Report

Innovation and Change During a Global Pandemic

The global coronavirus pandemic has left nothing unchanged. From the mundane activities of daily life to the lofty, long-term goals of governments, the outbreak has altered plans for everyone and everything in its path. The students at the Joseph H. Lauder Institute for Management & International Studies have not been immune to the disruption. For years, this report has been the result of months of work from students who immerse themselves in an intensive course in their program of concentration, then follow up with field study that takes them to various parts of the world. But the pandemic halted travel and pushed classes online. And the students, much like the nations and people they studied, learned to rise to the challenge.

Without the option of field study, the students conducted interviews via phone and video with experts and sources who described what they could not witness for themselves. Without a physical classroom, they used every digital tool available to collaborate on their articles, learning to work together in the new normal created by the disease. Their efforts reflect a microcosm that is being repeated in grand scale around the world. Across Latin America, entrepreneurs quickly realized that the seismic shift to online shopping during the pandemic presented unique opportunities to grow their businesses. In India, the economic devastation wrought by the pandemic is reshaping the automotive and public transportation industries in the world’s second-most populous nation. The pandemic is also revealing the inequality gap in sharp relief, raising questions about how governments around the globe provide public education, invest in infrastructure and choose their economic priorities.

There are bright spots amid the COVID-19 death and despair. China’s youth are leading the way in esports, which are proving to be the games of the future. Consumers are using their purchasing power to transform whole industries, including alcoholic beverages in Europe and Russia, fashion in sub-Saharan Africa and plant-based protein in the United States. And restless entrepreneurs are flourishing against the family-owned conglomerates of South Korea.

Nelson Mandela, a man who was well-acquainted with hardship and adversity, said, “It always seems impossible until it is done.” The world will emerge from the grip of the pandemic, perhaps forever changed. In the meantime, innovation continues because the human spirit endures.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

The Coronavirus Pandemic

  • COVID-19’s Impact on Transportation in India
  • The Pandemic’s Effect on Sustainable Innovation in the EU
  • The Unequal Effects of COVID-19 on Global Public Education
  • The Impact of COVID-19 on Infrastructure Investments in Latin America

 New Markets and Innovation

  • In a League of its Own: China Takes the Lead in Esports
  • The Duopoly of Luxury Fashion in Africa
  • The Rise of the Plant-based Protein Industry
  • The Future of the World’s Factory
  • Modern Vodka: Has Russia Missed Its Shot?
  • Tesla in China
  • A Different Pour: How Consumers Are Changing the Wine Industry

Entrepreneurship and Capitalism

  • Digital Health in Latin America: Opportunities and Challenges for Telemedicine
  • Latin America’s Hypergrowth Startups
  • South Korea’s Startup History
  • Limitations to Financing in Africa: A Two-tiered Perspective
  • How the COVID-19 Pandemic Catapulted Delivery Apps in Latin America
  • Current Challenges and the Future of E-commerce in Africa

Politics and Policies

  • The Clash Between Norway’s Climate Goals and Economy
  • Can West Africa Achieve Economic Independence from France?
  • The Evolution of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Africa
  • The Price of Protest: A Case Study of Chile and Colombia

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