Immediately after the pandemic
COVID-19 exposed the inability of our society to quickly respond to pandemics. Commenting on the current UK healthcare system, Bristol University professor Gabriel Scally said: “The resilience has been stripped systemically out of the system… If you make the system as lean and emaciated as it is, there will not be the public health staff there, there will not be the environmental health officers and you can’t magic them up out of nowhere.” Systems that have been optimised for efficiency no longer have resilience.
Toward a post- COVID-19 society
Some companies have been quick to repurpose their resources to meet demands. Independent brewer Brewdog used its distillery to make hand sanitiser. Uber Eats is now delivering groceries. Motorsport racers held e-sports races. Artists and performers are moving their shows online. Many community groups helped seniors with shopping. People have seen efforts by various players to provide services and goods that were lacking in society. Citizens are rethinking what services they can rely on during emergencies.
Companies create a “resilience chain”
The ability to respond flexibly to emergencies will be recognised as a corporate value. For example, companies that did not abandon their business partners during the pandemic or companies that actively divert their resources to alternative purposes are highly valued. A new index for measuring this flexibility in response, the “resilience chain”, will emerge. High-scoring businesses will be preferred as partners.
Companies that enable regions to become more resilient will become highly valued. The collaboration between public and businesses during emergencies needs to be considered to enable quick reaction when needed. Factors such as hardware repairability and software openness become important metrics for inviting other stakeholders into the resilience chain.
Resilience in people
Communities fill the gaps in society faster than large companies and municipalities. Features such as the ‘Maker Movement’ and generational diversity – where younger generations can support the elderly – will be recognised as measures that increase the resilience of a region, make it an attractive place to live. Social media and easy-to-use, hackable technologies will be used by citizens to revive the resilience in society.
The country becomes aware of the power of citizens and actively incorporates them into the social system. We will see a hackable infrastructure in which citizens, companies and the municipality collectively use the resources of the city for multiple purposes.