Build back better

We’ve been pondering how we move through the events that are gripping the world. How we approach the data pragmatically with empathy. How we tell stories. How we do – and don’t – draw comparisons for context. How we stay factual without fear when so many of us are anxious. How we talk about a promising future when there are also inevitable horrors. How we can help each other and the businesses we love.

I’ve been in a number of crisis situations and there is one thing that has always been clear – terrible things will happen and change you could never imagine will be given the room it always needed. They aren’t mutually exclusive.

Crisis situations require large-scale rapid responses – it’s in those responses that we get to determine who we are as humans, what we believe in and how we want to change the future.

And this is a moment where we can indeed change course. We don’t get many of these. 2008 was the last one and we let it slip quietly by. We hungered for it to ‘return to normal’. We did just that – and it’s not compatible with a sustainable future nor did it deliver any of the justice that we would have hoped for.

This situation is going to be awful for a while. Really traumatic things are going to happen to good people. Most of us are going to be on tight budgets and faced with difficult choices. Some of us will be in dire circumstances (if that’s you, please reach out). And, amongst all that, it also has the possibility to reset us. To change the way we work. To completely reform our industries. To change how we consume and spend our time. To reduce our waste. To pivot companies. To force even conservative governments into providing social justice and financing for households that have been drowning in debt just to survive. To relocalize where practical.
Maybe we’ll get some bold ideas. This is the time that policy innovation shines. We’ve got a few things brewing too for all of us here and we’d love to hear from you what you want, what you’re thinking, and how you’re feeling. Community has always been the way forward; the lesson from other countries and the past. Now more than ever we need it, so let’s (virtually) hold it tight and cling on.