and and with a huge influx of new money going into sustainable energy, generating 10s of millions of new jobs.
3. Post-Corona, ‘Big-Tech’ will be even further entrenched in our daily habits and rituals, but will also be constantly challenged on its ethics, values and responsibilities. ‘Too-much-of-a-good-thing’ will be the key challenge and regulation debates will rage. Will it be humanity on-top of technology or should we ‘transcend human limitations‘?
4. Post-Corona, wide-spread mass surveillance and digital tracking will become the new normal in many countries, spreading beyond cities and public spaces to the workplace and thus private life at home. In many democratic countries, going back to the pre-corona norms on surveillance will become a wicked problem.
5. Post-Corona, new global travel rules will include the medical vetting of long-distance travellers and the universal enforcement of carbon taxes. Multinational companies will move many of their upcoming meetings, events and conferences to increasingly sophisticated virtual platforms and telepresence systems (including AR, VR, MR – mixed reality- and holograms)
6. Post-Corona, remote working, virtual meetings and digital conferencing will become an established everyday habit, catalysing the convergence of work and home and requiring the rapid adaptation of our pre-corona social contracts and the traditional logic of social security (watch my film HowTheFutureWorks, below)
7. Post-Corona, global hyper-collaboration goes into warp-drive, pioneered by the scientific communities during the covid19 crisis, and now fuelled by a vast influx of public funding of scientific collaboration platforms to prepare for the coming challenges of the next pandemics, AGI, geo-engineering and human genome editing.
8. Post-Corona, ‘strong-man’ and populist politicians harking back to a vanished past will be ousted or simply ignored, and a new generation of foresightful leaders (millennials and females) will take their place. Yet at the same time, some autocratic regimes will seek to expand their power over their citizens using the crisis as an excuse for maintaining dragonian surveillance measures. Thus, Covid19 may fuel facilitate the spread of authoritarianism – if such a tendency existed before the crisis.
9. Post-Corona, the European Union is forced (as well as politically authorised) to think and act as a united region – the United States of Europe will emerge much quicker than anticipated, and the USofE will once again work much closer with a post-Trump USA.
10. Post-Corona, conventional capitalism that prioritised owners and shareholders at the expense of everything/one else (including a proper public healthcare system) is waning, and more inclusive and sustainable economic models are gaining traction – sustainable capitalism is finally on the horizon. Read.
11. Post-Corona, the way we manage our agricultural ecosystems and food supplies will change dramatically, with a new emphasis on self-sufficiency, local supply and vegetarian diets.
12. Post-Corona, human-only attributes, human-to-human interactions, tacit knowledge, EQ (not IQ) and what I call the Androrithms (the opposite of algorithms) will be increasingly more important than logic, data, algorithms and ‘machine intelligence’. Because: Whatever is easy for a human is hard for a computer, and nice versa (the Moravec Paradox)