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Scenarios for the COVID-19 Future

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This is a Scenario Thinking exercise i conducted with my friend and mentor Prof. Steve Weber of U Cal Berkeley. In this deck, we use Scenario Thinking tools to imaging distinct possible futures for the U.S. in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. In doing so, we hope to help decision makers in businesses, campaigns and investment funds as they seek to lay strategic plans in the face of unprecedented uncertainty.

Published in: News & Politics
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Scenarios for the COVID-19 Future

  1. 1. ● uncertain about what the future holds ● most important models have been undermined ● ● planning seems impossible ● , ● ● ●
  2. 2. a. Very important b. Very uncertain Oil Supply is very high and Government Policy is highly restrictive Oil Supply is very high and Government Policy is very lenient Oil Supply is very low and Government Policy is highly restrictive Oil Supply is very low and Government Policy is very lenient
  3. 3. explore implications of each world ○ ○ ○ ○ probe how the organization can and should adapt ○ ○ ○ provide an on-going platform for sense-making and strategic conversation ○
  4. 4. ● ● ● ● ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○
  5. 5. ● ● ● ● ○ ○ ○
  6. 6. most important most uncertain
  7. 7. not correlated with each other. ● ●
  8. 8. The Invisible Enemy Wins Resilient America Fractured America We Win
  9. 9. The Invisible Enemy Wins Prolonged Recession/ Depression Total Infections and Deaths Far Above Estimates
  10. 10. ● ● and the enemy is winning
  11. 11. ● Efforts to restart the economy in spring/summer 2020 are foiled ● Drug makers fail to bring to market effective treatments ● waves of companies both big and small file for bankruptcy ● Equity markets lose faith in the ability of government ● Across the country, people and businesses bunker down in an increasingly apocalyptic mentality, ● civil order begins to break down marked by a surge in crime ● Reported suicides and domestic violence incidents have tripled from pre-crisis levels
  12. 12. ● The unemployed millions seethe with rage ● The only true Heroes in the crisis are the frontline public health workers ● Tech companies are viewed as partial Heroes, but not likable ones. ● Drug companies and the for-profit health care industry are vilified for a momentous failure ● The rest of the economy just feel like passive victims trying to eke it out.
  13. 13. ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
  14. 14. ● China: ● Healthcare: ● Technology: ● Social services:
  15. 15. ● ● ● ● ●
  16. 16. Resilient America V-shaped Recovery Total Infections and Deaths Far Above Estimates
  17. 17. ● ● adapted to life under restrictions and are forging an economic recovery regardless
  18. 18. ● ● ● ● ●
  19. 19. ● ● ● ● ●
  20. 20. ● ● ● ● ●
  21. 21. ● Supercharging innovation: ● Demand side stimulus: ● Technology: ● Healthcare:
  22. 22. ● ● ● ● ●
  23. 23. We Win V-shaped Recovery Total Infections and Deaths Below Estimates
  24. 24. ● ● ● we have met the Invisible Enemy and defeated it.
  25. 25. ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
  26. 26. ● ● ● ● ● ●
  27. 27. ● ● ● ● ● ●
  28. 28. ● Economic resilience: ● Healthcare: ● Technology: ● Reasserting global leadership: ● Climate:
  29. 29. ● ● ● ● ●
  30. 30. Fractured America Prolonged Recession/ Depression Total Infections and Deaths Below Estimates
  31. 31. ● ● ● Government debt has doubled, the Fed’s balance sheet has quintupled, and none of that has made a difference
  32. 32. ● ● ● ● ●
  33. 33. ● ● ● ● ●
  34. 34. ● ● ● ● ● ●
  35. 35. ● Attacking the other side: ● Re-writing History: ● Rally round the Flag:
  36. 36. ● ● ● ● ●
  37. 37. The Invisible Enemy Wins Resilient America Fractured America We Win
  38. 38. Toward a New Social Covenant for TechBig Change is Coming for Big Pharma
  39. 39. From Efficiency to ResilienceEmergence of a New Elite
  40. 40. Where Were the Robots?Don’t Call it a Net, Call it a Foundation
  41. 41. The Biggest Election Issue May be…the Election
  42. 42. ● ● ● ○ What’s robust? ○ What’s the scale of variation relevant to you? ○ What signposts should you pay most attention to?
  43. 43. Arik Ben-Zvi, CEO of Breakwater Strategy Steven Weber, Professor at UC Berkeley, School of Information

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