Foresight and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Volume: 
63
Issue: 
4

Futurists know from studying history that the most improbable things happen quite regularly. Already in the 21st century, we’ve had terrorist attacks, financial crashes, authoritarian governments, tsunamis, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), and now a global pandemic. While these events have surprised many leaders, almost all have been forecast in advance by futurists, scientists, technologists, and government officials. From history we know that a pandemic is a once-in-a-generation event, one that will cause death, economic hardship, and permanent changes to our society. The COVID-19 pandemic (also called the novel coronavirus pandemic) will offer invaluable lessons for the world to understand how wildcard events like this happen and is a good example of the benefits of foresight.