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COVID-19 will accelerate the move towards a digital global economy

Professor of international economics and author of the ‘Globotics Upheaveal’ Richard Baldwin shares how COVID-19 may accelerate megatrends such as globalisation and digitalisation on Nordic Summit 2020.

Through Nordic Summit 2020 - this year transformed into a series of virtual sessions - Danske Bank sheds light on the current COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences for the global economy and the society as a whole.

The session with Richard Baldwin is moderated by Thomas Harr, Global Head of FIC Research in Danske Bank, and Christin Tuxen, Head of FX Research in Danske Bank.

Watch a recap


Key take-aways from Baldwin

  • Digital technology will lead to automation of the service sector and jobs, and encourage globalization of these. As a consequence, people will have to change jobs more frequently than in the past.

  • Governments could be inspired by the Danish model, where companies are free to hire and fire as they want, but the state looks after the workers to make sure they can find a job. We might not know what these jobs look like, but they will be there!

  • Jobs of the future will be very local and very human. As AI and robotics can’t do it all, soft skills and interpersonal skills will be very important.

  • There is cause for concern that President Donald Trump with a tweet or two can create a downward spiral of export bans on medical equipment. Trump either has one or five more years in office, and in the latter situation, one could be worried that he will de-globalize the world. However, we have also seen that the rest of the world does not have to go with his choices.

About Richard Baldwin

  • Economist.
  • Professor of international economics at the Graduate Institute Geneva.
  • One of the world's leading globalization experts and author of internationally acclaimed book ‘The Globotics Upheaval’ about how globotics (globalisation mixed with new kinds of robotics) will disrupt the lives of millions of white-collar workers much faster than automation, industrialization, and globalization disrupted the lives of factory workers in previous centuries.
  • Co-editor of two recent CEPR books on the COVID-19 economic crisis.
  • Has received several honorary doctorates.
  • Has consulted for many governments and international organisations including the EU, the OECD, the World Bank, EFTA, and USAID.

More on Richard Baldwin on LinkedIn 

Nordic Summit - what you need to know

  • A recurring annual event for Danske Bank’s corporate and institutional clients, where we share a Nordic perspective on the most critical topics and megatrends.
  • The event includes a series of keynote speeches and panel debates with leading international experts, politicians and industry leaders on these subjects.
  • Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, it was decided to transform this year’s event into a series of virtual sessions all focusing on COVID-19. We are making the insights from the day available for everyone here on our website.