Quality news will be central to creating a better future in this pivotal phase in humanity

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Last week I gave the opening keynote at the International News Media Association Virtual World Congress, on the topic of Reinvention for a Post-Pandemic Future.

My keynote was focused on the manifold opportunities for the news industry at this time of exceptional change.

However the subtext was the critical role of news in supporting a better future for everyone.
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5 sets of resources on how to do remote work well from the world’s leading virtual companies

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Many people and organizations have recently been suddenly thrown into a world of remote work, and are struggling to work out how to do.

A few companies have long relied heavily on remote work, or even been completely virtual organizations since they were founded.

A number of those companies, in line with their philosophies and principles, have openly shared their internal resources to help do remote work well.

Here is a selection of five of the best.
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This crisis will spawn a vast spectrum of increasingly distinctive and unique organizations

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I have long believed that organizations are becoming more different from each other and increasingly unique.

Social technologies made organizations more different

In the first instance this divergence has been fueled over the last dozen years by organizations implementing social technologies to add a differentiated layer of ad-hoc networks to the existing commoditized layer of standardized processes.

Social technologies can be used by the people they connect in an unlimited number of ways.

In many organizations they have amplified – or made manifest – existing cultures of collaboration, or of lack of trust.

In every case they have been used differently and shaped organizations to be more unique.
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The pace of local robot deliveries is massively accelerating and won’t go back

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Over the last years there has been plenty of media coverage of delivery robots and delivery drones, but the actual number of fully automated deliveries has been highly limited.

In a world of social distancing and restaurant and shop closures around the world, local deliveries have moved from what was already a substantial industry to a decent chunk of the economy.

While employment losses in other sectors have meant there are more people available to do deliveries, there are constraints including scheduling, cost, and health concerns from both customers and delivery workers.

There are a number of reports of soaring demand for delivery robots.
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Using scenario planning to see the world past COVID-19: a compilation of 5 insightful sets of scenarios

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Scenario planning, the discipline of building multiple relevant stories of the future to support effective decision-making, always a powerful tool for foresight, is even more relevant as uncertainty increases, making it an extremely important and valuable tool amidst our current pandemic.

I have been applying scenario planning for well over 20 years, sometimes in its traditional format, sometimes with adaptations to fit the need or cultural context of the client.

The more specific the context framing a set of scenarios, in terms of geography, industry, organization, and defined decision, the more useful they are.
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What should we call the next phase of humanity beyond this crisis? Assessing the catch phrases

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We are living amidst a frightening global pandemic that we are working hard to contain and move past as quickly as possible.

So what comes on the other side of this phase? We need to be thoughtful about what we call it.

I have compiled a list below of some of the front-runner phrases, with my thoughts on their relative merits.
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What the road back to resuming air travel will look like

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One of the biggest differences between now and a few months ago is that scheduled flights have almost ceased, from over 8 trillion kilometres travelled in 2019 (an average of over 1000 km per man, woman and child on the planet).

Recently I wrote 9 insights into the future of air travel in a post-coronavirus world, summarizing my thoughts on the potential pathways to the resumption of international travel.

A nice article last week in Business Insider on what air travel may look like after the pandemic drew on interviews with “a variety of travel experts, travel agents, and one futurist”, to include my thoughts.

Below are my comments that were featured in the article:
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The amazing opportunity of balancing home, office, and ‘third space’ work post-coronavirus

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A couple of days I was a guest on ABC’s The Drum program. One of the questions I was asked was the degree to which we will continue to work from home after the pandemic.

For my response watch the brief video below, or see the full program online, this segment starts at 45:00.

Below the video I describe in detail the forces shaping the relative roles of home, office, and ‘third space’ in a post-coronavirus future of work.
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Adaptability and entrepreneurial spirit will rebuild employment after over 100 million jobs are lost

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The chart below of weekly initial US unemployment claims puts into context the scope and scale of the economic and employment impact of the pandemic.

The long horizontal scale of chart, giving us temporal perspective, actually hides the extent of the problem, with the spike at the end in fact comprising three weeks of new unemployment claims of first 3.3 million and then the last two weeks at 6.6 million, for a total of 15.6 million.


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Could the pandemic lead to global cohesion and a maturing of humanity?

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When I searched my blog for mentions of pandemic, one mention came up in a post I wrote in 2014 on Four scenarios for 2030.

One of the scenarios from that exercise may be enormously relevant today.
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