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The declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020, led to unprecedented events. All regions of the world participated in implementing preventive health measures such as physical distancing, travel restrictions, self-isolation, quarantines, and facility closures. The pandemic started global disruption of socio-economic systems, covering the postponement or cancellation of public events, supply shortages, schools and universities’ closure, evacuation of foreign citizens, a rise in unemployment and inflation, misinformation, the anti-vaccine movement, and incidents of discrimination toward people affected by or suspected of having coronavirus disease. Attempts have been made to protect the oldest age group at risk, but in many cases, this has led to over-restriction and age discrimination. The rationale for working on the Research Topic “Socio-economic systems in the post-pandemic world: Design thinking, strategic planning, management, and public policy” was the need to start reflecting on resilience and lessons learned from this public health event that revealed the global unpreparedness in critical areas. Also, the pandemic triggered both top-down (e.g., policy tools toward labor markets) and bottom-up (e.g., social and technological innovations in education) responses that needed more in-depth analyzes. This Research Topic covers interdisciplinary contributions addressing new thinking, challenges, and transformations required for post-pandemic global, national, regional, and local realities. The presented Research Topic combines studies focused on recognizing the actions and interventions leading to the recovery of socio-economic systems during the tail end and after the pandemic. The studies delivered recommendations regarding, among others, the care of vulnerable, planning socio-economic restart, and imagining the “new normal.”

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