Daily Inspiration: “The ultimate impact of the global pandemic is an amplification of the weaknesses of those who were not already aligning to a fast future!”


“The ultimate impact of the global pandemic is an amplification of the weaknesses of those who were not already aligning to a fast future!” – Futurist Jim Carroll

That’s what I predicted last March in one of my “Ask a Futurist” videos, the question being “What is Going to Happen to Globalization?” I predicted that with global supply chains becoming subjected to increased stress – and massively broken – companies would have to hire themselves a Chief Resiliency Officer in order to get through.

With headlines dominated today by news of broken supply chains, I guess I pretty much nailed this one in advance. With that in mind, here are my original observations from that show from almost 7 months ago.

The question? “What’s the future of globalization? How will trade patterns and supply chains change as a result of what’s happened in the last year?” 

Here’s what I filmed:

Here’s what we know:

  • it’s pretty clear that supply chains are broken: any discussion today is all about resilience, backup, multiple sourcing. Some companies have strategies in place that provide for triple or quadruple sourcing for product
  • Covid-19 didn’t just break them – it highlighted what was wrong with them – in that companies and nations did not build any sort of resilience into their global supply chains
  • fast trends highlighted this weakness: as the world rushed to online shopping, companies that were exposed were quickly exposed!
  • it has weaponized global trade: we saw this early on as nations locked down supplies with PPE, and we are seeing it now in real-time as countries block vaccine exports. This is a new fast trend with major implications
  • governments are finding new barriers: the pandemic provided a convenient opportunity to revive talk and action around protectionism
  • trust has been eroded: the impact of all of this is that global trust has broken down on a massive scale
  • damage must be fixed: expect this issue to be the focus of much corporate and global organizational discussion over years to come. G7 meetings will spend a lot of time on this issue, and companies will revise global trade contracts to better protect themselves
  • localization accelerates: countries and companies are obviously moving to produce locally when and where they can, but as I identify in the video, many have not addressed the skills and other issues that come with this
  • and so global trade patterns are forever transformed: we aren’t going back to where we were – we are only going to where we will be!

It’s not as though supply chains and global trade were already being transformed. Protectionist moves and the impact of the 2008-09 downturn were already dominating the trend:

  • global trade was already falling in 2019 due to global politics
  • and it was already falling as a result of the economic downturn of 2009
  • global supply chains ceased expanding after 2008!
  • it then shrunk by 9.2% through 2020

This is all pretty obvious – so what does it mean? I had this to say in the video:

The ultimate impact of our post-Covid world is that it will amplify the weaknesses of those who were not already aligning to a fast future.

Think about that in the context of retailers who did not have an e-commerce strategy; they thought they had 10 years to prepare, but only had a matter of weeks. Companies that were talking about localization because of trends that were already underway pre-pandemic suddenly found their lack of action exposed.

The long-term impact?

Upheaval, resilience, skills issues, and more!

Take this quote and pin it to your wall!







THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.