• Victor V. Motti

Covid-19 and three scenarios

In my recent interview with Peter Hayward I said that I apply an Integral Futures Framework, which is based on the science of complex systems and names after Zurvan, the entire god of infinite time and space in ancient Persian mythology. For me, Futures Studies and Scenario Planning are the search for the Husraw Wisdom and finding transformation narratives.

About the impact of Covid-19 on our current systems I need to first develop a set of storylines using heroic characters from everyday life to mythology to fiction. That will be helpful to provide a set of alternative futures, or scenario narratives, to do better sense making of what is happening now and in the future.

Let's imagine three scenarios and their dynamics involving horses, one is a tough highly emotional and long term trial by ordeal, the second a rather quick recovery and back to normal growth rates, and the third one a major transformation or some radical change in our society through the emergence of new principles, best practices, and meanings for life and work.

In the first scenario, we are forcefully parted from our normal state of life and work. The name of our beloved is Joey, the war horse as in the movie. The current pandemic is only a beginning of a long battle for it. And the current crisis will link to even worse crises in the next few years such as the climate change, potentially violent Pandamic (the rise of an aggressive China), authoritarianism all over the world, possible wars and armed conflicts due to the rising tension between countries already behind closed doors and borders, all of them facing the huge uncertainty about where the power will be in the no man's land. Much like the hero war horse in the movie, our beloved normal life will go through very tough times ahead facing machine guns, barbed wire, forced labor, and even imminent death. The series of events will dramatically change the life of many in the journey but at the end hope still survives.

In the second scenario we are into a usual jump racing, yet a new obstacle which is unusually high stops the race for some while. All jockeys, world leaders, and horses, national economies, have fallen on the ground. Some wounded badly with off charts unemployment rates some other ready to stand up again and continue the economic growth race. However, the falling system can be restored soon to the previous state with some optimized changes in the daily life and business. That happens in democratic countries by genuine solutions like building the vaccine, passing and implementing smart fiscal stimulus bills and bailouts, giving more priority to health care system and more investment in pure biology research in terms of more budget and staff.  In totalitarian states by fake alternatives like stopping to count the dead bodies and reporting the fatality rates in the media all in order to give a sense of normality to their oppressed population.  

In the third scenario, the old mortal world order characterized by Medusa will be beheaded by Perseus, the Covid-19, wearing the cap of Hades, but a new lovely world order, Pegasus, will spring up from such a bloody scene. Such a fantastic horse doesn't race on the ground but miraculously flies up. This is about a major transformation, shifting the world into new dimensions. Empowering the robots and AI to do much of the human work and free people to enjoy their absolute free time in whatever way they like. They might build communities around new principles or purposes such as lifelong learning, lifelong entertainment and lifelong creativity. In the meantime, we shift human and financial resources to non-profit organizations. Parents spend more time with in children, the future generation, and invest much needed energy in them. Even if monthly government backed payments or universal basic income are not continued after the pandemic then some essential goods and services, like food, shelter, free internet connection, and health cover are guaranteed for citizens, partly financed by the super-rich who are willing to contribute to the acceleration of the future.


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