Rapid Foresight Survey
New report: Where is the world headed post-COVID-19?
Expected trends in the coming three years
Revised version posted: 13 July, 2020.
Where is the world headed post-COVID-19? Is the first in a series of reports to emerge from the rapid foresight survey launched in April 2020, COVID-19: Where do we go from here? The survey reached out to members of the sustainability community as well as to the global general population to take the pulse of these communities and tap into a broad diversity of perspectives from around the world to spark and foster new and more pluralistic dialogues around recovery strategies as we begin to rebuild. The report discusses global expected trends on where the world is headed in the coming three years, identifies and elaborates on four prominent classes of drivers of societal change, and explains key insights that can help to inform short and medium-term strategies on how we build back from the COVID-19 pandemic for a more equitable, sustainable, and resilient future.
Key Insights from the report
1. In the next three years, most people expect that societal changes following the COVID-19 pandemic will result from four classes of drivers: shifts in policy, norms, power dynamics, and mindsets.
2. More sustainable outcomes are associated with a transition toward less economic interdependence (greater self-reliance), which is underpinned by shifts in policy and norms.
3. Many respondents from the Global South expect a trend towards reduced inequality and a larger ecological footprint.
4. Almost all respondents, across all regions of the world, expect digital surveillance to significantly increase.
About the Rapid Foresight Survey
In April 2020, Future Earth, Imperial College London’s Grantham Institute and the Sustainability in the Digital Age initiative launched a Rapid Foresight Survey ‘COVID-19: Where do we go from here?’ The survey reached out to members in the Sustainability Community as well as to the global General Population to take the pulse of these communities and tap into a broad diversity of perspectives from around the world to help inform and shape recovery strategies as we begin to rebuild. Survey questions explored how society and the economy are responding to the COVID-19 crisis, opportunities for transformative change towards a more resilient, sustainable, and equitable world, and potential ways to leverage the digital sector while also managing potential threats to privacy, equity, and democratic rule.
The Rapid Foresight Survey was designed by a Future Earth project team under the guidance of a multidisciplinary advisory team.
Institute for Sustainable Development and Research, ISDR
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London
Center for Governance and Sustainability, John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts
Department of Biogeochemical Integration, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University