Toward a Convergence Economy: Leapfrogging to a Post-Pandemic Society
LEAPFROGGING TO A POST-PANDEMIC SOCIETY
Among the many things the COVID-19 pandemic has been, it is a perfect storm of health and economic factors converging to produce a wicked problem for governments worldwide. Laurette Dubé has been researching the greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts aspects of health and economic convergence for more than a decade in her role as a professor and researcher at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management, and as Chair and Scientific Director, McGill Centre for the Convergence of Health and Economics (MCCHE). Dubé explains why this crisis was inevitable, and how the accelerated Industry 4.0 digitization forced upon us by the pandemic may power a leapfrog strategy to a convergence economy.
The COVID-19 pandemic forces questions about the order that has prevailed since the onset of the first industrial revolution, i.e., the Rest converging with the West. This model of economic convergence has brought tremendous social and economic progress. As the world embarked on a relentless quest for national and global economic growth, consumer lifestyle and industrial supply chains and markets progressively replaced traditional livelihoods and local communities and systems in most of the world. Over recent decades, transportation and communication technologies have powered ever-increasing speed and connectivity, at least until the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Controlling the spread of the virus that emerged in a wet market in Wuhan, China, has proven to be more challenging than containing the chol
The world seen from space. As fate would have it, the most brightly lit cities and countries are among the most devastated by the coronavirus, from New York in the U.S., to London in the U.K., to Paris and northern France, to Italy, India and China, with COVID also spreading in the southern hemisphere. A different world economy lies ahead.