Society and community have never faced such challenging times, we have no clarity of what our world will look like, and I for one am not aligned to the Trump rhetoric of ‘open for business in a number of weeks’. This does not feel to me like the pause button has been hit, more ‘Ctrl Alt Del’. The global economy has required immediate triage and for the most part the Politicians are responding quickly. We may well see some restrictions lifted in weeks and not months giving a sense of relief, then the realization and anxiety kicks in as to the economic damage we face, and the potential looping of this virus later in the year.

I wondered what does the future hold? Some of you may have read my article ‘Clarity of Vision For The Next Decade’ little did any of us know that at the time of writing we would be facing such a global challenge effecting both individual wellbeing and our economic futures.

Technology has remained the mainstay of the global economy and continues to pump blood to our economic heart, those companies who have adapted and focused on the digitalization of their business although impacted appear to be fairing better; the question remains what will the future look like?

Reflecting back I recalled a TEDx given by Economist Andrew McAfee titled ‘What will future jobs look like?’ I would heartedly recommend it. One of Andrew’s opening statement “We are going to see more and more things that look like science fiction and fewer that look like Jobs” seems profound. AI in its various forms Siri and Watson with their emerging cognitive learning could replace call centers and customer services, robotics in distribution and the list goes on, is the age of technological unemployment at hand and will the Covid-19 virus act as an accelerant?

The earlier adopters are weathering the current pandemic better than the technological laggards, we see creativity from the maker communities and early stage start ups no more so than the maker community fighting the Covid virus in Spain. The current pandemic will change the commercial landscape dramatically, there will be shift with many new organisations replacing the technological laggards.

We will all feel the pain and suffering in the short term, my prediction however is that automation through AI will now accelerate faster then previously thought. Governments will need to consider adopting elements of a Milton Friedman like approach to wellbeing. To be clear I am not promoting a socialist agenda far from it I firmly favour free market economics however this unprecedented shift will require us to reconsider the norms.

It is my profound hope that from the ashes of the current pandemic a phoenix will rise, our activities will shift and society and community will improve. Be safe look after those around you and lets remain relentlessly optimistic.