The first and second derivative economy
The subprime mortgage crisis and the Asian financial crisis exposed the instability of the global economy. The smallest variation and the tiniest variation of a variation may wreak havoc on the fundamentals of the economy. At the same time, the actual values of the economic variables are daintily neglected.
COVID-19 and emperor's new clothes
Coronavirus revealed the fragility of the previous economic paradigm. All of a sudden, globalization, enormous-scale activities and outsourcing became out of fashion.
Whatever is the change coming up, our new foundations should allow us to face it and to transform it into opportunities.
Small is beautiful
Many tiny production sites are more robust than a single world-class plant. Each investment is smaller, therefore turning a project into reality is much easier. Logistic barriers protect the smaller sites from the competition of the largest installations. Product customization is easier and creates stronger ties with the target markets.
Interconnected is better
Core business focus and vertical and horizontal integration had their time. They proved not to be the right way to face the glitches of the markets, which are unforeseeable by definition.
What about a network of different installations, where the products or the wastes of each one can feed another one? That's a guarantee of flexibility and robustness. It has already been done in chemistry and petrochemistry: that's the German verbund concept. It works, and we can extend it.
Let's do it quickly
That's restart time, and speed is of the essence. Simple plants, not harming or even beneficial to the environments, quick to set up and to start-up.