GENOA (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 02nd April, 2020) The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will last for a relatively brief period, but will however change the course of history and the nature of leadership, global trend researchers and forecasters have told Sputnik.
On Wednesday, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that he expected the global number of COVID-19 cases to reach 1 million in the next few days, and the death toll to rise to 50,000.
“Visionary thinking has always been a characteristic of great leaders. Now we will have to add a new dimension of incalculable probabilities. Thinking about the future and anticipating eventualities will be more in demand than ever. COVID-19 has demonstrated that we cannot ignore what is unknown,” John Naisbitt, an author and trends analyst said, adding that change is now “exploding exponentially in ways that we have never seen before in our lifetimes.”
According to Naisbitt’s spouse and internationally recognized speaker Doris Naisbitt, an old saying “he who hesitates is lost” is becoming increasingly relevant in the world of today and tomorrow.
“We see three future key elements in leadership. First, to constantly scan the global environment and anticipate trends. Second, to act immediately on external threats and opportunities. Third, to balance the risks of equally demanding alternatives like public health protection vs. economic performance protection,” she said.
The current crisis is a “brief moment in time that will permanently alter the course of history,” Thomas Frey, a futurist and the executive director of DaVinci Institute, believes. �
Outlining the most likely trends for the post-coronavirus era, he noted that governments are going to be “more digital, more prepared, and more crisis-ready.” They may also try to take back much of the power and control from multinational corporations and promise to never let a single disease shut down the world again, he added.�
Coronavirus has been detected in at least 205 countries and territories, prompting leaders to demonstrate various approaches to fighting the pandemic. Most of the nations affected by the virus have imposed nationwide quarantines. Sweden, however, has been an exception in Europe and took a relaxed approach. President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte, to the contrary, has taken a hard stand and told police and military to shoot if quarantine abusers “fight back.
“Authoritarian systems will praise their effective handling of the problem and take it as a further justification for their system. Can we count on more reasonable, more responsible, more long-term thinking of democratically elected leaders? Scarcely,” John Naisbitt said.
He noted that the global threat of COVID-19 is going to be another test for Europe of its ability to resolve differences and act together as a union.
“Dealing with a common enemy is a great unifying force. It’s much harder for people from another country, race, religion, or culture to be viewed as a threat when you’ve both endured the trying times of a global crisis,” Thomas Frey said.
Apart from leadership and management, the pandemic is going to profoundly impact education systems across the globe. Distance learning is gaining traction more than ever before.
The current crisis is a “perfect storm” for education to be transformed, Thomas Frey believes.
“Virtually every parent and child in the world has gotten a taste of what homeschooling is all about, and many will not want to go back to the same government-run schools,” he said.
Eventually, the hard times of the coronavirus, which, according to Frey, will “go down in the history books as the most expensive crisis in all history,” may also bring positive changes in our lives.
“The airline industry will soon be transformed from the cattle car experience of hauling large numbers of people in cramped spaces around the world to something a bit more humane,” he said.
Doris Naisbitt stressed that the crisis has brought forward the importance of compassion, care and empathy for others.
“In all considerations we should not underestimate the emotional and intellectual stimulation of being with people. … As writers we know that after hours of working on your own desk you just need to exchange thoughts and test ideas. People need people, and sadly COVID-19 is proving that,” she added.
Indeed, it is hard to find any other parallel apart from war times to coronavirus emergency in how it has prompted all industries and social groups in various countries to work together to defeat a common, though invisible, enemy – from huge fashion houses, like Armani, producing medical overalls, to start-ups of five persons making respirators on 3D printers.