A few weeks after the World Economic Forum launched their ‘Great Reset‘ initiative, it was followed up with the release of a new book titled, ‘Covid-19: The Great Reset‘, authored by the executive chairman of the WEF, Klaus Schwab, and Senior Director of the Global Risk Network at the institution, Thierry Malleret.
Having read the book I wanted to share with you some initial thoughts on the potential significance of the publication.
As touched upon in my last article, there are 5 planks to the Great Reset – economic, societal, geopolitical, environmental and technological – all of which the book covers in detail. But I want to focus largely on the conclusion, as it is here where the author’s motivations and rationale for championing a Great Reset, in the wake of Covid-19, become clearer.
Schwab and Malleret characterise the future direction of the world as ‘The Post Pandemic Era‘, a phrase that is repeated ad nauseam throughout. Rather than define it to a particular outcome, the authors opt instead to ask whether this new era will be marked by more or less cooperation between nations. Will countries turn inward resulting in the growth of nationalism and protectionism, or will they sacrifice their own interests for greater interdependence?
No firm prediction is made either way, but we do manage to gain a degree of insight into the authors’ way of thinking when they discuss what they call ‘the direction of the trend.’ They write that concerns over the environment (primarily through the prism of climate change) and the advancement of technology (integral to the Fourth Industrial Revolution) were pervasive long before Covid-19 entered the picture. With the economic and health implications of the lockdowns now ingrained within society, Schwab and Malleret contend that long established worries amongst citizens ‘have been laid bare for all to see‘ and ‘amplified‘ because of the pandemic. In other words, if minds were not concentrated on the problems and threats the world faced before Covid-19, then they certainly are now.
And whilst the direction of these trends on the environment and technology may not have changed, with the onset of Covid-19 it ‘got a lot faster.’ It is why Schwab and Malleret believe that these two issues in particular ‘will force their way onto the political agenda‘ due to increasing public pressure. A movement such as Extinction Rebellion is one example. Another is the rapid growth of the Fintech community which is leading people to question what constitutes money ‘in the digital age.’