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In Depth Out Loud podcast: four possible futures for what the world will be like after coronavirus

Social distancing on the metro in Milan. Paolo Salmoirago/EPA

In this episode of The Conversation’s In Depth Out Loud podcast, Simon Mair, a research fellow in ecological economics at the University of Surrey’s centre for the understanding of sustainable prosperity, says we could use the coronavirus crisis to rebuild, produce something better and more humane. But, of course, there’s a risk of less appealing outcomes.

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The responses to the COVID-19 pandemic are simply the amplification of the dynamic that drives other social and ecological crises: the prioritisation of one type of value over others. This dynamic has played a large part in driving global responses to COVID-19. So as responses to the virus evolve, how might our economic futures develop?

From an economic perspective, there are four possible futures: a descent into barbarism, a robust state capitalism, a radical state socialism, and a transformation into a big society built on mutual aid. Versions of all of these futures are possible.

You can read the text version of this in depth article here. The audio version is read by Michael Parker and edited by Gemma Ware.

This story came out of a project at The Conversation called Insights. Sponsored by Research England, our Insights team generate in depth articles derived from interdisciplinary research. You can read their stories here, or subscribe to In Depth Out Loud to listen to more of their articles in the coming months.

The music in In Depth Out Loud is Night Caves, by Lee Rosevere.

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