The first GDR Assembly Report – OUT NOW

Jun 26, 2020

The inaugural GDR Assembly Report explores the post-Covid-19 future of business, retail and hospitality using insights from our international, multi-disciplinary panel of experts. Get in touch with for free access.

Covid-19 has been a once in a lifetime event for most of us who didn’t witness the Second World War. Business leaders, CEOs, consultants and marketers alike have all had to adjust, respond and reimagine the way they operate every day. Collectively, we’ve witnessed a great coming together of communities, companies and charities for the greater good. Far from being over, the Covid-19 disruption is entering a new phase, which comes with its fresh challenges.

GDR has been exploring the potential long-term consequences, and the entrenched new behaviours that the Covid-19 pandemic has triggered since the early days of the outbreak. Now, as we venture out again and the big global pause seems to be behind us – for now at least – we wanted to explore what the future holds.

To do this, we carefully selected and curated a panel of international, multi-disciplinary, external experts to join us on The GDR Assembly.  Our panel’s role is to discuss and debate this new world with our own Head of Strategy, Eric Coulon. Our goal in creating The Assembly Report was to bring some clarity and new perspectives to the table and to try to answer questions or outline solutions to the challenges faced by the world of business, hospitality and retail.

We’ve asked our Assembly experts to be uncompromising in their assessment, to highlight what they think is the right way out of the crisis and propose some solutions based on their unique expertise.


The first GDR Assembly Report includes:

Florence Labedays – “We can’t blame everything on the virus”

Media and international relations expert and former editor-in-chief of Bloomberg TV France, Florence Labedays, reveals how Covid-19 is forcing us to reconsider some of the most fundamental elements of the modern world including GDP, globalisation and the meaning of convenience. She also highlights a number of key groups whose places in society’s pecking order may be changed by their pandemic experiences and behaviours.


Pr. Debra Kelly – “The lockdown was the easy part”

Historian and principal research fellow at Westminster University, Debra Kelly is an expert in wars and cultural studies. Through a critical appraisal of how leaders have tackled the challenges of the lockdown, she envisions a future in which the increased social divide between haves and have nots should lead brands, retailers and hospitality players to reconsider their value chain in a safer, more modest, and more sustainable fashion.


Daniel Hulme – “We’re entering the Ultra-gig society”

Leading expert in artificial intelligence and CEO of optimisation company Satalia, Daniel Hulme reflects on business infrastructure, organisation and social problems, in particular the future of work in the post-Covid world. In his vision – the “Ultra-gig” society – companies are a thing of the past, innovation comes from citizens and data is more valuable than capital.


Pippa Corry – “Covid-19 is a fire drill for the big fight to come”

Founder of Philo & Co, a company that mentors leading creative agencies and FMCG brands to embed circular economy thinking in their operations, Pippa explores the behavioural changes needed to win the climate emergency challenge. She argues that the strategies that have been put in place to vanquish the virus are very similar to what we should be doing to save natural resources.


Andy Scott – “Marketers should put their foot to the floor”

Retail expert and founder of branding and shopper marketing consultancy Vivid Brand, Andy Scott is anticipating an unprecedented economic downturn during the next three to five years. Yet, he believes now is the time for brands to innovate and be bold, and in our interview with him he highlighted a number of keys ways that brands and retailers can transform their businesses to meet the evolving demands of “the new normal”.

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