How will Covid-19 change the world?
It’s too early to know of course, but there’s no shortage of predictions out there.
Some are wondering if we will see a sea change in state investment, an increased valuing of key workers, a recognition of the importance of social care and a reset on social values and sustainability with new thinking about growth and what really matters to us.
Others fear we may see another decade of austerity, excessive centralisation, increased surveillance and control, an exacerbation of existing economic and educational inequalities, a neglect of less visible services and increasing nationalism and isolationism.
None of this is set in stone of course – there are choices to be made – and we should be making the argument now for the world we want to live on the other side of the pandemic.
For local government this is both a fundamental and an urgent question.
Councils across the world are battling heroically to support communities through the crisis, whilst worrying that they will be left with millions of pounds of shortfall in their budgets. At the same time they are planning for recovery and thinking about the sorts of institutions they need to evolve into.
These debates will unfold over many months but there’s also an urgency to begin thinking about them in the next few weeks to ensure that establish the right narrative pathways.]