Unmissable Reads

Date: 21 April, 2020

Stuff we liked

Darius Pasalar

By Darius Pasalar

Senior Strategist

Tomorrow’s world is an interesting coupling of words that pre-Covid, had a real bang of science fiction off it. Now though, it’s a much more practical affair. We’re at a point of asking big questions that will affect us all. The selection of content this week looks to gather some of those big questions percolating out there about what our future may be.

1. Covid-19: A Look Back From 2025

Bret Stephens’ opinion piece in The New York Times is written from the perspective of a journalist in 2025 looking back on all that’s changed since 2020. It’s a sobering read in places, which brings to mind that great quote from Arthur C Clark; ‘Science fiction seldom attempts to predict the future. More often than not, it tries to prevent it.’

When Covid-19 first emerged as a health crisis in China five years ago, observers noted that authoritarian regimes — with their hostility toward whistle-blowers, their manipulation of data, their fear of the free flow of information — facilitate the spread of disease.

Within a few months, it became clear that the flip side of that proposition was also true: Disease facilitates the spread of authoritarianism.

2. You Gov tracking today to predict tomorrow

You Gov’s Covid tracker is a really strong piece of data collection with global reach and resonance. The material tracks how behaviour and opinion has changed since the break out. In looking at tomorrow’s world, the value of data has never been more important.

3. Tomorrow’s fine art

We’ve seen galleries all over the world providing virtual tours over the last few weeks. This is a democratising of the world’s antiquities, which throws up questions around what it means to view masterpieces. 

Or why bother going to a famous gallery when you can just recreate paintings at home which you can gift the world through Insta?

4. Everything will change forever after Coronavirus…won’t it?

With all of us so focused on all the change coming our way this piece poses an interesting counter-argument. Well worth the read.

Predictions of fundamental change after Covid-19 are driven by the biased perspectives of those making them – in reality, most things will go back to how they were.

5. Tomorrow’s world needs a comprehensive overview. 

The scale and breadth of the questions that are being asked on what the future holds, is vast. Never before will collaboration and a sharing of knowledge be so important. This piece by BOND is a really well detailed and considered piece that looks at the future from a myriad of perspectives. All of which lead to some big thought provoking questions.

1) Modernize and improve government / healthcare / education driving lower costs and more efficiency

2) Improve coordination between government and business for the good of citizens

3) Help people find jobs (and training) best suited to their skills and lifestyles

4) Promote more considered consumption

5) Get back to basics including staying closer to home

6) Bolster family connectedness / seriousness of purpose / community / faith?

How we will answer these questions, only time will tell, when we look back from tomorrow’s world.