At the dawn of 2020, few could have guessed what the year had in store. Fast forward six months, and the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the world and wreaked havoc on populations and economies. It has added new terms to our vocabulary, with phrases like “social distancing” and “flattening the curve” becoming part of our everyday vernacular, and has changed the way we interact with each other and the world around us, with masks and hand sanitizer becoming essential accessories. Millions of people around the world are working from home, balancing job and familial responsibilities and adjusting to the new normal.
While it is a time of change, it is also a time of opportunity: the world of tomorrow will look different, and it is a chance for us to rebuild it together. A time like this requires innovative research and the insight and perspective of thought leaders across the globe. At ESSEC, our mission has always been to prepare future leaders for the challenges of the future through the power of innovation, humanism, and pedagogical and research excellence. ESSEC professors have responded to the current situation by sharing their insights and expertise on topics such as the economic impact of the crisis, healthcare management, managing work during the crisis, the impact on different sectors and on an international scale, and life after the crisis. This special issue gathers the articles published by ESSEC Knowledge over the last few months, featuring the expertise of professors in management, marketing, information systems, accounting and management control, statistics, finance, and economics. The articles chosen for this issue provide unique insight into the complexity of the COVID-19 crisis, prompting us to imagine the next chapter for humankind and question how each of us can contribute to creating a more sustainable, inclusive future.