Kjell A Nordström made a presentation for students and graduates of the Stockholm School of Economics in Russia

We meet with famous people to get inspired. Kjell is famous for his unusual insights and his theory of 600 cities but this time expectations were even higher. More than 350 graduates and students of the Stockholm School of Economics in Russia gathered for an exclusive webinar on May 14th to listen to Kjell A Nordström, Swedish economist and author of the world's business bestsellers (Funky Business, Urban Express) on the topic of Extraordinary Times Require an Extraordinary Response.

"The future doesn't exist," Kjell started, "so it's impossible to predict it. However, based on the knowledge we have today, we can try to extrapolate existing trends and identify several possible ways of moving forward”.

Obviously, the coronavirus pandemic will have an impact on us, he continued. But historically, it’s not the first time something like that has happened and it won’t be the last pandemic on the path of mankind. People have already been forced to reform their lives, to learn from their own mistakes many times before. And that’s what is going to happen in our present situation as well.

Coronavirus will affect the world. It will deglobalize the world. Some companies will begin to flee the global market to return to their regional markets. Regionalization of human life and regionalization of investment will continue. The world will again be divided into 4-5 major geopolitical regions. This is the first serious consequence.

"The virus is accelerating the processes that have already been brewing for the last 25 years," said Kjell. - You can see what is happening with digitalization. One moment online sales jump up, next online education and meeting platforms have prospered. It would have taken years without the pandemic”.

There are more news that is positive: we will return to internationalization and globalization, we will travel around the world again. Maybe, not in the next year or even two. It may take 5-8 years for everything to go back to the way it was, but the future is still all about globalization.

"The Pincode of this world is simple. It is 1-1-1-4, meaning the distribution of the population on earth. There are just over 7 billion people in the world in total, with 1 billion living in America, Europe and Africa, and the remaining 4 billion all living in Asia. So it’s 1-1-1-4. But the population growth will continue, and in the next 30 years we will have 9-10 billion people living on earth. Almost all serious demographers agree that this growth will eventually slow down. First, a woman will have a maximum of 2.2 children, and then the birthrate will go down. What will our new Pincode be? 1-1-2-6.”

Never mind the world’s population changes, there is another important thing. We live in a matrix. And this matrix shapes our thoughts and actions. This matrix has 4 dimensions which are: capitalism, urbanization, digitalization and artificial intelligence. We can add global warming, but it's more like an additional instrument of manipulation.

Capitalism, as a machine for testing business for efficiency, is unlikely to disappear. Cities will continue to attract people, because only there people will be able to reach their potential. It will take us a long
time to grow to the point when we can all communicate remotely. For now a person needs like-minded people, and it is only possible to find like-minded people in a city.

Anything that can be digitized will eventually be digitized. And if it's digitized, then it's available. Knowledge will overflow the world. It will lose its value - why do you need to learn something when everything is on the Internet? It's possible that such service as "intelligence for rent" will appear. Kjell explains: "Why not? You connect to the artificial intelligence for a specific purpose, pay for the data you use, solve the problem and do not overload your brain with information you don’t need afterwards".

Should we look forward to a brighter future ahead of us? Kjell Nordström shrugs: "Whether we leave a good world to our children or a bad one, only time will tell".

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Kjell Nordström
Kjell Nordström