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Post-covid study: a more resilient world?

Back in the spring, an eager group of strategists decided to chronicle what COVID-19 was doing to human behaviour and make sense of what this meant for our future. We hoped the learnings might teach us a thing or two on how we could future-proof ourselves and our society.

Through this research, we have attempted to boil down all the signals we were seeing into a set of tensions that are defining the new day to day decisions we make – leading to a set of insights and questions for any organisation to help people navigate these new tensions. At the root of it all is empathy.

Empathy may be slightly bastardised as of late, but its core components are what lies behind these social shifts. The question is, will they sustain?


This deck takes you through seven key shifts, organised by signals, underlying forces, and the resulting new dynamics of the world we live in.

From new categories of language to the return of function over fashion and everything in between, whether you design services, make products, manage a team or simply are curious about how people live, work and play - there’s something in here for you.

Scroll further for a sneak peek of the findings, find the full deck, and read more about the team who worked on this.



The tension between Safety vs. Connection is a new dynamic literally shaping the design of the world. Previously, these two words often shared a meaning - safety in numbers, safety in community. But physically, now, they are at odds.

Suddenly, we see travel ads of bubble-enclosed experiences, products like timed soap to re-learn how to properly wash our hands are appearing on shelves, and navigating any and all transactions - even social exchange and play - are being rethought for a “1.5 meter economy”.

In a world where more people = more risk, what does this mean for social dynamics?



Another major tension disrupting daily life is the sudden lack of closure, and our need to reinvent how we define even the smallest of rituals to move forward.

While change is an inevitable part of life, what makes the pandemic even more painful is that we couldn’t prepare. And now life has changed and we can’t go back to the way it was.

If humans need closure to move on, how are we finding acceptance in order to grieve what we lost? And how are our “currencies” we move forward with changing as a result?



And what do the many, many other signals big and small say about the kind of culture we’re living in, and what’s important to not only survive, but thrive?


We hope the questions posed and the underlying needs identified in this work will help you reflect on your source of resilience.


For the full deck, please click here.

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