These are predictions for the COVID-19 era and beyond based on my research.
Question One: will the novel coronavirus / COVID19 accelerate automation?
Answer: yes. Automation has already evolved beyond manufacturing to other business processes. This trend is likely to accelerate as a result of the pandemic. Some of the under-appreciated potential of blockchain — or distributed ledger technology — relates to maintaining credible records, certification, and self-executing smart contracts. We are now acutely aware of how quality certification in a supply chain can be a vital matter of life-or-death. We worry about the viability of supply chains that rely on people who can get sick. So it seems a reasonable to expect to see more blockchain-enabled automation in supply chains, with several implications explored in my recent article in Blockchain, Business Supply Chains, Sustainability, and Law: The Future of Governance, Legal Frameworks, and Lawyers?
Question Eight: does education need to change? Specifically, do business and other professional schools need to evolve?
Answer: yes. We need more holistic and experiential approaches. Specific innovations in these directions are described in a chapter in the book, Handbook of Sustainability in Management Education and in A Path to Developing More Insightful Business School Graduates: A Systems-Based, Experiential Approach to Integrating Law, Strategy, and Sustainability in Academy of Management Learning & Education.
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