future of careers: DRIVING FORCE
Death of the Global City?
In the last decades, we have lived in a world where economic activity has centred around a few global cities. People chase their dreams, companies build shiny offices, and wealth gets created in these metropolises.But more and more megacities have been appearing, and the dominance of a select few is questionable. Rising tensions around immigration and otherness have flared up around the world, after years of globally declining Migrant Acceptance Indices.
Economic factors also are in play. Before unthinkable, global conglomerates have moved their headquarters in pursuit of better tax regimes – both for their corporate and personal bottom lines. Let alone relocation: the pandemic has seen swathes of regionalisation and localisation – while companies might still be global, they may not be globally centralised for long. Is the idea of a global HQ a relic? How will organisations need to change the way they think about teams?
People too have been moving in the pandemic – and out of cities. Many major cities have seen a reversal of rural-urban migration – and it’s primarily the higher-skilled wealthy who are taking advantage of remote-working to seek safety in less crowded areas. How easy will it be to move jobs to where they are or want to be, especially if an organisation doesn’t have a permanent fully remote working future?
The projected number of mega-cities in 2030¹
of London residents moved out at some point in the pandemic²
of global supply chains stated that they have already regionalised or localised manufacturing³
What if New York, London, or Singapore no longer exists?
How will your organisation manage with 10 HQs instead of 1?
What if top talent no longer want to live where your HQs are?
What additional support is needed for teams to work across many more timezones, cultures, languages?
What new risks might employees face when they move for a role?
What if mobility becomes restricted to within regions?
¹United Nations. World Urbanization Prospects, Jan 2018.
²New York Times. The Pandemic Emptied Europe’s Cities. What Will Bring People Back?, Feb 2021.
³Material Handling & Logistics. One-Third of Supply Chain Leaders Moved Business Out of China or Plan to by 2023, Jun 2020.
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