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What will the world look like after COVID-19?

Kevin Sneader, global managing partner for McKinsey & Company, provides perspective on what corporate business leaders are thinking during the global coronavirus crisis: Is it too early to envision how the world could look after Covid-19?

Well, in some respects, it is too early. We're still fighting a global pandemic. And most, if not all, effort needs to be on that. But at the same time, I am hearing business leaders beginning to talk about what it will take to resurrect their businesses and in doing so, resurrect the global economy, a task that is vital for all our futures. And as they do so, I think it is possible to discern the shape of a world post Covid-19.

First of all, Frances Cairncross wrote a very powerful book in the late 90s on "The Death of Distance," well, I think distance is now returning. People are becoming much more aware of the importance of product being made near to where they live, of who they're with. And as borders go back up, I think distance is going to become an increasing part of our reality, and of business reality.

Second, the contactless consumer. In many respects, that's not new. Digital has been ensuring that that has been an option for some time. But the boost that it has received to, for example, payments also going very much online and being digitized, talks to a world in which the contactless consumer may well become the norm rather than an exception when it comes to shopping and so many other forms of day to day activity.

Third, the importance of resiliency over efficiency. For some years now, our supply chains, for example, are being built for efficiency. Well, resilience is going to become ever more important as we reflect on the lessons from this Black Swan event. And in doing so, I think that will change the way business is conducted, quite fundamentally.

Fourth, we've long had a belief in the importance of commerce, but now there's a whole new sense of the worth of some of the other features of day-to-day life. And as that becomes true, I think business is going to have technology. A different rule for business versus, for example, government. And the intervention and the role that government can play as more and more of business and the economy is in fact owned by the government itself due to the actions now being taken to safeguard day-to-day lives and the ways of living that underpin them.

These are just a few of the features that are increasingly going to shape the world after Covid-19 has passed.

Khant Thaw Htoo is a young engineer who works in Eni's Sakura Tower office in the heart of Yangon. As an HSE engineer, he monitors the safety and environmental impact of onshore and offshore operations. He also looks out for his parents' well-being, in keeping with Myanmar's traditions.

Learn more about Khant in the final episode of the Faces of Eni series, which focuses on Eni's employees around the world.

Over the weekend, some 40,000 Russians braved subzero temperatures to turn out in the streets in support of imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. More than 3,000 protesters were arrested, and Navalny called on his followers to prepare for more action in the coming weeks.

But just who is Alexei Navalny, and how significant is the threat that he may pose to Vladimir Putin's stranglehold on power in Russia?

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take (part 1):

Ian Bremmer here, happy Monday. And have your Quick Take to start off the week.

Maybe start off with Biden because now President Biden has had a week, almost a week, right? How was it? How's he doing? Well, for the first week, I would say pretty good. Not exceptional, but not bad, not bad. Normal. I know everyone's excited that there's normalcy. We will not be excited there's normalcy when crises start hitting and when life gets harder and we are still in the middle of a horrible pandemic and he has to respond to it. But for the first week, it was okay.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Russian opposition leader Navalny in jail. Hundreds of thousands demonstrating across the country in Russia over well over 100 cities, well over 3000 arrested. And Putin responding by saying that this video that was put out that showed what Navalny said was Putin's palace that costs well over a billion dollars to create and Putin, I got to say, usually he doesn't respond to this stuff very quickly. Looked a little defensive, said didn't really watch it, saw some of it, but it definitely wasn't owned by him or owned by his relatives.

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Even as vaccines roll out around the world, COVID-19 is continuing to spread like wildfire in many places, dashing hopes of a return to normal life any time soon. Some countries, like Israel and the UK for instance, have been praised for their inoculation drives, while still recording a high number of new cases. It's clear that while inoculations are cause for hope, the pace of rollouts cannot keep up with the fast-moving virus. Here's a look at the countries that have vaccinated the largest percentages of their populations so far – and a snapshot of their daily COVID caseloads (7-day rolling average) in recent weeks.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.


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