COVID-19

'Collective action' - restarting the global economy amid a Great Reset 

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed poses for a photograph during the opening of the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Heads of State and the Government of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 9, 2020.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed called on the G20 to use "all available policy tools" to help low-income countries battling the economic fallout from the coronavirus. Image: REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

Christopher Alessi
Digital Editor, World Economic Forum
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COVID-19

"I consider this painful global pandemic to be a complex, adaptive challenge. In a connected and interdependent world, a complex and adaptive challenge cannot be solved by individual countries alone."

Those were the words of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, speaking at the Forum's latest Great Reset meeting, centered around the theme of restarting the global economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ahmed also called on the G20 to use "all available policy tools" to help low-income countries battling the economic fallout from the virus.

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Gillian Tett, Editor-at-large and Chair of the Editorial Board at the Financial Times, also joined the meeting, remarking on the sea change underway in the business community. "Today we are seeing absolutely every single C-suite focused on stakeholders, in the sense they have to talk to not just their shareholders," she said. "There is a zeitgeist shift going on."

The Great Reset - the theme of a unique in-person and virtual summit to be convened by the Forum in January 2021 - is an initiative that grew out of the COVID Action Platform. Launched last week, the Great Reset is a commitment to jointly and urgently build the foundations of our economic and social system for a more fair, sustainable and resilient post-COVID future.

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Other speakers at today's virtual meeting included Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England; Afsaneh Beschloss, Founder and CEO, RockCreek; Ning Zhu, Professor of Finance, Tsinghua University in Shanghai; Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director, Head of the New Economy and Society, World Economic Forum.

Here's a roundup of a some of the key quotes:

"I consider this painful global pandemic to be a complex, adaptive challenge. In a connected and interdependent world, a complex and adaptive challenge cannot be solved by individual countries alone - it can only be addressed through...collective action and global cooperation."

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

“The best way that the banking system...can aid making this recession as tolerable as it can be is to continue lending.”

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey

"If there is one thing that COVID has taught, it's the importance of lateral thinking, of peripheral vision, of holistic thinking...you have to think about the consequences of what you’re doing to a company or an investor or a government."

Gillian Tett, Editor-at-large and Chair of the Editorial Board, Financial Times

"We have invested over $6 billion in firms that are started by women, by African Americans, by Latinos, Asians and other minorities...in fact, diversity does pay."

RockCreek Founder and CEO, Afsaneh Beschloss

"In terms of the economy, it is encouraging to notice that China’s economy is on its proper track of recovery - in terms of exports, the investment and the domestic consumption, I think things are on a pretty good track."

Ning Zhu, Professor of Finance, Tsinghua University

"We are completely rethinking the tools of economic policy. There’s a lot of rethinking that needs to be done and we’ll be thinking about that under the Great Reset umbrella."

Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director, Head of the New Economy and Society, World Economic Forum
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COVID-19Economic Progress
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