Great Depression or Great Reset (Image: Unsplash)
A series of unfortunate events marked 2020 as a pivotal moment in our history. Political turmoil, the COVID-19 pandemic, and civil rights movements brought us disturbing realities of inequality and injustice. The pressing urge for a fairer society is increasingly evident. Looming and irreversible climate challenges are other reminders for leaders around the world to reflect on our actions and their impact on our future, and major players are finally orchestrating to present better solutions in an aligned direction. Unlike the traditional way of organizing the triple bottom line, COVID taught us that profit can only be sustainable once we have the basics of a functional planet and people being incorporated into the equation.
...our economy has to work for people, for society to thrive. We have to be living within what our planet can tolerate. (Justin Bull)
Angrynomics: A Chaotic World
First of all, why is the world experiencing so much turmoil? Why is a “sustainable” direction important to business practices? How did we even get here? Sure enough, not everyone agrees on the meaning of sustainable initiatives. Scholars across the world scramble to find an answer for this conundrum. Authors Eric Lonerga and Mark Blyth convey a compelling narrative on how we ended up here in their newly published book-- Angrynomics. The book suggests wealth inequality, job insecurity, rapid changes in working practices and political corruption contribute to systematic turmoil. While other answers remain undefined, one message is clear:
Immediate actions are necessary. The world needs to move forward.
Protest over George Floyd's death in Vancouver, Canada (Daily Hive)
Great Reset: Facing the Reality
The World Economic Forum charted what we now refer to as the Great Reset with a system spanning health, finance, energy, and education. All leaders, industries, institutions and individuals must manage short-term pressures against long-term uncertainties. The Great Reset initiative urges global stakeholders to re-examine business models, economic development, justice, and the collective common goods of humankind.
Stakeholders need to revamp for a sustainable and equitable economy and while COVID-19 has offered us a moment to pause, reflect, and choose a path forward, it has not given us a single #GlobalReset button.
2020 is a unique moment that requires actions rather than agonizing about the past. The wheels are in motion thanks to activists like Greta and organizations such as the United Nations and World Economic Forum. We need to bring change and new behavioural standards for industry, nations, capital, and consumers. Humanity needs to take immediate action to meet net-zero climate targets by 2050 and other barriers to a clean, healthy, safe, and more just future for generations to come. But how?
How the Great Reset can Reform Capitalism
According to the World Economic Forum, here are the four main pillars leading to a better future:
These four pillars can be leveraged in tandem, and require a new model of work and co-operation among institutions, their leadership, and the public. By employing the latest approaches to design and execution, removing barriers which traditionally stifle creativity and innovation, we may see the emergence of a new form of capitalism. This new form of capitalism would create the barometer for how choices are made, and provide ample rationale as to why.
Imagine a world where we no longer need the word "sustainability" because we produce, consume, and live in a way that is sustainable by design.
In this next transition period, as in those before, winners will emerge. Leading organizations and individuals have a unique opportunity to identify which buttons to press and in which sequence by first aligning on purpose, then leveraging the four pillars outlined by the Great Reset initiative to design, create, and deploy the win-win-win solutions of the next wave of development.
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