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A crisis is a terrible thing to waste. How Covid-19 changed our world, by Gerd Leonhard

Greetings everyone Recently, I was inspired by a post published by fellow German Futurist Matthias Ho

Futurist Gerd Leonhard's latest findings, links and thoughts

March 25 · Issue #34 · View online
The best links and must-reads aggregated by Gerd Leonhard, Futurist & Humanist, Keynote Speaker, Author of 'Technology vs Humanity', Film-Maker, and CEO of The Futures Agency in Zürich / Switzerland.

Greetings everyone
Recently, I was inspired by a post published by fellow German Futurist Matthias Horx, describing a fictional post-corona world. It made me think of this well-known Milton Friedman 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. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable”
So, in the spirit of ‘finding alternatives’, I am now sharing my foresights and hunches on what we can expect the world to be like, in late 2020, here on my blog.
Some excerpts are below, and you can download a PDF with the entire post as well.
I feel that this is a really important piece (and yes, with some uplifting messages, as well) during a time in which many of us are struggling with a global event that’s starting to look a lot like a modern day version of the Great Depression.
We now need to support each other, to hyper-collaborate, to adapt and above all, to use this crisis to ‘take the ideas that are lying around and develop alternatives’. There are no 2 ways about it: we are experiencing a global shift in consciousness.
On my end I am expanding my work to what I call Digital Conferencing - we will have a few announcements on this next week.
In the meantime please have a look at these 2 upcoming events:
March 26 6pm CET: Covid19 and the Future of Business, and
April 2 5pm CET: Everything you need to know about online conferencing.
Both are free but we only have 500 seats and we’re already 75% booked at this time so… hurry up! We will use the Zoom platform again, btw.
But now, please dive into this important piece - let me know what you think, and spread it everywhere if you like it.
Kind regards from Switzerland, and be safe!
Gerd Leonhard, Futurist and CEO The Futures Agency

Does it feel like the world is... stopping?
Does it feel like the world is... stopping?
This is what I see LOOKING BACK from late 2020...
The crisis did not end quickly. We never returned to normal. ‘Business as usual’ is no more. BUT…
In late 2020 it is clear that Covid-19 has caused a massive global reset, in every aspect i.e. economically, socially, politically, environmentally and scientifically. Indeed, the impact of this crisis can now be compared to that of the Great Depression. A global recession is in full swing.
Global GDP growth was unimaginably negative for 2020 (for a still rather optimistic take from March 2020 go here). The U.S. fared the worst, while China quickly jockeyed to reposition itself for a new world order. Yet, 2020 was the first year in industrial-age history where global CO2 emissions have declinedRead on
The way we work will never be the same: remote everything is here!
*Reminder: I am back-casting from late 2020 – these are projections from the future*
In 2020, remote and virtual working became a realistic and even desirable option for many of us. Finally, no matter what business you’re in and where you are based (*note the caveat below), working from home, remotely, virtually or digitally has become completely acceptable as well as technically feasible for almost everyone. 
A whole new ‘remote working’ industry is unfolding (see this NYT story), and new technologies like holograms and mixed reality applications are being rolled out quickly.
Zoom has become the new Youtube, and this is only the beginning as the rising tide of #remoteverything will float all boats. I expect 7 Billion people to be connected at high speeds within the next 5 years.
In 2020, digital conferencing became as normal as WhatsApp.  Once everyone learned how to do it, there was no stopping it.
Business & Politics 'as usual' is finished
The countries that subscribed to ‘extreme capitalism’ have seen significant chaos in 2020 – we can and must learn from this experience.
This crisis has seriously accelerated the ‘End of Oil’
For the first time in modern history we were able to see what happens when we actually burn less fossil fuels – and that really made us think. Due to the global meltdown of airlines, tourism and many of the other CO2 heavy industries, fuel demand dropped like a rock in 2020. In late 2020, many oil, gas and coal companies have become bona-fide burning platforms and investors are bailing as fast they can.
Divestment from fossil fuels was already at an all-time high before this crisis. Now, the world’s money is starting to flow towards sustainable / impact investing, and to ESG-driven funds. By 2025, investing in fossil fuels will become akin to a criminal act… Read on
There will be light at the end of this tunnel!
There will be light at the end of this tunnel!
Gerd Leonhard
I just published a #mustread post on #postcoronafuture: A crisis is a terrible thing to waste. How #Covid19 changed our world: Futurist Gerd Leonhard looks back from late 2020 #COVID19 using the 'backcasting' approach incl: Trump exit, #endofoil +++
Don't miss my new film at
Don't miss my new film at
» How the Future Works – a Film by Gerd Leonhard
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