Transform, Collapse or Disciplined Change? How business action could determine what happens next

As countries start to approach or pass the pandemic’s peak, the conversation is gathering pace on how we ‘build back better’ and create a more sustainable post-COVID-19 world; one in which ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option and in which human and planetary health are equally prioritised.

At the Forum for the Future, they are charting and making sense of this progress and the dynamic change in order to understand how they might support this emergence into a more just sustainable and resilient world.

Transforming the future

At the Forum they believe strongly that the Transform trajectory is the one that must prevail.

The Collapse trajectory sees a future in which we retreated to ‘life as knew it’, locking in unsustainable practices and prioritising resources for the few over the many.

The Discipline trajectory sees a future in which greater tech-enabled control is needed to maintain public health, security and growth.

Food

The recognition of the importance of local food production as a route to food security and resilience is also the impetus behind the Singapore Food Bowl.

Value Chains and Livelihoods

Global supply chains, from apparel to food, have been seriously disrupted by COVID-19. At a macro-level, many businesses are now accelerating diversification of supply chains away from China, with nation-states such as India signalling a willingness to provide incentives to make this a reality.

Whilst this will no doubt build resilience, there is a real risk of ‘locking in’ the current features of these supply chains which make transformation towards sustainability even harder – this would see us move closer to the Collapse trajectory.

COVID-19 has also hit the apparel supply chain particularly hard, with orders cancelled, leaving the livelihoods of millions of apparel workers at risk.

Future

Businesses need to recognise that the actions that they take today have a profound influence over tomorrow. At the Forum, they will continue to track change and use ongoing refinements to understand where the world is headed, why, and where interventions can create meaningful change.

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