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If 2020 has done anything ( … and it’s done rather a lot), it’s shown us all what we’ve always known, but never wanted to look at too closely: We live with fragility every day.

This year, we’ve been through a lot. We’ve all had to let go of some of the most basic assumptions we held at the beginning of the year: that we could hug a friend, sit around a table with our colleagues, fly to a conference. Yet, we’ve adapted in ways we can be proud of, as individuals, as organizations, and as an industry.

The new year will be about how well we continue to work through the pandemic and how we come to terms with our new awareness of the impermanence of most assumptions. In short, 2021 will be about how well we become antifragile, to recollect a term from ‘Before Times’ (specifically, from author Nassim Nicholas Taleb in 2012).

The goal is not simply survival in the face of stress or surprise, but actively thriving and benefiting from exposure to random change — as bones strengthen and balance improves when an athlete trains against unpredictable stimuli.

In this POV, we explore five interrelated aspects of the pandemic’s effects, predict how they will continue to play out in 2021, and recommend how to grow and benefit from them:

  • Media and tech: facilitating communication
  • Location independence: virtual virtuosity
  • Relationships despite digital congestion
  • Questioning systems and doubt in institutions
  • Trust and wellness: what we believe and how we feel

We consider the effects of each of these on the life-science industry as a whole, on business organizations severally, and on each of us as individuals. Understanding how these five facets of our changing world will affect these three groupings of people will be essential to success in 2021 and beyond.

Download the complete POV (no strings attached), and ring in the new year armed for success!