Column number 78 – 2020

The hope we all had is that at this point we could see the end of the emergency and that we could start talking again about a possible recovery and the steps necessary to make it stable. Instead, we are still talking about lock-downs, more or less rigid, and of a situation that throughout Europe alternates short periods of regression with long, dark weeks of growing pandemic, with frightening numbers linked above all to victims, collapsing health workers, exhausted doctors, nurses and health workers.

We met with conviction at Tube Düsseldorf, convinced that the move to December was a reasonable guarantee that the fair would take place regularly. Instead, here we are, orphans of the main event in the sector, to give us an appointment for a 2022 that seems very distant and almost unreal, instead it is just around the corner.

There are only a few months left, then we will talk again about buying spaces, programs, event calendars, square meters of exhibition space, appointments. Above all, we will talk about who will be there and who will not, meaning not only who will be present at the fair, but who will be saved from this dramatic pandemic that has claimed so many victims among the population but which as many threatens to reap them in the various sectors of the economy.

Up to now, state incentives, provided in each country in different forms, together with the prohibition on redundancies, also in this case operating in different forms in many EU states, have anesthetized a situation that risks becoming explosive with the start of the year. In many sectors, in addition to the crisis in demand in Europe, the effect of competition from other countries where the pandemic has had infinitely less serious effects is also felt, just think of China where, in addition to the initial outbreak, there have been no waves return if not minimal, while in Europe the second wave is likely to be even worse than the first.

In many areas, innovative solutions are also being tested. In compliance with Keynes’s motto of “work less, work everyone”, some global giants of the caliber of Microsoft and Unilever are also experimenting with the short week, even showing satisfaction with the productivity of employees which seems to have increased. Some national governments, not least New Zealand, whose young prime minister has aired, en-passant, the possibility of introducing holidays to get to the short week of state, are taking an interest in this possibility to pursue the goal of replenishing the lost posts. with anti-Covid measures. In short, where the Industry 4.0 revolution does not arrive, the pandemic could arrive: we do not know if we should be happy about it …