There may be a lot of uncertainty regarding the current state of the economy, brought undoubtedly by the protective measures against the coronavirus outbreak, but it’s impossible that trade will cease completely even after the worst has passed.
There will be an economy when the world ‘resumes,’ and like many others have predicted, it will be different. What exactly this new economy looks like – no one really knows. However, there are clues that can be pieced together to form a broad picture.
The challenges and opportunities in this new economy may be partly or entirely different to the ones known today. It’s important to already start trying to understand what these will be. Success in this fresh frontier will depend upon it.
According to the World Economic Forum, the European Commission’s European Green Deal is currently gaining traction. The plan has three major focuses that will have long-term impacts on both the economy and society. With this deal, the European Commission aims to eliminate all net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050, decouple economic growth from use of resources, and make sure that no place or person is left behind.
As detailed in the World Economic Forum article, the crisis the world is facing now had been foreshadowed by a book published in 1992 – Beyond the Limits: Confronting Global Collapse by Donella Meadows. In this book, the author described a global impasse will be caused, not by a single emergency, but by numerous separate yet related issues brought on by unsustainable living.
In this way, the cause of the current situation can be likened to other global crises like climate change, loss of biodiversity, and widespread financial meltdowns. What these problems have in common is that they affect everyone, and everyone is needed to prevent them (ideally) before they even start.
They also have more comprehensible connections. For example, without extensive deforestation, animals have no reason to live closer to human populations, thus reducing the likelihood of diseases like COVID-19 from spreading. Also, if the economy had been less polarized, the effects of the outbreak would not have been as devastating.
In this paper by the Panel on Climate Change, it is stated that global warming will increase the likelihood of new viruses emerging.
On a macro scale, governments and corporations need to pave the way for an economy that is sustainable and more accommodating of the public good – not just bottom lines. Instead of merely reacting to a disaster, a systemic change is needed for these types of crises to never happen again, or at least never this severe.
What does this mean for you? On a more personal level, a greener economy means more opportunities in the energy and agriculture sectors. Gearing your expertise or business towards those areas will increase your chances of success. In fact, according to the United Nations, 24 million new jobs will be available in a green economy.
Globalization is not Dying
There has been a lot of talk about how the global pandemic is killing globalization. It is true that the outbreak has caused disastrous setbacks to supply chains and international travel, but there’s more to this than just the transfer of goods and people from one country to another.
In fact, according to this article on Japan Times, at the core of globalization lies political, cultural, and social connections that have been built and strengthened in the last century and a half. It further describes how globalization has always been about the parallel development of ideas – manifested during the surge in healthcare and other sciences during the world wars.
Besides, even before the pandemic, supply chains have become increasingly regional because of the push to maximize the benefits of globalization while minimizing its cost.
Ecipe argues that globalization’s evolution during and after the pandemic will involve a stronger push for digitalization. The article cited the increase of ecommerce and overall internet activity as its main points. It added that the upward trend of digitalization even before the virus has also helped. The article further claimed that a wider acceptance of digital technologies will lead to significant productivity increases in the long-term.
Globalization will continue. In its push towards more digital means, even industries that are not conventionally inclined to these technologies will have to adapt. For example, in education, universities and schools previously viewed digitalization with ambivalent lenses are coming around – for the better.
What does this mean for you? Again, on a personal level, understanding how global connection trends have changed and will change further, you are in a position to take advantage of this opportunity. Working or conducting business in a digital setting will give you an edge. This also means that staying up to date with cutting edge technologies and global shifts in politics, society, and culture will be more important now than ever.
The future economy has already been peeking out even before the outbreak. Green and digital trends have been around for a while now and they will continue to develop because of the current situation.
As part of this future, you should make the necessary changes in your mindset and adopt a more holistic approach to the global market. A bachelor of business degree may not look the same as it did in the past, but that just means that it’s gearing up for the future.