Forum, Futuribles Journal n° 437

Économie, emploi - Institutions - Société, modes de vie

There is no ‘After’ Any More: The Rise of Uncertainty and Vigilance towards the Future

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As indicated in the opening remarks to this forum (‘Covid-19: Causes, Impacts and Strategies’), the subject of the Covid-19 crisis and its impact is a long way from being fully examined yet and will gradually come to form part of the general context of analysis in many fields of study. It did, however, seem important to us to raise different — economic, social, health, food-related and ecological — aspects of the phenomenon while still ‘in the thick of the crisis.’

Yannick Blanc shows here the extent to which this event, which we may describe in the normal language of foresight studies as a ‘trend break’, makes recourse to foresight particularly necessary. Stressing that the health crisis has just triggered a ‘systemic disruption’ of our society that had been a long time in the making, he describes the ‘three circles of its shock wave’ (the scale of the epidemic, the oil crisis and the change of medium-term strategy on the part of many economic actors), before going on to underscore the institutional failures (particularly of the state) to show resilience in the face of the remaining uncertainties, and to call for vigilance towards the future, so as to build what comes after this crisis on solid, shared foundations.

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