Throughout history, people were born into, and generally continued their lives in a fairly inelastic economic band. It was acceptable that the distribution of economic benefits and burdens was fixed by destiny or deity. However, it was only when humans accepted that the distribution of economic benefits and burdens could be impacted by states, did distributive justice become an unavoidable anxiety. Nations altered laws and schedules affecting the distribution of economic benefits and burdens especially those involving tax, industry and education. These changes have had visible distributive effects. Consequently, every society displays a different model of distribution at any point in time. Moreover, at all inflection points, including pandemics, all societies are challenged by the choice to uphold, modify or disband unfruitful models. Distributive justice offers only moral guidance for this unending stream of choices.

Advocates of Rawls’ Difference Principle are most constructively understood as arguing for the removal of Senian “unfreedoms” which would improve the lifetime prospects of the least advantaged in society. At any instant in every society, the existing economic and institutional framework influences the current distribution of economic and life prospects. To assert that we should not change the current arrangements, despite evidence to the contrary, is to take a deliberate position on the distributive justice debate. It is to contend that maintaining and managing the existing distribution is ethically preferable to changing to any beneficial alternative. The distribution of material goods and services is not the only economic distribution that humans value. They also place a premium on the distribution of opportunities that affect their lifetime economic prospects. Only when we choose fresh alternatives from behind a veil of ignorance can development result in freedom.

Life changed dramatically for citizens in developed economies during the first two decades of the 21st century. These economies display vibrant structural advantages such as: – active investor communities, outstanding universities; access to talent; a favourable regulatory environment, and burgeoning tech activity. Alongside these big wins are provocative infrastructure players supporting start-ups; non-profit funders; incubators; and impact investors. Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is a vibrant region where significant advances are juxtaposed against economic vulnerability and a plethora of structural issues which Covid-19 has amplified. In 2020, The Korea Development Institute and IDB Invest examined the case for digital transformation in Korea with a view to sharing learnings with companies in LAC.  On the Asian Digital Transformation Index from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Korea placed second out of eleven nations. On the IMD Digital Competitiveness Index Ranking 2020, Korea was eighth out of sixty-four countries and was first in the European Innovation Scoreboard in 2021.

The study revealed that Korean public institutes funded a national informatization policy since 1996. Public-private partnerships unflinchingly nurtured the development of a digital transformation ecosystem, including infrastructure, industry, and talent. The result became a substrate for the efflorescence of the present socio-economic and business change management climate. The evolving ecosystem produced some noticeable transformation cases across fields like e-commerce, energy, and education.

As the pandemic portal widened, countries are obliged to ask: – Are the technological advances of green and digital economies at odds with equitable development? How do we ensure that the digital economy does not deepen inequality? These two interrogations conjointly force a tertium quid or an unidentified third element that is in combination with these two known ones: – Where is the new social contract? Debate on how the social contract changes is liveliest during industrial, social, and geopolitical upheavals. Jean‑Jacques Rousseau invoked the term in his 1762 book, “On the Social Contract”. This issue has preoccupied humanity for four millennia encircling the Code of Hammurabi, Plato’s Republic and the European Enlightenment.

At its core, the social contract is located in the interstices among individuals and institutions. Mariana Souto-Manning of Teachers College, Columbia University, N.Y., in a Bank Street Occasional Paper (Vol. 2021, No. 46) agreed with Arundhati Roy, that beyond the pandemic “nothing could be worse than a return to normality”. In the end, normality—in schools and schooling—has long been marked by inequities. Instead, Souto-Manning yearned for “a more just future”. Not a return to “pathologizing portrayals, and injurious pedagogies” that mask the restfulness of fake normality. COVID-19 pushed pause. As Roy (2020) pointed out, it “brought the world to a halt like nothing else could,” as we witnessed “the wreckage of a train that has been careening down the track for years”. Tacitly, humanity imbibed every long-standing pattern and practice of unfairness.

Covid-19 raised a looking glass. In these echoes, humanity witnessed spectacles resembling the ones LeRoy Clarke painted on a Cocoa estate in Aripo. Canvases that reverberated unbearable geographies of ourselves. Panoramas which fractured the sociological contours of West Indian landscapes like the poetry of Walcott. Canvases that made humanity settle with Clarke’s lament that Laventille ceased to be a place. Laventille is everywhere. Under the brush of Clark – Laventille became a circumstance. An ailment in Caroni and among the “Lonely Londoners” in Camden. And with every new variant, more schools closed. Finally, we accept that only a ramshackle project will try to “stitch the future to the past” (Roy, 2020).