In the 2019 PwC Global Crisis SurveyPDF, 69 percent of respondents said they expected a global crisis in the next five years, most likely due to a financial meltdown or technology failure. Little did they know how prescient they were. Just nine months after the survey was released, an entirely different and unexpected medical and public health crisis — COVID-19 — has fundamentally altered the world. If driving change in the uncertain and turbulent environment that existed at the beginning of 2020 was a complex challenge, the degree of difficulty has now been ramped up significantly.
As we recently noted in these pages, five global forces — asymmetry of wealth, disruption, age disparities, polarization, and loss of trust — which together we’ve termed ADAPT, were already changing the way millions of people live and work. The pandemic has sharply accelerated these forces.