What Comes After COVID?
One trend is clear: the “virtualization” of our world has greatly accelerated. Work from home, telemedicine, virtual shopping, distance learning, socializing, exercise: more activities than we might imagine will move to the virtual world during the rest of this decade. This will impact almost all sectors of business and society.
The winners will be those who choose wisely what must stay in the real world and what is best done virtually.
A few more possibilities:
- Instead of fully restaffing, business will invest in artificial intelligence and robotics.
- Businesses will move to either “luxury, full-service” or “everyday low prices,” with diminishing focus on the middle market.
- A new focus on personal wellness, with widespread use of apps and wearable health sensors.
- Hyper-local social networks and community organization will grow in importance. The “sharing economy” may come to mean actual sharing, rather than Uber.
- Consumers will seek a sense of control and sustainability in their personal lives: health, shopping, transportation and more.
- Society will rethink the size, influence and responsibilities of social media and Big Tech.
- The COVID crisis will transition into another crisis: disasters due to extreme weather. Are there tools and practices from COVID that can help with this new threat?
And one hopeful prediction:
- Scientists master rapid vaccination development, governments create smart global health monitoring systems, and COVID becomes the last human pandemic in history.