The power of global relocation: How talent mobility can shape the future of economies

April 2020 will long be remembered as the month the world stood still, says leading geopolitics and globalisation strategist, and international best-selling author Dr Parag Khanna.

“The Great Lockdown was the single most widely coordinated act in human history,” he adds. Dr Khanna is also the advisor and chief futurist of Moovaz, a Singapore-based human mobility technology platform that helps people relocate internationally. 

The Covid-19 pandemic shocked world governments into a state of reclusivity, closed borders, quarantines and social distancing, in a bid to contain the virus which has tragically claimed the lives of millions. This brought an abrupt end to an age of unprecedented globalisation and international human mobility, with 1.5 billion people crossing borders in 2019 alone. 

With the reopening of borders, new archetypes of physical mobility, virtual mobility and remote work would sweep across organisations around the globe, spurring global mobility past its previous highs, with some governments now poised to make remote working a legal right. 

Prior to 2020, “digital nomad visa” was not a term commonly used amongst governments. Fast forward to today, up to 80 governments globally have implemented renditions of just that, in a bid to attract the highly-skilled and globally-mobile talents of the world. Indeed, the youths of today are no longer bound by conventional borders and sovereignty. 

“They are voting with their feet. Those with capacity, talent and connections are able to live wherever they want to be,” shares Dr Khanna. “One telling metric, to predict the success or failure of any society in the world, would be their ability to attract the skilled youths of tomorrow and today.”