Enrico Giovannini: transformative resilience What will guide post-COVID-19 reconstruction?

7 October 2020

1 minuto

Enrico Giovannini, member of Conte’s Task Force for Phase 2 of and Professor of Economic Statistics at the University of Rome challenges us to rethink post-Covid-19 society through a vision of transformative resilience: large organizations, including political organizations, must resist the shock created by the health, social and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus, transforming the classic systems of the economy, politics, and society.


“Smartworking” for example can lead to a transformation of some work sectors. “What many companies are putting in place is not actually smartworking,” says Giovannini, “but it is simply work from home.” Smartworking is not remote work, but rather is a set of techniques and methodologies that can be used in post-COVID-19 society.


What will remain of this period? Many will realize that they have been able to do things they didn’t think possible from home (and save hours of travel in some cases). Some companies may learn more about the nature of the work they do and may even want to dispose of their office, given the growing awareness that there is no need to “physically” keep people in the office.


Daily mobility will also be influenced by the coronavirus. It is a great opportunity for our cities to rethink local transport systems and city roads. The promotion of green vehicles, such as bicycles, however, must be accompanied by adequate infrastructure. A few days ago, the city of Milan announced that 35 km of bicycle paths will be built in the coming months.


Professor Giovannini recalled the importance of knowledge and deepening of economic data to understand reality beyond GDP. Between 2007 and 2014, European per capita GDP went up by 2%, but disposable income for families decreased by 5.5% due to the austerity policies imposed after the economic crisis. These data, indicators of social unease, are rarely taken into consideration and must be taken into account following the pandemic.


Finally, the Professor underlined the importance of European Community action for a restart oriented towards the acceleration of the Green New Deal. The EU was imagined without thinking about major crises which is why the last European Council was asked to open crisis management units. Crisis management is an essential activity if developed strategically and will increase preparedness for the next crisis.