Changing sectors, values

As the virus upends productivity across the world, the question now is how bad things will get. Economists’ models trained on business cycles in the post-war era are of little use to us now.

How many once-viable companies will be permanently impaired? And how many people will lose their job and their attachment to the labour force? The answers to these questions will be the true measures of the effectiveness of the evolving system, the responses of governments, companies and banks.

Amid the fog, one thing seems certain: some sectors will suffer more than others. The crisis has revealed the very real opportunities: in teleworking, e-health, distance learning and the acceleration of digital transformation across all industry sectors.

This sea change is sure to progress value; creativity will still be highly prized, but new, paradoxically human-centred factors will shape value: psychological and societal.