Coronavirus: US 'futurist' Jamie Metzl predicts COVID-19 pandemic will mark end of global 'post-war' era, urges NZ to consider 'next pivot'

An American author believes the world is at a turning point with the COVID-19 outbreak and New Zealand must use the situation to "pivot" and consider its future place in the world economy.

Jamie Metzl, described as a "technology futurist" was on The AM Show on Wednesday.

He said he believes when historians look back on this moment in time from the future, the coronavirus pandemic will signify the end of an era for the world.

"Historically, I think we're going to say from 1945 until 2020 that was the post-war world," Metzl told The AM Show.

Although many people believe life will resume as normal once COVID-19 is eliminated or a vaccine is found, Metzl says that's simply not realistic. What happens in the aftermath of the pandemic is likely to have far-reaching consequences.

"The way I describe this is the future is crashing into the present. Things that may have taken 10 or 20 year to arrive will now arrive in just months," he said.

"What we're experiencing is just a fundamental shift of so many aspects of our lives. And the world post-crisis is in many ways going to be fundamentally different from what it looked like going in."

One change Metzl says will affect countries like New Zealand more than others is how the global economy works.

"The nature of our economies is going to shift. That doesn't mean that our economies are going to shut down, but there are lots of industries that will transition."

Although many existing jobs could be lost, there would be room for innovation and opportunity, he said. 

"Now is the time when you should be thinking about your next pivot, not just hankering for this old world that is in many ways already gone.

"We all need to be part of the next world that we would like to inhabit and then work together to work that world."