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DECEMBER 10, 2020
SALESFORCE
VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE
TALK BY ACCENTURE
SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE
With the Virtual Executive Talks
series, Salesforce connects with
its ecosystem of business leaders
for conversations on subjects,
approaches and perspectives
that shape the cutting edge of
the business world.
Ana Vertedor, Alliances and Channel Regional Vice President Iberia at
Salesforce and Mirenchu Echeverri, Managing Director at Accenture,
led a talk inviting economist Linda Yueh and digital anthropologist Brian
Solis to share their respective outlooks regarding the impact of the global
pandemic on the economy, businesses, and human behavior. After their
presentations, both speakers discussed their complementary points of
view and responded to questions asked by participants in the virtual event.
SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE
LINDA YUEH
Linda Yueh is a British American
economist, speaker and author born
in Taiwan. In addition to her role
as adjunct professor of economics
at London Business School and
the University of Oxford, Linda
has worked with the Center for
Economic Performance and IDEAS
at the London School of Economics.
Furthermore, she is a renowned radio
and television presenter on BBC
programs such as Radio 4 Analysis,
Business Daily on BBC World Service
and Radio 4 Today. Between 2013 and
2015, she hosted “Talking Business
with Linda Yueh”. Linda has been an
advisor to the World Bank, European
Commission, Asian Development
Bank and World Economic Forum. The
author of several books, her latest is
called “The Great Economists”.
BRIAN SOLIS
Digital analyst, speaker and author
Brian Solis is an expert in the study
of disruptive technologies and their
impact on business and people,
for a better understanding of the
relationships and roles of all players
involved. The author of several
books about digital marketing,
evolving business models, customer
experience, and brand innovation,
Solis shares his research and
knowledge as a speaker at events on
technology, business, and creativity.
His work includes “Lifescale: how to
live a more creative, productive and
happy life”, “X: the experience where
business meets design”, “What´s the
future of business? Changing the way
businesses create experiences” and
“The end of business as usual”.
LINDA YUEH
Even so, we must
remember that no
vaccine is 100%
effective. The two
solutions based on
RNA interference –
Pfizer and Moderna
– are 90% effective.
The Oxford and
AstraZeneca
vaccine may
be slightly less
effective but, of
course, it is still
being tested.
SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE
6%, which represents the most severe
economic downturn in peacetime.”
The forecasts for 2021 are uncertain,
according to Linda Yueh, but it is
hoped that the rate of growth, both in
developed and emerging economies, will
be fairly significant, “probably close to the
same range as the downturn in 2020”.
The latest estimates from the World
Bank suggest that it will take between
two and three years to recover the
economic position of 2019. As a result,
in terms of living standards and salaries,
“this means that we need to make
decisions and adjustments during
this time. I would like to highlight one
indicator of how we could recover
pre-COVID-19 income levels, which
is understanding the position of the
Central Banks. The European Central
Bank, for instance, has opted for cash
injections which they hope to continue
doing next year and into 2022.”
AN INTRINSICALLY
OPTIMISTIC VIEW
During her presentation, Linda Yueh
focused on our approach to the current
economic climate, offering an outlook of
what 2021 may bring, and reflected not
just on how to live with the virus, but how
to prosper alongside it where possible.
Yueh assured participants that
uncertainty and evaluating the situation
on a day-to-day basis are constant
realities of the unprecedented situation
the world has been living with for a
year. “Just over a week ago, the content
of this talk would have been quite
different. Now we can speak about the
vaccination campaigns that have started
in the United States, Canada and the
United Kingdom with the Pfizer vaccine.”
According to Linda Yueh, the speed
of development of the vaccine,
compared to traditional timeframes,
was astonishing. She noted that “even
so, we must remember that no vaccine
is 100% effective. The two solutions
based on RNA interference – Pfizer
and Moderna – are 90% effective.
The Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine
may be slightly less effective but, of
course, it is still being tested.”
The economist acknowledged that,
to deliver effective results, the rate
of vaccination must be extremely
high in order to envision a return to
normal from an economic standpoint.
The fact that the Pfizer and Moderna
vaccines require refrigeration at
between -70ºC and -20ºC makes mass
distribution and rollout more difficult.
As a result, we may be well into 2021
before we see the required degree of
vaccination. “This means that, in terms
of economic prospects, it is highly
probable that we will experience further
lockdowns and travel restrictions
throughout the coming year. What
we can say for certain is that, in 2020,
emerging economies around the world
experienced a contraction of nearly
SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE
The reason why governments
are focusing their expenditure
measures on employment and
keeping people in the labor
market is that, once workers are no
longer able to imagine their future.
LINDA YUEH
The expert underlined that there is one
“extremely important” economic factor
that would reveal if the current damage
will permanently affect economies in
the future. This indicator is none other
than unemployment. “The reason
why governments are focusing their
expenditure measures on employment
and keeping people in the labor market
is that, once workers are no longer able
to imagine their future, or become
discouraged, or forget their skills and
stop participating in the workforce,
high unemployment leads to what
economists call hysteresis.” This is an
unemployment situation caused by
the malfunction of the labor market,
which tends to persist even when the
causes thereof have been resolved and
which “basically impairs the economy’s
potential for growth”.
Yueh highlighted that, after each
recession, unemployment tends to
remain slightly higher than before.
“Moreover, the current recession is not
a normal one, so government policies
can make a considerable difference in
guaranteeing that people will continue
to be productive members of the
workforce. I think this is one of the
major spending areas that we can focus
on to ensure that the damage we’re
seeing now can be reversed.”
The economist also noted that there
are two other areas where we can
focus fiscal spending. “To the surprise
of some, the International Monetary
Fund – largely known for their customary
discourse on the need to cut spending
in response to high debt and deficit
levels – is now encouraging governments
to benefit from low interest rates and a
highly flexible monetary policy, which
could fuel growth in the future.
Spending could boost growth and
growth is what we need to maintain a
healthy economy and create new jobs,
especially in the green economy and
digital transformation.”
Digital transformation has accelerated
during the pandemic and will continue
doing so, while the green economy is
already an indisputable trend. “We had
already started moving in this direction
so that organizations, companies,
governments and workers could be well
positioned for the economy of the 21st
century. I am resolutely optimistic and,
even though this pandemic has been
completely devastating, I believe that
we can discern some of the methods
we could use to make progress
toward long-term goals for a cleaner
environment, greater productivity and a
better work-life balance.”
We are getting
involved with
digital services
due to their
convenience and
personalization.
This sets the
scene for what
we call digital
Darwinism, which
is the accelerating
evolution of society
as a result of the
pandemic and
restrictions.
BRIAN SOLIS
SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE
At the beginning of his presentation,
digital anthropologist Brian Solis
emphasized that he can already see
the light at the end of the tunnel.
Even though his work is focused on
innovation, digital transformation
and the future of markets, Solis has
dedicated the last two years to studying
how digital transformation affects us as
individuals, as human beings, and its
impact on the role we play in society.
“There came a time when I personally
felt anxious about the daily influence of
digital on my life and I wanted to explore
why I felt so affected by technology and
also what to do about it.”
Solis pointed out to the audience that
“anyone who has seen the film ‘The
Social Dilemma’ on Netflix will know
that I am talking about decisions and
actions taken by technology companies
to change our behavior in their favor,
without considering the effects of
devices and applications on our psyche
and behavior in the long-term.” Through
his research, the expert found that
using devices suppresses our creativity,
individuality, and ability to concentrate
or immerse ourselves deeply in the
flow of knowledge. According to
Solis, creativity is a vital cornerstone
of personal innovation but also of
corporate innovation, especially because
it drives an increase in automation and
artificial intelligence.
“As a result of lockdowns and restricted
mobility, we are turning more and more
to technological devices. We are getting
involved with digital services due to
their convenience and personalization.
This sets the scene for what we
call digital Darwinism, which is the
accelerating evolution of society as a
result of the pandemic and restrictions.”
In response, Solis explains that
“we cannot do nothing, we cannot
simply invest in technology to get
the good aspects of digital. We need
to understand the human attributes
behind the technology, because in a
post-virus world we will see an increase
in and the popularization of many
disruptive technologies which will take
off simultaneously. It’s not just about
implementing these technologies in
the back office or the front office or the
supply chain or the business ecosystem,
it’s also about the purpose they serve
within our business, within our markets
and how those markets are shaped for
the benefit of all participants.”
According to Brian Solis, we now have
the opportunity to reimagine how we
can use this devastation to create. “We
often describe these times as the new
normal and we talk of the future as the
next normal, but, in my opinion, the
term ‘normal’ doesn’t suggest any great
ambitions. This is a real time during
which we can reimagine the future we
want and there is nothing to say that
we have to move toward what is normal
or conventional. In fact, we could
challenge ourselves to think differently.”
The expert highlighted that it’s about
asking different questions and exploring
the unknown, taking risks and starting to
develop skills and the mindset that will
allow us to work differently so that we
are not trapped in a new or next normal.
“The expert on education and human
creativity, Sir Ken Robinson, a brilliant
man and one of the best speakers I have
ever seen in my life, spoke of creativity
as something that we basically strip from
society through education.” According
to Robinson, we were all artists and,
little by little, throughout our school
and professional lives, unless we have a
creative job, we eliminate that creative
drive. “We learn to operate in a linear
way, to create compartments and
CREATIVE DISRUPTION
SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE
paradigms and, at the same time, we
challenge people to think outside the
box without changing anything.”
Through his research, the digital
anthropologist discovered that, every
time we use digital devices, we are
reconfiguring our brain and its plasticity.
“We’re not even aware of it, but the
distraction represented by every e-mail,
every text message, every Facebook or
Instagram notification, is teaching us
to be connected to distractions and, in
essence, it creates a sort of intoxicating
loop of feedback. It’s like a reward telling
us that we are important. In the same
way, when we don’t get any notifications,
we feel like we’re not important.”
According to Solis, this last point affects
our self-esteem and, furthermore,
distracts us from a deep and focused
flow of thought. “By answering
notifications, for every distraction it
takes us an average of 23 minutes to
return to a state of deep concentration.
We skim the surface of the ocean
without diving in. This is reflected in the
quality and caliber of our work, in our
ability to participate and our ability to
remain concentrated on a single point.”
The expert thinks that we have
convinced ourselves that we can
manage this problem by applying the
concept of multitasking. “We have even
been taught that multitasking is a badge
of honor for many, now more than ever,
given that we are forced to live a more
digital lifestyle. But the truth is that we
are not multitaskers. What we are doing
is changing our focus and every time we
switch from one task to another, we’re
using up energy, so that by midday we
have no energy left.”
In this vein, Brian Solis highlighted
that “social networks increase our
capacity to be distracted, hindering our
ability to make intentional choices in
our personal lives and, professionally,
impeding our creativity.”
According to Solis, creativity is a key
pillar of innovation and transformation,
but it is also a healthy part of life that
we must bring back into our everyday
lives. “It is a part of human thinking and
behavior that many of us have pushed
aside. At school and work we are taught
to follow the rules to operate within
linear and hierarchical structures. When
we talk about innovating and taking
risks in a different way, we are being
asked to disobey the rules that we have
been taught to follow all our lives.”
The digital sociologist insisted that
“creativity is literally the source of youth.
It makes us more empathetic and open-
minded, which is exactly what we need
in order to move forward. The rise of
automation, artificial intelligence, and
the power of technology to complete
human tasks, making decisions based
on data, doesn’t mean that humans
aren’t valuable. It depends on us to
decide what value we bring to the
table and the role we want to play in
life. In fact, the research we carried
out at Salesforce shows that this is the
future of work (see boxes). The most
important skills in a post-COVID-19
world will be creativity, empathy,
inclusion, collaboration… all skills that
we don’t teach in schools today.”
Solis concluded his presentation
with another reference to Sir Ken
Robinson: “the role of leaders is to
inspire creativity, develop ideas and
value collaboration throughout the
organization. This means that we need
to feel empowered, we need to feel
safe, motivated, and encouraged to
learn and unlearn and explore new
opportunities in the future. It is time to
restore contact with the artist formerly
known as you.”
“We’re not even aware of it, but the
distraction represented by every
e-mail, every text message, every
Facebook or Instagram notification,
is teaching us to be connected to
distractions and, in essence, it creates
a sort of intoxicating loop of feedback.
BRIAN SOLIS
SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE
Following their individual presentations in their areas of expertise, Linda Yueh and
Brian Solis kicked off a discussion to delve deeper into their own and the audience’s
points of view.
LINDA YUEH: Working from home adds to the feeling of isolation and
strengthens the desire for human connection, which makes it more likely for
people’s workflow to be interrupted and for them to lose concentration as they
constantly check notifications.
BRIAN SOLIS: Because of the atmosphere created by the pandemic, we are
reflecting on the meaning and purpose of life and reassessing our relationship with
digital. We have been forced to spend time on our own and to be digital first and
foremost. We are learning to get through the situation by ourselves, but in truth
we are spending too much time in the digital world. Several studies have started
to show that it is not healthy for us and, by using certain applications and social
networks, we are actually making ourselves unhappier. We shouldn’t eliminate the
link to our mobile devices altogether, but we do need to make conscious decisions
as to how we use them.
BRIAN SOLIS: As an economist, but also as a human being, how could our
attitude to the vaccine affect the recovery and even bring us to a place where we
can develop our potential as individuals and as a society better than we did before
the virus?
EXPERT DISCUSSION
LINDA YUEH:: For the vaccine to be adopted, it must not only be distributed but
also accepted by people. There are cultural differences between countries that
are highly interested in using the vaccine, and countries that are more reticent.
In general, if we look at East versus West, Asian people are more likely to use face
masks because they experienced SARS before. Although that virus didn’t become
a global pandemic, it affected the whole region. In the West, people haven’t
changed their behavior because this is the first real large-scale pandemic that we
have experienced. Obviously, there are also other cultural differences as well as a
great deal of uncertainty regarding what we actually know about COVID-19.
We’re not even sure if you are immune to the virus for any period of time after
having had it. I believe that the measures we take now could profoundly change
the society we live in.
LINDA YUEH: As a sociologist, have you observed any resistance to believing that
the pandemic is real?
BRIAN SOLIS: When it comes to fake news and misinformation campaigns, what’s
of relevance is that someone who allows their mind to slide in that direction can
influence other people. In the United States, there are people who don’t believe
that the vaccine is real and others who think it was built as a weapon against
conservatives. Now, we’re at the point when we need to deprogram people to, at
least, return to a certain sense of rationality and ability to make better decisions in
their own interest and that of their loved ones.
the term New
Normal wasn’t
a very inspiring
term to effect
change. The World
Economic Forum
in Davos has
suggested “The
Great Reset”.
BRIAN SOLIS
SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE
changed relationships between people
and governments. The pandemic has
brought about the opportunity that
our world needed to be greener and to
create a better balance between work
and personal life.”
In response to the question on whether
the center of gravity of the global
economy would move from Western
individualism to Asia and its social
capitalism after COVID, Yueh noted
that “all societies have a cultural and
historical substrate and in Asia there
is a greater sense of collectivism.
Some countries do better during
certain periods in history due to the
circumstances or the way in which they
behave socially and culturally.”
Yueh concluded by noting that “if we
look at economic forecasts of GDP, Asia
is the only region with countries that will
experience growth this year. We need
to trigger economic consensus, but we
must be careful about it because some
things don’t translate well between
cultures and this is one of the lessons
that not only anthropologists but also
economists will stress. Economic clout
has been shifting toward Asia for a few
years now due to growth in the new
middle class in east and south-east Asia
and I think it will accelerate.
The event also provided an opportunity
for an exchange of ideas with
participants at the Virtual Executive Talk,
who asked their own questions.
In response to the question on how to
prepare children in school for the world
of the future, Brian Solis underlined
that “there is a certain feeling of hope
to move forward in a progressive
and non-destructive way. As a digital
anthropologist, I believe that all the
social sciences must work together.
We need to improve our world and
prepare children for it at school, but
also at home.”
In this vein, Solis invited participants
to imagine the possibility of having
a functional conversation about the
economy and financial planning at
an early age, and the ability to teach
someone what empathy means and
how it can contribute to their role in
society, not just in school but in life.
“Creativity can allow for more
diverse ways of building new and
fresh relationships.”
Throughout the session, both Yueh
and Solis suggested that the term New
Normal wasn’t a very inspiring term to
effect change. The World Economic
Forum in Davos has suggested “The
Great Reset”, which Linda Yueh believes
is a more suitable term. “I believe that
this is a time when things have changed,
and we must make the most of this
change as leaders in our respective
fields. I think it’s time to build a new
economic consensus, something I
addressed in my last book, where I
observed times when we need a crisis
so that society can stop and reassess
what could be done differently: what do
I want my life to look like, what should
society be like, what isn’t working, what
has escalated. When capitalism, in
association with a state of wellbeing,
was created after the Second World
War, this was to different extents a great
reset in itself because it completely
AUDIENCE
PARTICIPATION
SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE
1.	 Uncertainty and evaluating the
situation on a day-to-day basis
are constant realities of the
unprecedented situation the world
has been dealing with for a year.
2.	 The speed of development of the
vaccine, compared to traditional
timeframes, was astonishing.
3.	 To deliver effective results, the
rate of vaccination must be
extremely high in order to envision
a return to normal from an
economic standpoint.
4.	 The latest estimates from the
World Bank suggest that it will take
between two and three years to
recover the economic position of
2019. In terms of living standards
and salaries, we will have to make
decisions and adjustments during
this time.
5.	 Unemployment will reveal whether
the current damage will permanently
affect economies in the future.
6.	 We have the opportunity to
reimagine how we can use the
devastation to create.
11 KEY TAKEAWAYS
FROM THE EVENT
7.	 It’s time to ask different questions
and explore the unknown, take
risks and start to develop skills and
the mindset which will allow us to
operate in a different way.
8.	 We were all artists and, little
by little, during our school and
professional life, we pushed that
facet aside.
9.	 By using digital devices, we
are reconfiguring our brain and
its plasticity.
10.	 Creativity is a key pillar of innovation
and transformation and also a
healthy part of life that we must
bring back to our everyday lives.
11.	 The most important skills in a
post-COVID-19 world will be
creativity, empathy, inclusion,
and collaboration.
Salesforce Global Stakeholder Series Research: Future of Work
Creativity
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
Empathy Inclusion Adaptability Collaboration
95% 93%
85%
90%
92%
Salesforce Global Stakeholder Series Research: Future of Work
64%
62%
65%
66%
said that they lack
in-demand skills.
would like to have
access to free
technical training.
would like to have
access to free
business training.
request access to free
training to pursue
their passions.
SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE
BOX 2
Workers recognize that they need new skills.
BOX 1
Key skills in a post-COVID world
SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE
LINDA YUEH
“In 2020, emerging economies around the world experienced a contraction of
nearly 6%, which represents the most severe economic downturn in peacetime.”
“Once workers are no longer able to imagine their future, or become discouraged,
or forget their skills and stop participating in the workforce, high unemployment
leads to what economists call hysteresis.”
“The International Monetary Fund – largely known for their customary discourse
on the need to cut spending in response to high debt and deficit levels – is now
encouraging governments to benefit from low interest rates and a highly flexible
monetary policy, which could fuel growth in the future.”
“I am resolutely optimistic and, despite the fact that this pandemic has been
completely devastating, I believe that we can discern some of the methods we
could use to make progress toward long-term goals for a cleaner environment,
greater productivity and a better work-life balance.”
“I believe that the measures we take now could profoundly change the society
we live in.”
SUMMARIES
BRIAN SOLIS
“There came a time when I personally felt anxious about the daily influence of
digital on my life and I wanted to explore why I felt so affected by technology and
also what to do about it.”
“We need to understand the human attributes behind the technology, because in a
post-virus world we will see an increase in and the popularization of many disruptive
technologies which will take off simultaneously.”
“We often describe these times as the new normal and we talk of the future as
the next normal, but, in my opinion, the term ‘normal’ doesn’t suggest any great
ambitions. There is nothing to say that we have to move toward what is normal
or conventional.”
“We learn to operate in a linear way, to create compartments and paradigms
and, at the same time, we challenge people to think outside the box without
changing anything.”
“Social networks increase our capacity to be distracted, hindering our ability
to make intentional choices in our personal lives and, professionally, impeding
our creativity.”
“When we talk about innovating and taking riskas in a different way, we are being
asked to disobey the rules that we have been taught to follow all our lives.”
THANK
YOU

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Economic and Creative Disruption - Linda Yueh and Brian Solis

  • 1. DECEMBER 10, 2020 SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE
  • 2. SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE With the Virtual Executive Talks series, Salesforce connects with its ecosystem of business leaders for conversations on subjects, approaches and perspectives that shape the cutting edge of the business world. Ana Vertedor, Alliances and Channel Regional Vice President Iberia at Salesforce and Mirenchu Echeverri, Managing Director at Accenture, led a talk inviting economist Linda Yueh and digital anthropologist Brian Solis to share their respective outlooks regarding the impact of the global pandemic on the economy, businesses, and human behavior. After their presentations, both speakers discussed their complementary points of view and responded to questions asked by participants in the virtual event.
  • 3. SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE LINDA YUEH Linda Yueh is a British American economist, speaker and author born in Taiwan. In addition to her role as adjunct professor of economics at London Business School and the University of Oxford, Linda has worked with the Center for Economic Performance and IDEAS at the London School of Economics. Furthermore, she is a renowned radio and television presenter on BBC programs such as Radio 4 Analysis, Business Daily on BBC World Service and Radio 4 Today. Between 2013 and 2015, she hosted “Talking Business with Linda Yueh”. Linda has been an advisor to the World Bank, European Commission, Asian Development Bank and World Economic Forum. The author of several books, her latest is called “The Great Economists”. BRIAN SOLIS Digital analyst, speaker and author Brian Solis is an expert in the study of disruptive technologies and their impact on business and people, for a better understanding of the relationships and roles of all players involved. The author of several books about digital marketing, evolving business models, customer experience, and brand innovation, Solis shares his research and knowledge as a speaker at events on technology, business, and creativity. His work includes “Lifescale: how to live a more creative, productive and happy life”, “X: the experience where business meets design”, “What´s the future of business? Changing the way businesses create experiences” and “The end of business as usual”.
  • 4. LINDA YUEH Even so, we must remember that no vaccine is 100% effective. The two solutions based on RNA interference – Pfizer and Moderna – are 90% effective. The Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine may be slightly less effective but, of course, it is still being tested. SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE 6%, which represents the most severe economic downturn in peacetime.” The forecasts for 2021 are uncertain, according to Linda Yueh, but it is hoped that the rate of growth, both in developed and emerging economies, will be fairly significant, “probably close to the same range as the downturn in 2020”. The latest estimates from the World Bank suggest that it will take between two and three years to recover the economic position of 2019. As a result, in terms of living standards and salaries, “this means that we need to make decisions and adjustments during this time. I would like to highlight one indicator of how we could recover pre-COVID-19 income levels, which is understanding the position of the Central Banks. The European Central Bank, for instance, has opted for cash injections which they hope to continue doing next year and into 2022.” AN INTRINSICALLY OPTIMISTIC VIEW During her presentation, Linda Yueh focused on our approach to the current economic climate, offering an outlook of what 2021 may bring, and reflected not just on how to live with the virus, but how to prosper alongside it where possible. Yueh assured participants that uncertainty and evaluating the situation on a day-to-day basis are constant realities of the unprecedented situation the world has been living with for a year. “Just over a week ago, the content of this talk would have been quite different. Now we can speak about the vaccination campaigns that have started in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom with the Pfizer vaccine.” According to Linda Yueh, the speed of development of the vaccine, compared to traditional timeframes, was astonishing. She noted that “even so, we must remember that no vaccine is 100% effective. The two solutions based on RNA interference – Pfizer and Moderna – are 90% effective. The Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine may be slightly less effective but, of course, it is still being tested.” The economist acknowledged that, to deliver effective results, the rate of vaccination must be extremely high in order to envision a return to normal from an economic standpoint. The fact that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require refrigeration at between -70ºC and -20ºC makes mass distribution and rollout more difficult. As a result, we may be well into 2021 before we see the required degree of vaccination. “This means that, in terms of economic prospects, it is highly probable that we will experience further lockdowns and travel restrictions throughout the coming year. What we can say for certain is that, in 2020, emerging economies around the world experienced a contraction of nearly
  • 5. SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE The reason why governments are focusing their expenditure measures on employment and keeping people in the labor market is that, once workers are no longer able to imagine their future. LINDA YUEH The expert underlined that there is one “extremely important” economic factor that would reveal if the current damage will permanently affect economies in the future. This indicator is none other than unemployment. “The reason why governments are focusing their expenditure measures on employment and keeping people in the labor market is that, once workers are no longer able to imagine their future, or become discouraged, or forget their skills and stop participating in the workforce, high unemployment leads to what economists call hysteresis.” This is an unemployment situation caused by the malfunction of the labor market, which tends to persist even when the causes thereof have been resolved and which “basically impairs the economy’s potential for growth”. Yueh highlighted that, after each recession, unemployment tends to remain slightly higher than before. “Moreover, the current recession is not a normal one, so government policies can make a considerable difference in guaranteeing that people will continue to be productive members of the workforce. I think this is one of the major spending areas that we can focus on to ensure that the damage we’re seeing now can be reversed.” The economist also noted that there are two other areas where we can focus fiscal spending. “To the surprise of some, the International Monetary Fund – largely known for their customary discourse on the need to cut spending in response to high debt and deficit levels – is now encouraging governments to benefit from low interest rates and a highly flexible monetary policy, which could fuel growth in the future. Spending could boost growth and growth is what we need to maintain a healthy economy and create new jobs, especially in the green economy and digital transformation.” Digital transformation has accelerated during the pandemic and will continue doing so, while the green economy is already an indisputable trend. “We had already started moving in this direction so that organizations, companies, governments and workers could be well positioned for the economy of the 21st century. I am resolutely optimistic and, even though this pandemic has been completely devastating, I believe that we can discern some of the methods we could use to make progress toward long-term goals for a cleaner environment, greater productivity and a better work-life balance.”
  • 6. We are getting involved with digital services due to their convenience and personalization. This sets the scene for what we call digital Darwinism, which is the accelerating evolution of society as a result of the pandemic and restrictions. BRIAN SOLIS SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE At the beginning of his presentation, digital anthropologist Brian Solis emphasized that he can already see the light at the end of the tunnel. Even though his work is focused on innovation, digital transformation and the future of markets, Solis has dedicated the last two years to studying how digital transformation affects us as individuals, as human beings, and its impact on the role we play in society. “There came a time when I personally felt anxious about the daily influence of digital on my life and I wanted to explore why I felt so affected by technology and also what to do about it.” Solis pointed out to the audience that “anyone who has seen the film ‘The Social Dilemma’ on Netflix will know that I am talking about decisions and actions taken by technology companies to change our behavior in their favor, without considering the effects of devices and applications on our psyche and behavior in the long-term.” Through his research, the expert found that using devices suppresses our creativity, individuality, and ability to concentrate or immerse ourselves deeply in the flow of knowledge. According to Solis, creativity is a vital cornerstone of personal innovation but also of corporate innovation, especially because it drives an increase in automation and artificial intelligence. “As a result of lockdowns and restricted mobility, we are turning more and more to technological devices. We are getting involved with digital services due to their convenience and personalization. This sets the scene for what we call digital Darwinism, which is the accelerating evolution of society as a result of the pandemic and restrictions.” In response, Solis explains that “we cannot do nothing, we cannot simply invest in technology to get the good aspects of digital. We need to understand the human attributes behind the technology, because in a post-virus world we will see an increase in and the popularization of many disruptive technologies which will take off simultaneously. It’s not just about implementing these technologies in the back office or the front office or the supply chain or the business ecosystem, it’s also about the purpose they serve within our business, within our markets and how those markets are shaped for the benefit of all participants.” According to Brian Solis, we now have the opportunity to reimagine how we can use this devastation to create. “We often describe these times as the new normal and we talk of the future as the next normal, but, in my opinion, the term ‘normal’ doesn’t suggest any great ambitions. This is a real time during which we can reimagine the future we want and there is nothing to say that we have to move toward what is normal or conventional. In fact, we could challenge ourselves to think differently.” The expert highlighted that it’s about asking different questions and exploring the unknown, taking risks and starting to develop skills and the mindset that will allow us to work differently so that we are not trapped in a new or next normal. “The expert on education and human creativity, Sir Ken Robinson, a brilliant man and one of the best speakers I have ever seen in my life, spoke of creativity as something that we basically strip from society through education.” According to Robinson, we were all artists and, little by little, throughout our school and professional lives, unless we have a creative job, we eliminate that creative drive. “We learn to operate in a linear way, to create compartments and CREATIVE DISRUPTION
  • 7. SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE paradigms and, at the same time, we challenge people to think outside the box without changing anything.” Through his research, the digital anthropologist discovered that, every time we use digital devices, we are reconfiguring our brain and its plasticity. “We’re not even aware of it, but the distraction represented by every e-mail, every text message, every Facebook or Instagram notification, is teaching us to be connected to distractions and, in essence, it creates a sort of intoxicating loop of feedback. It’s like a reward telling us that we are important. In the same way, when we don’t get any notifications, we feel like we’re not important.” According to Solis, this last point affects our self-esteem and, furthermore, distracts us from a deep and focused flow of thought. “By answering notifications, for every distraction it takes us an average of 23 minutes to return to a state of deep concentration. We skim the surface of the ocean without diving in. This is reflected in the quality and caliber of our work, in our ability to participate and our ability to remain concentrated on a single point.” The expert thinks that we have convinced ourselves that we can manage this problem by applying the concept of multitasking. “We have even been taught that multitasking is a badge of honor for many, now more than ever, given that we are forced to live a more digital lifestyle. But the truth is that we are not multitaskers. What we are doing is changing our focus and every time we switch from one task to another, we’re using up energy, so that by midday we have no energy left.” In this vein, Brian Solis highlighted that “social networks increase our capacity to be distracted, hindering our ability to make intentional choices in our personal lives and, professionally, impeding our creativity.” According to Solis, creativity is a key pillar of innovation and transformation, but it is also a healthy part of life that we must bring back into our everyday lives. “It is a part of human thinking and behavior that many of us have pushed aside. At school and work we are taught to follow the rules to operate within linear and hierarchical structures. When we talk about innovating and taking risks in a different way, we are being asked to disobey the rules that we have been taught to follow all our lives.” The digital sociologist insisted that “creativity is literally the source of youth. It makes us more empathetic and open- minded, which is exactly what we need in order to move forward. The rise of automation, artificial intelligence, and the power of technology to complete human tasks, making decisions based on data, doesn’t mean that humans aren’t valuable. It depends on us to decide what value we bring to the table and the role we want to play in life. In fact, the research we carried out at Salesforce shows that this is the future of work (see boxes). The most important skills in a post-COVID-19 world will be creativity, empathy, inclusion, collaboration… all skills that we don’t teach in schools today.” Solis concluded his presentation with another reference to Sir Ken Robinson: “the role of leaders is to inspire creativity, develop ideas and value collaboration throughout the organization. This means that we need to feel empowered, we need to feel safe, motivated, and encouraged to learn and unlearn and explore new opportunities in the future. It is time to restore contact with the artist formerly known as you.” “We’re not even aware of it, but the distraction represented by every e-mail, every text message, every Facebook or Instagram notification, is teaching us to be connected to distractions and, in essence, it creates a sort of intoxicating loop of feedback. BRIAN SOLIS
  • 8. SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE Following their individual presentations in their areas of expertise, Linda Yueh and Brian Solis kicked off a discussion to delve deeper into their own and the audience’s points of view. LINDA YUEH: Working from home adds to the feeling of isolation and strengthens the desire for human connection, which makes it more likely for people’s workflow to be interrupted and for them to lose concentration as they constantly check notifications. BRIAN SOLIS: Because of the atmosphere created by the pandemic, we are reflecting on the meaning and purpose of life and reassessing our relationship with digital. We have been forced to spend time on our own and to be digital first and foremost. We are learning to get through the situation by ourselves, but in truth we are spending too much time in the digital world. Several studies have started to show that it is not healthy for us and, by using certain applications and social networks, we are actually making ourselves unhappier. We shouldn’t eliminate the link to our mobile devices altogether, but we do need to make conscious decisions as to how we use them. BRIAN SOLIS: As an economist, but also as a human being, how could our attitude to the vaccine affect the recovery and even bring us to a place where we can develop our potential as individuals and as a society better than we did before the virus? EXPERT DISCUSSION LINDA YUEH:: For the vaccine to be adopted, it must not only be distributed but also accepted by people. There are cultural differences between countries that are highly interested in using the vaccine, and countries that are more reticent. In general, if we look at East versus West, Asian people are more likely to use face masks because they experienced SARS before. Although that virus didn’t become a global pandemic, it affected the whole region. In the West, people haven’t changed their behavior because this is the first real large-scale pandemic that we have experienced. Obviously, there are also other cultural differences as well as a great deal of uncertainty regarding what we actually know about COVID-19. We’re not even sure if you are immune to the virus for any period of time after having had it. I believe that the measures we take now could profoundly change the society we live in. LINDA YUEH: As a sociologist, have you observed any resistance to believing that the pandemic is real? BRIAN SOLIS: When it comes to fake news and misinformation campaigns, what’s of relevance is that someone who allows their mind to slide in that direction can influence other people. In the United States, there are people who don’t believe that the vaccine is real and others who think it was built as a weapon against conservatives. Now, we’re at the point when we need to deprogram people to, at least, return to a certain sense of rationality and ability to make better decisions in their own interest and that of their loved ones.
  • 9. the term New Normal wasn’t a very inspiring term to effect change. The World Economic Forum in Davos has suggested “The Great Reset”. BRIAN SOLIS SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE changed relationships between people and governments. The pandemic has brought about the opportunity that our world needed to be greener and to create a better balance between work and personal life.” In response to the question on whether the center of gravity of the global economy would move from Western individualism to Asia and its social capitalism after COVID, Yueh noted that “all societies have a cultural and historical substrate and in Asia there is a greater sense of collectivism. Some countries do better during certain periods in history due to the circumstances or the way in which they behave socially and culturally.” Yueh concluded by noting that “if we look at economic forecasts of GDP, Asia is the only region with countries that will experience growth this year. We need to trigger economic consensus, but we must be careful about it because some things don’t translate well between cultures and this is one of the lessons that not only anthropologists but also economists will stress. Economic clout has been shifting toward Asia for a few years now due to growth in the new middle class in east and south-east Asia and I think it will accelerate. The event also provided an opportunity for an exchange of ideas with participants at the Virtual Executive Talk, who asked their own questions. In response to the question on how to prepare children in school for the world of the future, Brian Solis underlined that “there is a certain feeling of hope to move forward in a progressive and non-destructive way. As a digital anthropologist, I believe that all the social sciences must work together. We need to improve our world and prepare children for it at school, but also at home.” In this vein, Solis invited participants to imagine the possibility of having a functional conversation about the economy and financial planning at an early age, and the ability to teach someone what empathy means and how it can contribute to their role in society, not just in school but in life. “Creativity can allow for more diverse ways of building new and fresh relationships.” Throughout the session, both Yueh and Solis suggested that the term New Normal wasn’t a very inspiring term to effect change. The World Economic Forum in Davos has suggested “The Great Reset”, which Linda Yueh believes is a more suitable term. “I believe that this is a time when things have changed, and we must make the most of this change as leaders in our respective fields. I think it’s time to build a new economic consensus, something I addressed in my last book, where I observed times when we need a crisis so that society can stop and reassess what could be done differently: what do I want my life to look like, what should society be like, what isn’t working, what has escalated. When capitalism, in association with a state of wellbeing, was created after the Second World War, this was to different extents a great reset in itself because it completely AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION
  • 10. SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE 1. Uncertainty and evaluating the situation on a day-to-day basis are constant realities of the unprecedented situation the world has been dealing with for a year. 2. The speed of development of the vaccine, compared to traditional timeframes, was astonishing. 3. To deliver effective results, the rate of vaccination must be extremely high in order to envision a return to normal from an economic standpoint. 4. The latest estimates from the World Bank suggest that it will take between two and three years to recover the economic position of 2019. In terms of living standards and salaries, we will have to make decisions and adjustments during this time. 5. Unemployment will reveal whether the current damage will permanently affect economies in the future. 6. We have the opportunity to reimagine how we can use the devastation to create. 11 KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THE EVENT 7. It’s time to ask different questions and explore the unknown, take risks and start to develop skills and the mindset which will allow us to operate in a different way. 8. We were all artists and, little by little, during our school and professional life, we pushed that facet aside. 9. By using digital devices, we are reconfiguring our brain and its plasticity. 10. Creativity is a key pillar of innovation and transformation and also a healthy part of life that we must bring back to our everyday lives. 11. The most important skills in a post-COVID-19 world will be creativity, empathy, inclusion, and collaboration.
  • 11. Salesforce Global Stakeholder Series Research: Future of Work Creativity 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Empathy Inclusion Adaptability Collaboration 95% 93% 85% 90% 92% Salesforce Global Stakeholder Series Research: Future of Work 64% 62% 65% 66% said that they lack in-demand skills. would like to have access to free technical training. would like to have access to free business training. request access to free training to pursue their passions. SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE BOX 2 Workers recognize that they need new skills. BOX 1 Key skills in a post-COVID world
  • 12. SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE SALESFORCE VIRTUAL EXECUTIVE TALK BY ACCENTURE LINDA YUEH “In 2020, emerging economies around the world experienced a contraction of nearly 6%, which represents the most severe economic downturn in peacetime.” “Once workers are no longer able to imagine their future, or become discouraged, or forget their skills and stop participating in the workforce, high unemployment leads to what economists call hysteresis.” “The International Monetary Fund – largely known for their customary discourse on the need to cut spending in response to high debt and deficit levels – is now encouraging governments to benefit from low interest rates and a highly flexible monetary policy, which could fuel growth in the future.” “I am resolutely optimistic and, despite the fact that this pandemic has been completely devastating, I believe that we can discern some of the methods we could use to make progress toward long-term goals for a cleaner environment, greater productivity and a better work-life balance.” “I believe that the measures we take now could profoundly change the society we live in.” SUMMARIES BRIAN SOLIS “There came a time when I personally felt anxious about the daily influence of digital on my life and I wanted to explore why I felt so affected by technology and also what to do about it.” “We need to understand the human attributes behind the technology, because in a post-virus world we will see an increase in and the popularization of many disruptive technologies which will take off simultaneously.” “We often describe these times as the new normal and we talk of the future as the next normal, but, in my opinion, the term ‘normal’ doesn’t suggest any great ambitions. There is nothing to say that we have to move toward what is normal or conventional.” “We learn to operate in a linear way, to create compartments and paradigms and, at the same time, we challenge people to think outside the box without changing anything.” “Social networks increase our capacity to be distracted, hindering our ability to make intentional choices in our personal lives and, professionally, impeding our creativity.” “When we talk about innovating and taking riskas in a different way, we are being asked to disobey the rules that we have been taught to follow all our lives.”