Created in American military schools more than three decades ago, the acronym VUCA – volatility (V), uncertainty (U), complexity (C) and ambiguity (A) – pointed to the market situation at that time and indicated, for the armed forces, the required behavioral skills to face extremely challenging situations.

This acronym became popular in the business world from 2008, in response to the economic crisis and the need of adaptation for the market.

Since then, critical thinking, resilience, strategic vision and leadership have become some of the most valued capabilities in the corporate environment.

But everything changed in 2020. The pandemic fully destabilized the social and economic ecosystem, bringing significant changes to the labor market and giving way to the BANI world.


The BANI world is here to stay

The BANI world – a concept coined by Jamais Cascio, American anthropologist, author and futurist – gained momentum and became an important indicator for the current corporate scenario.

The BANI acronym comes from the words Brittle, Anxious, Nonlinear and Incomprehensible, and represents unpredictable, chaotic situations that make us loose control over things and compel us to react to new situations quickly.

These are four words that attempt to define an extremely complex scenario, which affects both the labor market and people deeply. So, what would be the antidotes for each one of them?


Antidotes for the BANI World


In the BANI era, people have the feeling that everything can fall apart at any moment. If volatility was prevalent in the VUCA world, now it has gained even more strength, to the point of making everything very fragile and without solidity.

So, how can we act in the face of this? Fragility can be managed through resilience, determination and freedom.



Anxiety, that feeling that most of us know and renders decision-making something very complicated, is an open door to feel constantly at a loss.

So, the best thing to do is trying to dilute anxiety through empathy and mindfulness in day-to-day activities.



Nonlinearity is synonymous with unpredictable. Anything can happen while we are still in social isolation, in the midst of chaos, and with no end to be seen.

To live in such scenario, it’s vital to develop certain skills, such as patience, resignation and flexibility.



Incomprehensibility is the feeling of looking for answers and not finding them, even with any and all information within the reach of a click.

The only solution here is to make use of intuition, obviously, but without forgetting the acquired experiences.


This text was authored by Luiz Gastão Bolonhez, vice-president at Mercado Eletrônico, and published by Estado de São Paulo, one of the most prestigious Brazilian newspapers.

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