Forum Institutional

Has globalization taken off in a new direction?

A cargo shop being towed into a harbour, illustrating globalization

Is this the next stage of globalization? Image: Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

Matteo Barale
Co-Chief Executive Officer and Chief Product Officer, Pix Moving
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Forum Institutional?
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Davos Agenda

This article is part of: Annual Meeting of the New Champions

Listen to the article

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has left an indelible mark on society, prompting significant shifts in various facets of life.
  • This has resulted in new trends in globalization and production supply chains and innovations in technology that are reshaping modern manufacturing, city structures and urban lifestyles.
  • Leveraging technology is paramount to creating sustainable and thriving communities within our rapidly evolving world.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the acceleration of remote working has emphasised the importance of resilience and self-sufficiency. Consequently, a new trend in globalization has emerged, characterised by connected, modularised cities and independent capabilities in work and manufacturing and fostering information and knowledge sharing.

This trend places great emphasis on creating self-sustaining communities that can thrive, even in the face of global crises. Through advanced technologies, modularised cities establish interconnected networks that facilitate the efficient sharing of resources, expertise and services across different regions.

Have you read?

Supply chains under pressure

The pandemic laid bare the vulnerability of global supply chains, where disruptions in one part of the chain could reverberate throughout the entire production process. As countries became overly dependent on each other for specific components or raw materials, the supply chain resembled an assembly line of dominos, collapsing when a single link broke. This revelation underscored the pressing need for more resilient and diversified supply chains, capable of adapting to unforeseen circumstances, while minimising disruptions.


What is the World Economic Forum doing to promote sustainable urban development?

One of the most significant innovations reshaping modern supply chains and manufacturing is artificial intelligence (AI). Through technologies, such as machine learning and robotics, AI has made substantial strides in improving efficiency and productivity across manufacturing processes. Intelligent automation facilitates predictive maintenance, quality control and optimised production scheduling. By harnessing the power of AI, manufacturers can enhance their agility, flexibility and responsiveness, ultimately reducing costs and elevating customer satisfaction.

Advancements in robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT) and 3D printing have revolutionised manufacturing processes too, enabling customisation, accelerated production cycles and cost-effective production.

Smart city creation

Technology is also empowering smart cities, optimising resource management, enhancing transportation systems and improving the overall quality of life. The integration of sensors, connectivity and data analytics transforms cities into more sustainable, efficient and livable spaces.

When it comes to the workplace, technology has empowered individuals with greater independence and flexibility. The proliferation of remote working and digital platforms has enabled people to work from anywhere, diminishing their dependence on physical office spaces and commuting. This paradigm shift has engendered a reimagination of urban lifestyles, characterised by well-designed living spaces, community engagement and a more harmonious work-life balance.

The post-pandemic era has engendered profound changes in lifestyle trends, particularly in the realms of globalization, manufacturing and urban living. This new trend in globalization emphasises self-sufficiency, while fostering interconnectedness through connected modularised cities. Supply chain disruptions have underscored the imperative of resilient and diversified production systems. Innovations in manufacturing, especially AI, are driving change by enhancing efficiency and productivity.

As we forge ahead, embracing these changes and leveraging technology will be paramount to creating sustainable and thriving communities within our rapidly evolving world.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Forum InstitutionalGlobal Cooperation
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

Institutional update

World Economic Forum

May 21, 2024

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum