ABSTRACT

In this final chapter, we ask two questions: Will the trends we have identified persist beyond the immediate health and economic impacts of the pandemic? And can agents of change embed the favorable trends in structures and institutions so that they become an integral part of lifestyles of the future? Some trends will persist, such as acceleration of digitalization and localization, and mindful consumption. Less desirable trends that may also persist are the increase in waste and the increased use of cars for personal mobility. Passive citizenship is another trend that may persist. Agents of change should develop policies and strengthen institutions to support favorable changes and counteract unfavorable changes, such as reducing waste and supporting alternatives for car transportation. The pandemic should be considered a huge collective learning experiment in which governments, business, and civil society are gaining comprehension and skills about how to cope with large, unknown, and unexpected challenges.