To­ward a Con­ver­gence Econ­omy: Leapfrog­ging to a Post-Pan­demic So­ci­ety


Policy - - In This Issue - Lau­rette Dubé

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.

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