After The Pandemic: Predictions of how world of work and economy will change

2 June 2020, 23:07 | Updated: 3 June 2020, 03:20

Former BP boss Lord Browne, Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, economist and author Stephanie Kelton, and Stephen Moore, senior economic adviser to Donald Trump, spoke to Sky's Dermot Murnaghan about the future of work and the economy after the coronavirus crisis.

Lord Browne: Business is becoming more efficient, more localised, more intelligent

"We are learning a lot and we are changing a lot for the future and probably for the better. Business is learning about different ways of doing business. More efficient, more localised, more national. There's more accelerated activity to make business more intelligent.

There's a real understanding perhaps that nature has been a very big force here. We don't want that to happen again and so climate change is on the agenda still and probably reinforced. Something must be done to keep the environment, to keep us healthy.

Many things that are happening here will change the way we think about the future. That's very important because I think we probably could not have gone on the way we were going before the virus.

Building a different world requires a lot of different skills. That world will be different. Just simply the amount and changing of the way we live and work - we're doing it today on Skype for example - will change the demands we have on infrastructure, on the cloud, on all sorts of things.

This will require a lot more effort, and we need young people to do that and to aspire to do things to change society too in a low carbon world."

Lord Browne: We can't just go on investing in old companies

"Before the pandemic struck, there were things going on which I think will now be accelerated.

First was to heavily invest in innovation. In smaller companies they're doing a lot of research and development.

The government was going to - and I still think will - increase the amount of state spending on R&D; by 50% and that will mean business will follow that, at least at that level if not double that.

There are a lot of things going on that will write the future. We can't just go on investing in old companies. We have in this economy far too much concentration.

For example in aerospace and automotive. A lot of the developments for the future were taking place. They have now been crudely shut down, so we need to diversify. We need to change the way in which we apply things.

In the UK, we are great at innovating and discovering things - the science, the engineering. But not so good at retaining the companies here. We have a wonderful track record in artificial intelligence (AI) for example. But of the four great companies that we invented here, they all went to American investors and to America.

Joseph Stiglitz: Taxes could go up, including green ones

"There is more room for increased taxation in the US than the UK.

We have to redirect our economy to the economy of the future and one area of the economy of the future is a greener economy so environmental taxes would have a double benefit.

It would raise revenue and steer the economy to a better, greener economy."

Lord Browne: Government will own parts of firms

"The government will end up owning pieces of companies, and drive them in an enlightened way so they can expand and flourish when they come out of care."

Joseph Stiglitz: Debt will not be a problem

"In the US, debt in itself is not going to be much of a problem because we are likely to see a very weak economy.

Interest rates are going to be very low. If interest rates are close to zero, the cost of servicing the debt is close to zero. The worries about the debt should not inhibit us from doing what we need to protect the vulnerable and resuscitate the economy."

:: The Congressional Budget Office has said COVID-19 will inflict long-term damage on the American economy, shrinking it by $7.9trn over the next 10 years.

Stephanie Kelton: Large number of industries may permanently shrink

"In the US, a large number of industries may permanently shrink. A lot of the small businesses that we are helping today may not make it on the other side - in fact, we know that they won't. Maybe as many as half of them won't be viable on the other side of this.

Some of the bigger industries are going to permanently change.

And the benefit is we will have time in the months and years ahead to begin to think about how to make strategic investments and in which industries to support."

Stephen Moore: Private investors will know what the future industries will be, not the government

"None of us know what the industries of the future are going to be. For the last 10 years, the US went through the greatest oil and gas boom in the history of this country and we became the energy powerhouse nation.

Nobody in government predicted that would happen. Politicians don't know what the next industry is - the people who know that are private investors."

This week until Thursday, Dermot Murnaghan is hosting After the Pandemic: Our New World - a series of special live programmes about what our world will be like once the pandemic is over.

We are being joined by some of the biggest names from the worlds of culture, politics, economics, science and technology.

On Thursday night, we'll have an exclusive interview with the Prince of Wales.

He will be reflecting on his experience of the lockdown, and the changes facing the public, the country and the world

If you'd like to be in our virtual audience - from your own home - and put questions to the experts, email afterthepandemic@sky.uk