Why going back to the way things were is not a viable option for us…
This week has seen significant easing of restrictions in Australia with our government launching a three step approach on the road to recovery. As disruptive and significant as the lockdown has been for us personally, professionally and economically, the silver lining is that for the first time in history, the world has been united around a global cause without the “one-size-fits-all” approach to every nation, state and city. COVID-19 has provided us a beautiful time to reflect, recalibrate and reconnect with what is important in life, whether that is spending more time with loved ones, or pivoting products and services around true business purpose and customer needs.
Some people we speak with agree that the world will never be the same after this with accelerated radical change in our environment, embracing the power of digital collaboration, and flexible, yet connected working practices. For us, falling forwards means we don’t just acknowledge the pain and suffering that has been brought on by this epidemic, but also embrace the lessons and opportunities COVID-19 has taught us about work, life and respect for our planet. In this way we truly reap the return on investment of this experience. COVID-19 has brought to surface the holes and weaknesses in our processes and systems which, like every crisis, helps us all evolve as an economic and social species.
Yet there are others who seem to hold onto this notion that we should fall backwards and return to a world BC (before COVID-19), maintaining archaic technologies and workplace policies that belong in ages long gone. While this way of life may have worked for the industrial and information age, COVID-19 has accelerated us into a new age of creativity, connectedness and consciousness where the impacts of mindless consumerism and addiction to being busy were having dramatic impacts on the mental health of our workforce and the wellbeing of our planet. In fact, what if our unsustainable ways are contributing to more regular global epidemics and this could be an annual occurrence if we don’t heed mother nature’s lessons carefully.
If you don’t want to take my word for it (or Bill Gate’s), then perhaps you might listen to the wise words of Alanna Shaikh principal consultant of Tomorrow Global who have been guiding global organisations/systems into the future of global health for twenty years. In her 2020 Tedx Video, she warns us how businesses, in order to meet demand for products and services, are exposing humans to animals we have never come into contact with before as we decimate natural habitats of other species at an accelerating rate. Her harrowing and sobering words indicate that if we continue to function economically at the current rate of growth and consumerism without change, global epidemics such as COVID-19 will become our new normal on a regular and annual basis with our healthcare systems unable to support outbreaks of this magnitude.
So the long and short of it is, if we want the corona virus to be our ongoing future, by all means let’s aim all our efforts to return to the Industrial Age. At Earth2Mars, we see a much better future for all of us, yet it is going to mean we need to not only consider the products, services and organisations we continue to support with our patronage and employment, but also take a good look at ourselves as individuals and communities and how we personally contribute to our addiction to unnecessary excess at the expense of the ecology of the world. It means we need to be a lot more discerning with how we define and accept leadership strategies and positions that focus purely on the bottom line with very little consideration to their impacts on the community and the planet as a whole. Because every decision we make today impacts the quality of life we will have in the future.