Low Touch Economy and Social Economy in Rural Heritage Rich Communities Impacted by COVID-19 Crisis
While rural communities have always struggled with factors like marginalisation, low entrepreneurial development, high unemployment, low education and poor health services, the COVID-19 crisis brings extra pressure by reducing close-contact interactions and by introducing travel and hygiene restrictions. Cultural heritage has represented for many rural communities a competitive advantage in their economic development, either already exploited or seen as an opportunity. The problem of this process in the new COVID-19 context is represented by a demand and supply shock, caused by the stop of direct labour, high decrease of acquisitions and cease of travel. In these new economic and social circumstances, it is important to explore the way the COVID19 crisis impacts rural heritage rich communities and which are possible further actions in order to ensure a return to dynamic social and economic interactions. The present paper will bring into focus the concepts of Low Touch Economy and Social Economy as a support in dealing with these new economic and social conditions and will prospect possible intertwining between the two. Presented as a literature review and an exploration, the paper brings into focus the brand new concept of Low Touch Economy presented by Board of Innovation, a business design and innovation strategy firm located in Netherlands.
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