Blog: "COVID-19: There are more questions than answers" - Charlie Woods, SUII
|Charlie Woods is EDAS's Policy and Practice |
sub-group Chair and Director of the
Scottish Universities Insight Institute
So sang Johnny Nash in the early seventies. It seems particularly apt as we think about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. As we scrabble about to make sense of what’s happening, the final line of the chorus also seems to be particularly appropriate - “And the more I find out the less I know”. Hopefully, things will become clearer, but we are only in the foothills of understanding at the moment.
“The economy that will emerge from this will look quite different and not just because many businesses may struggle to survive. How individual sectors and businesses will adapt over the next few months – from retail through to universities – will change behaviours forever. The government’s response to the public health crisis is arguably the first step on a new social partnership between the State and business, perhaps unlocking a much broader conversation about inequalities and sharing the proceeds of growth more evenly across society.”
“It will take years or decades for the significance of 2020 to be fully understood. But we can be sure that, as an authentically global crisis, it is also a global turning point. There is a great deal of emotional, physical and financial pain in the immediate future. But a crisis of this scale will never be truly resolved until many of the fundamentals of our social and economic life have been remade.”
- What will be some of the longer term changes in consumer behaviour - how will priorities change as people get a fresh insight into what’s really important for wellbeing?
- How will people feel about travelling in future?
- How will our understanding of other global emergencies and actions to tackle them evolve?
- What will be the impact on the growth of online retail and what are the implications for high streets?
- What will be the spatial and infrastructure implications?
- How will agglomeration economies be effected?
- What will be the impact on the design of supply chains?
- How will political priorities change in relation to the market’s role in the wellbeing of wider society
- How will the relationship within and between the public, private and third sectors evolve?
- What have we learned about how our financial system operates and what are the constraints on investment and innovation?