I came across a meme that says, "What has led to the digital transformation of your company?" Necessity is the mother of all invention, we learned in school but now it is obvious. Many long-pending recommendations from experts are now in consideration, like climate change, online education, work from home, reduction in usage of fossil fuels.
By the beginning of lockdown 2.0, many have started to speculate how this world is going to be? There are already many articles on the subject, and I wouldn't dwell on them. I can see many different houses of thought co-existing at the moment. We are stuck with the same thing, but our point of view and challenges are different. No one is affected less; millions will lose their jobs and businesses, not just the migrant workers. Everyone is staring at their own challenges. Even the ones who are catering to people have challenges. House One says that the lockdown should continue to keep the pandemic in check. House Two holds another point of view which says the people will die of hunger in the lockdown. House Three tries to capture the middle ground by opening some essentials and continue with the lockdown.
Regardless of which house of thought you follow, many questions will remain unanswered. Like, we can work from home, but what will be the work if our customer stops buying what we sell? For how long can businesses pay their employees without work? Many companies don't operate in the essential category, what is their future? What are the new critical activities? Cabs were essential and now it isn't. There isn't any master key that unlocks all the doors. But if we consider this as an opportunity and reimagine in the world ahead, we can start again instead of just fixing it.
A quote from Socrates keeps crossing my mind again and again. "The Secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new." What if instead of going back to the normal, we focus on building the new normal? A good question is therefore what we want to see as the new normal. Shouldn't we re-examine the old world?
I don't hold a Ph.D. in Economics, but I can reasonably understand that there are two buckets of money; one that people pay as taxes, donations, and others is what investors earn back from companies who are selling things to the people. Money never dies, only the rotation of cash gets disrupted. If we put down our wish list for the sustainable future, a new blueprint of the future can emerge. Money then can flow towards the communities and organisations that will be work on the blueprint of the future. We can be aligned with the new standards of operational safety and alter our behaviour which risks the spread of coronavirus. Together, we can restart the economy.
My wish list for the future includes the primal focus on the essentials.
Business for society
I agree with Simon Sinek. Business activities should focus on supporting the community and not to increase shareholder's share value. It will automatically eradicate the damages done to our planet by profit at all cost companies. Today, we have an excellent opportunity for organisations involved in the quick money business, non-essential business to exit and start again in alignment with the direction of the new world. There are opportunities for talented people and groups to initiate new things that will be essential for the future. Fields like telemedicine, higher education, healthcare, biotechnology and many more.
Education is necessary for all, not only for privileged few. Institutions imparting knowledge must not create a divide. Every child should have the option to choose streams to become a contributing member of the society. We've done unprecedented damage to our planet. Unfortunately, our children will have to face the consequence of our actions and find solutions. A wise thing to do is to train them in life skills and impart knowledge that will allow them to survive and revive the planet.
Healthcare for all
Today, we know the dangers of one person getting infected with infectious diseases. Do we need another life to understand that everyone needs healthcare support? We also know that many contagious diseases are lurking in the dark, yet to jump species. Unless we invest in a healthcare system for all, we won't be able to recover from recurring pandemics.
I believe, now people who were in denial of climate change, who thought it is a controversy or propaganda to disrupt business activities will realise the criticality. We need to deal with climate change and pay attention to how we can survive and revive the planet. We need to raise generations of climate warriors, who are still toddlers.
There are many challenges when we view it from sustainable agriculture. It’s not just climate change and pesticide usage. It is also depleting freshwater sources, increasing population, conversion of agricultural lands into urban setup and livelihood of farmers. These are challenges that we need to overcome.
Humanity above religion
We need to rise above religion, race, colour, and future shouldn't be about it. There can be only two camps, one that believes in humanity and one that doesn't. Enough with these divides. Grow up, and our future is already laughing at us. We fought many wars over these matters, and generations after generations have suffered due to the same reason. If anyone in any religion becomes a threat to humanity, is guilty.
I've not explicitly written about emerging technology and scientific endeavour, as all the above will need them. It is not about building technology for the heck of manufacturing technology. And it goes the same for scientific endeavour because if at some point we discover that a coronavirus pandemic is human-made, we will regret such efforts.
These are my wish list as a son, husband, brother, father, friend, professional, colleague, business owner, partner, citizen, countryman for the new normal, what is yours? Tell me your wish list in the comment section below.