David McCourt says five years will bring us greater connectivity

David McCourt is the author of bestselling book Total Rethink.
David McCourt is the author of bestselling book Total Rethink.
Image: Claire Wood
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It took a global pandemic and stay-at-home orders for 1.5 billion people worldwide, but something is finally occurring to us: The future we thought we expected may not be the one we get.

We know that things will change; how they’ll change is a mystery. To envision a future altered by coronavirus, Quartz asked dozens of experts for their best predictions on how the world will be different in five years.

Below is an answer from David McCourt, the founder and CEO of private investment firm Granahan McCourt Capital; the chairman of National Broadband Ireland (supplying internet to the country); and the author of the bestseller Total Rethink: Why Entrepreneurs Should Act Like Revolutionaries, published in 2018.

Everything in the world is changing fast, apart from how we think and behave. The world has never before been in such urgent need of a total rethink across key areas from income inequality, healthcare, education, jobs, and training. Covid-19 may accelerate the pace of change by 20 years.

One of the areas that has been most exposed due to Covid-19 is the digital divide that exists between urban and rural communities across the world. As half the world tries to adapt to remote working, we have never been more reliant on connectivity and technology. It can no longer be accepted that location determines your right to reliable, high-speed connectivity, which today is a vital utility.

In the next five years, governments and the private sector need to have implemented solutions that regenerate and empower rural communities that have been left underserved by connectivity and technology for too long. If these areas are to be sustainable and prosper once again, they need to be connected to open up access to local and global opportunity.

To read more New Normal answers, click here.