On 30 January 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern for the 2019 novel coronavirus. Since then, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has spread across the world and it was assessed by WHO as having become a global pandemic in March 2020 - the first pandemic ever assessed to have been caused by a coronavirus (World Health Organization 2020).

But Covid-19 is more than just a health crisis. It has resulted in severe socioeconomic consequences. Economic activity has stalled and led to a global economic downturn. With travel restricted and the hospitality industry all but closed, normal life came to a stop. In retail, the pandemic has accelerated the trend towards online shopping, resulting in big-name brands disappearing from the high street altogether. The retail landscape is changing and some changes are set to stay. The pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in organisations and systems, and these socioeconomic consequences have also affected some more than others. Disadvantaged groups, particularly the vulnerable, have suffered disproportionately from the impacts of the pandemic (UNCTAD, 2020).

Countries and organisations across the globe are being forced to confront the challenges of managing the consequences of the pandemic. Minimising loss of life, containing the virus, and managing vaccine production, supply and distribution have been crucial – as has initiating economic recovery. While the rollout of vaccines against the virus offers hope, there is still a challenging road to recovery to navigate. Therefore, to plan for a long-term, sustainable recovery we need to address the risks, improve in resilience, and build back better on a global scale.

The Alumni Matters ‘Covid-19: Crisis and recovery’ eNewsletter shares articles, webinars, and a podcast to support individuals and organisations as they plan and implement activities to support recovery from this crisis.

In this issue:

  • Catch up on demand webinar: The Covid-19 pandemic has put the nature of global supply chains into sharp relief. Professor Richard Wilding shares his insights on ‘Covid new normal in logistics’. 
  • The Covid-19 recovery will involve not only tackling the spread of the virus itself but rebuilding our processes to adapt to a new way of doing things - could the post-Covid era provide an opportunity to innovate and implement positive changes at a speed previously thought unattainable? Read more about the innovative, cross-industry research taking place at Cranfield to bolster the Covid-19 recovery.
  • Dr Simon Harwood discusses ‘How can we help government, business, and society prepare and respond to disruptive events?
  • Catch up on demand webinar: Professor Joe Nellis hosts a panel discussion on ‘Post-Covid and post-Brexit challenges’ where Cranfield faculty share their insight into the biggest challenges focusing on the economy, entrepreneurship, human resources, and logistics and the long-term impact of Covid-19 and Brexit.
  • How the ‘perfect storm and food systems’ can be used as an opportunity to progress actions that support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, redevelop our relationship with the environment, and look at how we work with nature to meet our physical and wellbeing needs.
  • Our Alumni Matters podcasts with Patrick Dunne discuss Boards and the coronavirus - tune in to hear about the impact of the coronavirus crisis on boards, their behaviour, people, and corporate sustainability.

We hope you enjoy this eNewsletter.